These are crazy times we find ourselves in right now. I have heard more than one person say that they have never experienced anything like this in their lifetime—and a few of the folks are a bit more senior than me! That being said, I am so proud of the companies I work with and the friends that I have that run their own businesses. Everyone is doing everything they can to take care of their employees and service their customers to the best of their abilities. Most are doing a really great job despite the social, environmental and supply chain challenges.
We are coming into that time of year where a lot of companies are gearing up or doing their annual planning to prepare for next year. In preparation for that, we are presenting a webinar in conjunction with the Association for Corporate Growth, ACG, to highlight some of the mistakes companies make and three very important lessons that can help you avoid those mistakes and the failure that accompanies them. Did you know that on average, only 50-60% of companies actually hit their annual performance targets? The stats are not very good, and even worse if you have just participated in a merger or acquisition. Team members involved in a merger or acquisition want to know two primary things: where is the company going, and what do you need me to do today?
What's the difference between KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Quarterly Rocks? This can be a very confusing question, especially for companies who are new to using the Rockefeller Habits or Rhythm's Think Plan Do as a methodology to grow their company and drive their execution. It can be confusing at first as there are some similarities between the two. Both use clear success criteria to measure results or desired behavior, and quarterly rocks (often called priorities or projects) can often influence the success of the KPIs and metrics you are monitoring.
So, you had a great planning session with your team. Everybody left the 3-day session pumped up and ready to hit your targets for the year and move the company one step closer to achieving your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and other long term strategic goals. You've done the strategy work extremely well? What could possibly go wrong?
Unfortunately, even with everyone’s good intentions, running the day-to-day business can get in the way of making progress on your annual and quarterly rocks if you are not intentional about your execution or operation planning of all of your important projects to help you achieve your vision. These strategic planning tips should help you execute on your 3 year strategic plan while keeping track of your day to day activities. As the experts in mid market planning facilitation we are often asked for our best strategic planning advice, so here you go!
Most companies we work with are still operating in a virtual or semi-virtual world, and fortunately, employees are adapting well. It is amazing what technology can allow us to do these days. Can you imagine working virtually twenty years ago? As an unforeseen benefit, companies are taking a fresh look at their businesses to evaluate how they can take advantage of this trend to structure the business more efficiently from the standpoint of both employees and companies. I think the landscape of how we work will forever be changed—and in a good way.
I facilitate a lot of strategy and execution planning sessions throughout the year. The majority of the time, I do this on-site with a client at a hotel or at their facility. Meeting face-to-face is great if logistics, timing, cost and the environment support it. However, there are times when everything does not align for that to happen, and it is more effective for the team to meet virtually. Current environmental conditions have created one of those times. Keeping people safe and healthy has never been more important.
I have helped many companies identify and leverage their core competencies through the years, and doing this can really make a difference in the products or services you provide to your customer. Core competence is a concept introduced by C.K. Prahalad, professor at the University of Michigan, and Gary Hamel, management expert and founder of Strategos. They define it as “a harmonized combination of multiple resources and skills that distinguish a firm in the marketplace.”
Quite a few years back, a good friend of mine introduced me to John Miller and his book “QBQ – The Question Behind the Question.” I had the opportunity to hear John speak and have referred to his book off and on through the years. John has built a complete program on this concept and has helped companies exercise more accountability throughout their organizations. Since we work with our clients at Rhythm Systems to get focused, aligned and accountable, I thought it was worth looking back through the book to see if there were some nuggets of wisdom to share.
Two key concepts in manufacturing that often get misconstrued or even used synonymously are productivity and efficiency. Do you know what the difference is? Despite these two words pertaining to improving the production process of a manufacturing, agriculture, or service sector company, they refer to different things. Once you think about the differences, you can better utilize productivity and efficiency in your business. Read this blog to better understand productivity vs efficiency and how it impacts your manufacturing business.
Philip Kotler implores us to do a better job of understanding “who” our valuable customers are and then to deeply please them, rather than trying to please everyone. It is much better to serve your Core Customer completely and fully, than to try to be everything to everyone. It will create a core market that you can please and creates a loyal fan base. The core customer value to your business is immense, so the better you understand them the better the return on your investment.
Every company should have a brand promise that it makes to its customers. The promise should differentiate you in your market and support the sales process by making it easier to close deals. The first step in developing your brand promise is to identify and define your core customer. The better job you do with this step, the more effective your brand promise is going to be and the more likely your prospects are to purchase a product. This is needed for business to business and business to consumer companies.