In his popular book Atomic Habits, James Clear wisely asserts that we don't rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our processes. His key point is that if we are going to achieve our goals, we need a system to execute them. The same is true for business strategy - we can inspire all we want with mission and vision and values and aspirational goals, but if we have no system to turn those strategic visions into reality, nothing will get done in the end.
If you have a small enough team, a simple system is all you need - get the team in the room together, decide what to do, go do it. Rinse and repeat! But, as you achieve success, your systems have to grow with your company. As Marshall Goldsmith famously wrote, what got you here won't get you there. Just as your company upgrades from a spreadsheet to a CRM system or accounting system as your operations become larger and more complex, your company will also need to upgrade your strategy execution system as you grow.
Here are some sure signs your company is mature enough to need a strategy software platform for execution:
1. You pay for strategic consulting or planning, but you lack any system for following up on those strategic decisions.
Spending two days (or longer) in a room with a consultant is a significant investment of time and resources, and often there's a huge opportunity cost associated with inaction on the strategy you've chosen.
2. You ARE tracking your execution using spreadsheets or other shared files.
Sure, it's better than nothing, but you waste time each week hunting down updates, managing versions of files, and trying to make sense of the data coming in. You don't have the information you need at your fingertips, and you don't have a quick visual of progress.
3. You have lots of ideas but can't seem to focus and follow through on any of them.
You aren't confident you've shared your vision effectively with the team and worry your employees may be working hard on the wrong things.
4. Your departmental teams or functional teams are working in silos...
...and you are spending precious time, energy, and resources on re-work, or missing important deadlines because of miscommunication between team members. They all have their own systems to manage their work, but there's no way to get a high-level summary or connect their work to the strategy of the company.
5. Your team is hybrid or remote...
...and you're struggling to keep your finger on the pulse - what are people working on, how's the work going, are our key projects at risk, are we on track to hit our numbers for the quarter? Are team members engaged and happy? You used to just know most of these things being around the office, but now you might feel like you need to schedule meeting after meeting just to keep tabs on things.
If any of these resonate with you, you may have graduated to a phase in your company's growth trajectory where you need something more robust to help you manage your strategy execution. Execution is about establishing the right habits and building a rhythm of work that leads to success. We've helped hundreds of companies do just that, and our software platform is best in class, designed specifically to provide one platform that unifies strategy execution up, down, and across your entire enterprise. If you're ready, learn more about how Rhythm can help you by watching the video below, or learning more detail about the world's best business strategy execution software platform!
Find more information in our 3-5 year strategic planning resource center.
Additional articles you might find useful:
Rhythm Systems Quarterly Planning Resource Center
Rhythm Systems Annual Planning Resource Center