In working with many leading mid-market CEOs and their executive leadership teams on their growth strategies, I often ask these leaders what keeps them up at night. It turns out the answer is less varied and simpler than you might think. While they all say it a little differently, the answer almost always boils down to a variation of “How can I execute my strategic plan?” Turns out CEOs know that making plans is easy while executing them is hard. I’ve included the most common four questions I hear.
How will I drive the growth initiatives?
You’ve determined your new revenue targets that include an aggressive growth in revenue. How are you going to get there? Driving revenue in a meaningful way involves everybody in the company, not just the sales department.What initiatives can you undertake to ignite sales for both new prospects and existing customers? How do you align the various teams so that they create synergy to create sustained growth and delight customers? You need to come up with a great plan and execute on it. See how we help drive revenue growth initiatives.
How can I launch products faster?
Not only do you want to launch them faster, but you also want to do it with less drama and better cross-functional collaboration. You’ll need to coordinate the delivery, marketing, sales, support, finance and all other departmental teams that are part of a successful product launch. Coordinating these teams helps eliminate drama, helps you launch products faster and provides a better customer experience with your new product. Every week that you can shave off of delivery time significantly increases your profitability. We helped AvidXchange launch a product six months early, allowing them to be first to market.
How do I integrate acquisitions better, while maintaining the company culture I have worked so hard to build?
Of course, this keeps CEOs up at night as more than 70% of mergers and acquisitions fail. You need to keep people and projects on track from two companies now. They are likely using different systems, using different language and have vastly different SMART goals. Doing all of the work while keeping the company culture strong is essential with mergers and acquisitions. Too often during the M&A process, people are caught up in the financial modeling and not the people and culture needed to make it successful. See how we help make acquisitions work.
How do I develop an engaged and accountable team?
It is one thing to create plans and quite another to actually achieve them. Employee engagement is a secret weapon that can help you drive business results. You need to make sure that everybody on the team has role and goal clarity and that they hold each other accountable to the results that are expected of them. We have a team accountability framework, the 5 C’s of accountability that helps companies drive cross-functional performance. See how we drive accountable leaders and teams or take our team accountability assessment to see how you stack up. We help develop accountable leaders and teams and would love to work with you.
If you are a CEO experiencing insomnia over any of these issues or just having trouble executing against your plan, don’t worry - you’re not alone. We have been working with CEOs and executive teams of mid-market companies for more than a decade and we can help you. Drop us a line to see if we are a good fit or visit our free resource center to learn more about the problems that we solve for companies for just like you.
The plans can take many forms, depending on the company, but at the core, the CEO’s problem isn’t about coming up with good ideas - it is about getting the team laser-focused on the most important ones. Many companies lack the discipline to focus on the top three to five initiatives and say no to the rest. It isn’t about doing everything you want to do, it's about doing the handful of things you need to do in order to achieve your goals. You’ve created your annual strategic plan, now what are going you to do?
At Rhythm Systems, we always take the strategic plan one step further and provide a tried and true methodology to ensure that our customers have an execution ready plan. Execution plans take the strategic initiatives you have brainstormed and makes a roadmap of how to get there. The roadmap is a series of action plans so that you can clearly see what employees across multiple departments need to do, by when, in order to execute against the plan. Many companies just starting out often keep this information in a spreadsheet, even though they often realize the software was designed to crunch numbers, not create collaborative cross-functional execution plans.
Hopefully knowing that there is help just around the corner will help you sleep well at night. Sweet dreams!
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Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images