My husband used to coach a 3- and 4-year-old soccer team (the “Gorillas”) at our neighborhood YMCA. If you’ve never watched toddlers play soccer, it is pretty hilarious. I remember one game, someone walked by the sidelines with a puppy, and every player on both teams ran off the field in the middle of the game to pet it! I also remember one game where little Petunia with her precious braided pig tails was the goal keeper (the kids rotated so everyone had a chance to be the goalie at least once in the season). A particularly big, fast kid from the other team kicked the ball right to her, and she quickly moved out of the way, turned to watch it go in the goal, and then clapped! “We scored!”
Rhythm Blog | Red-Yellow-Green success criteria
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
Each KPI and Priority should have clearly defined success criteria. What is success? What is failure? Discuss, debate and agree as a team.
Have you ever pushed yourself to achieve a goal that you thought was too lofty? How did it feel? In 2012, Daniel Markowitz wrote an HBR article called “The Folly of Stretch Goals,” in which he argued that they demotivate employees, tempt us to engage in unethical behavior, and encourage us to take unnecessary risks. Entrepreneur contributor Jeff Shore argues the opposite - that "stretch goals fuel remarkable success.” So, who’s right? Are stretch goals a good or bad thing when it comes to motivating the team to achieve high performance?
In working with thousands of companies around the world, our consultants have learned that for most companies the weakest link in executing business plans is not having clear success criteria. Often, companies will invest the time and resources to create a solid plan for the quarter, complete with Key Performance Indicators and Priorities. However, if they stop here, these companies could run hard and fast all quarter only to find that they were not aligned on what the objectives were for the plan. This is the pitfall we want to avoid - unless you set aside the time to establish and agree upon clear success criteria for your quarterly plan, you could work very hard and still not accomplish much.
I was out shopping with my wife this past weekend and started seeing holiday decorations creep their way into department stores. Normally, the sign of giant red bows and the smell of evergreen causes me to have heart palpitations, because it means it’s Q4, the last 13 Week Race of the year. It’s your last chance to hit the numbers and meet your goals. This year, I’m humming a different tune.
Those of you who are familiar with our Rhythm methodology know that we teach that establishing clear and specific success criteria for KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Priorities each quarter is key for strong execution. In fact, this is often the weakest link for many of our new clients. Many of them are already doing great coming up with solid strategies and a decent set of annual and quarterly priorities that are aligned to achieve the strategic goals. Where they fall short is the clarity around what success (and failure) looks like for each of the important KPIs and Priorities that they are working on.
I have received a lot of feedback from folks using the Rhythm software sharing how turning every quarter into a 13 Week Race™ has really improved their execution and company results. Forecasting their ability to succeed every week appears to be a key differentiator in using Rhythm's Red-Yellow-Green® method. Every quarter, they have a strong and clear vision for execution. Then week by week, they forecast the probability of achieving their goals for the quarter. They make adjustments when necessary every single week. They try to anticipate where the challenges and obstacles may come from, and pounce on those challenges. They meet them head on, solve them and go on to win every quarter!
We are proud to announce that Retail TouchPoints recently featured two of our long-time clients, Simms Fishing Products, and luxury watchmaker, Frederique Constant, in a report discussing the biggest challenge in the retail industry today: engaging employees. According to the 2013 State of the American Workplace report by Gallup, 70% of employees are not engaged.
This statistic continues to shock business owners and CEOs everyday. Whenever I ask the crowd at a speaking event or one of my clients if they think their employees are engaged, everyone in the room raises their hand. How can everyone be so misled? I suggest to my clients that they use Gallup's 12 Questions to Gauge Employee Engagement survey. Typically, after they take the survey they find their employees are less engaged than they thought.
I really hate the f-word: Failure. But it happens, especially when it seems like you have a lot going on in one week. Your focus was elsewhere and you have to status Red on a KPI or Priority in your weekly meeting prep, but that’s OK. You’re an A-player and there’s always next week to get back in the race. It’s one thing to status Red; it’s another thing to understand why you’re Red and what you’re going to do to get yourself to Green.