I have recently been involved in a few conversations with clients that are new to the Rockefeller Habits or to long-range planning. The questions that keep coming up are "Where do I start?" and "Should I first establish my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), 3-5 year Winning Moves, Core Values, etc.?"
Rhythm Blog | Alan Gehringer
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
Driving new sales revenue is a common theme that comes up with the clients I work with. In fact, I can’t think of many companies that have more sales activity than they know what to do with, and most are always looking for ways to (build or grow) their sales pipeline.
There a lot of variables that go into building a great sales pipeline, and marketing plays a big part in developing marketing qualified leads (MQLs), but another big variable is measuring the right behavior that drives the right results. To do this, we must put the right leading indicators in place. It’s one thing to measure results indicators like Revenue booked, but unless the right activities are taking place, you are not going to hit your targets and your stakeholders are going to be disappointed regardless if they are internal or external. You need to develop the right leading indicators for your sales team.
I have written previously about the importance of identifying your core customer because I have seen far too many companies waste their valuable time and resources selling to and serving the wrong customers.
Your core customer is the one who values what you offer at a price and quantity that is good for both you and the customer and will take you into the future successfully. This is the individual that uses the product, the one you look in the eyes and can put a name to and the one you can’t live without. Knowing who the core customer is will impacts sales in a positive manner.
It is important to grow the top line of your business on an annual basis, but you also need to make sure the bottom line is healthy which can help fund that growth. This is particularly important if you are a manufacturing company. In most cases, the two biggest expenses in your business are labor and raw materials. There are exceptions, of course, in machine intensive automated manufacturing environments, but let’s focus on the former. So how can we make sure the production floor is running at peak performance? One very effective way is to put the right balance of production KPIs in place. Some of these KPIs are leading indicators and some are results. It is good to have both, although I always prefer leading as these drive the results.
Here are some of my favorite KPIs that I used when I ran or set up manufacturing companies.
I previously wrote a blog titled 21 Production KPI Examples to Improve Manufacturing Performance, and many people were interested in learning more about how to measure and improve on-time delivery, one of the specific KPIs I mentioned. So, let’s dig a little deeper into this topic.
By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin
It is that time of the year again: time to prepare for your quarterly planning session. A question that I get frequently is, “should we plan for a one-day or a two-day quarterly session, and what do most of your clients do?”
Who is facilitating your next One-Day Quarterly Planning Session?
Whether you are doing it yourself, bringing in an outside facilitator, here are some tips to help you.
Every quarter is like a 13-week race that contributes to your Annual Plan priorities and Long-term 3-5 year goals. It is important to take the time to prepare a sound plan that your team is aligned with and bought into. To ensure a good planning session, you need to do some preparation.
Peter Drucker stated that ”the best and most dedicated people are ultimately volunteers, for they have the opportunity to do something else with their lives.”
One of the best articles I have read on Core Purpose is Collins and Porras article titled “Building Your Company’s Vision.” The authors explain that a well-developed vision consists of two parts, core ideology and an envisioned future. The core ideology consists of two components, Core Values and Core Purpose. The envisioned future has two elements, The Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and a vivid description of what it will look like when you achieve your BHAG. The former should never change, while the latter may, once you have accomplished your 10-20 year goal.
I would challenge you to think very hard about this question as it’s not an easy one to answer based on my experience as a facilitator, strategist and execution coach. Part of my job is to help companies prepare for and have effective annual planning sessions that are strategic to help them reach their long term goals. Too often, time is spent at the operational level, action planning or setting unrealistic targets with no real strategy how to achieve them. It is very important for the team to spend ample time researching, gathering data and preparing for their sessions to get the most out of them. I have said many times through the years that it is not enough for a bunch of smart people to get together in a room for a couple days and expect to come up with great plans. There is a lot that goes into the preparation, and the strategy work needs to continue long after the session concludes.
I think this question is so important, I am developing a workshop for this year's Breakthrough Conference to help companies evaluate how they are doing at strategic annual planning and share ideas on how to get better at planning strategically.
We have all heard the saying "A fish rots from the head down," right? Not that I am comparing my CEO friends to fish, but it does drive the point home that creating a culture of innovation starts with you as the leader of the organization.
Peter Drucker, one of the fathers of modern business theory, said if an established organization is not able to innovate, it faces decline and extinction. I could not agree with him more, for in all of my years helping companies, I have witnessed far too many that wait until they are in decline or experiencing shrinking markets, stale product offerings or products that are being commoditized to begin innovating. They usually do not have the resources once in decline to be successful, which is why it is important to build a culture of innovation while your business is strong and healthy.