What should you do if you cannot seem to come up with enough sales opportunities to hit the revenue target for next year? This scenario sometimes comes up during an annual planning session. You've built a sales and revenue plan for the year based on assumptions and this year's historical performance, and it does not add up to achieve the revenue target that you have set for the next year. And now you are staring at a gap. How do we fill this gap? I would suggest that you do a "20 ways to..." exercise to come up with ideas to fill this gap.
Leading indicators and results indicators are both key performance indicators (KPIs). I love leading indicators. The right leading indicators will guide you towards your desired outcome. If you pay attention to them, you can't help but think of necessary adjustments if you start veering away from your desired results.
If you have ever downloaded any tools or other resources on our site, you know that we usually ask you about your Biggest Business Challenge in our forms. In response to your feedback, we are featuring a blog series on your biggest business challenges! This post is a response to the challenge “Finding and Developing 'A' Players."
Every month, whether or not you’ve made your numbers, you have to cut checks. I’m sure you've all heard the term ROI, return on investment, but what about Return on Payroll? If payroll is your greatest investment, shouldn’t you have a strategy in place to increase your return? How can you be sure you have the best team in place and that they are working to their fullest potential?
We had a wonderful Breakthrough Conference this year that helped hundreds of middle market managers and CEOs achieve breakthrough execution. In my keynote, I shared that ImageFIRST achieved consistent growth every year for the last 12 years. Many attendees asked me to share more about how they were able to build a high-performance culture to produce great business results and impact the bottom line.
It is easy to confuse your strategy and your 3 year strategic plan. I have seen somany leaders tell me that they have a great strategy. Yet, when asked specifically what their strategy is, they have difficulty sharing the key strategic initiatives they are going to make - and when. Strategy and strategic moves should not be as complicated as we sometimes make it. This is the very reason that there is a strategy or execution debate. You must do both well to succeed, and you need the right rhythm to get it done.
If you are a Mastering the Rockefeller Habits fan, here are four tips to make your One-Page Strategic Plan work for you. Used correctly, it can accelerate your progress. Used incorrectly, it can quickly become a bureaucratic anchor around your neck.
1. Use your strategic foundation - Your core strategy to drive execution:
Your 3-5 year strategy is made up of your core purpose, core values, and BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Don't allow your core values to be merely a poster on the wall. Use them purposefully every day. Don't be tempted to hire that great resource who does not demonstrate your core values. Allow your core values to be your veto tool. Hire and fire by your core values. Here's a tip to live your core values: Choose words that you use daily. Don't switch into "corporate speak" when you bring up your core values. To make it stick, it's got to be the way you talk with each other. Do people in your company understand how their daily work helps to achieve the company’s overall mission or purpose? Are they on an exciting journey towards the promised land? Your BHAG is a 10+ year goal that can create excitement and inspiration for the entire team. Too often, I see BHAGs and purpose statements just being cute posters decorating corporate walls with people not understanding how they are part of the exciting journey to achieve the BHAG and purpose.
It’s that time of year again when executives are thinking about their annual plan and asking themselves, “where do I start?” A lot of companies out there start their process with budgeting. Then once they have their budgets set, they move to developing their annual plan. This may sound like a smart idea to ensure you don’t blow your budget, but it may be keeping you from executing strategic growth moves.
I am often asked about the impact of leaders on a company’s strategy execution. Sometimes we have process and execution problems. But just as often, I have found that the company may actually have done a good job with execution planning, or creating priorities and KPIs. However, the leaders and managers are having trouble driving performance and results. In these cases, weakness in team leaders can be masquerading as execution issues.
Your leaders determine the performance of their teams and the results that your company achieves. Every single customer or project rolls up to a manager/leader. Your leaders determine 100% of your company’s results and performance!
Every quarter is a thirteen-week race. It goes by fast. Before you know it, the quarter is over. And then the year is over. You are left with the question, “Did we accomplish what we set out to accomplish?”
It’s time to slow down and develop a world-class team execution plan for next year. When we don’t slow down to plan our execution, our teams don't end up being focused on the right things, leading to mistakes and rework, and ultimately smacking our profit with a 2-by-4! How strong is your execution this year? I get asked every year how to do team planning, and I am sharing some of my insider tips with you.
I ask these questions to check if you had a good and strong plan this year:
- Does your team know what the company is supposed to achieve this year?
- If your team does know what the company is focused on, do they know their roles in making that happen every quarter?
- Do they have clear success metrics so they can tell if they are on track or not?