Get Aligned! Don't let Elephants Derail Your Business Execution!

By Patrick Thean

dateFri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 09:30 AM

Q2 has already started.  We should all be off and running on our 13 week race.  Strong business execution needs a good rhythm.  I like to think of every quarter as a 13 week race.  Set a strong goal, coupled with a handful of priorities or big rocks, and go knock down those big rocks in your 13 week race.  Do this quarter after quarter with discipline and you will have world class execution!

Unfortunately, some of us are in such a hurry that we build our business execution plan without dealing with the biggest baddest issues that need to be dealt with.  These are the elephants in the room.  These elephants will cause your team to be ever so slightly mis-aligned, but mis-aligned enough to get execution

At a recent Execution Planning session, my client noticed that there was not total alignment on whether they should have the #1 goal focused on growing top line revenues or winning new customers.  They had the discipline to slow down to discuss, debate, and then agree on whether they should focus on revenues or winning new customers.  It is such a subtle difference.  "Aren't both the same thing?" you might ask.  No, they are really not.  There are multiple ways to get to a revenue goal.  You can either get there with larger deals and fewer customers, or smaller deals and more customers.  After much debate, their team agreed on the #1 goal being to win more new customers.  Now the team is totally aligned on their #1 goal for the quarter.  I got so excited that I had goosebumps!  This is world class business execution!

The takeaway lessons:

  • In your execution planning sessions, listen and be aware of any mis-alignment in goals.  You need to listen well as the mis-alignments are in the nuances, the little things.
  • When you encounter a mis-alignment, slow down to discuss.  Slow down to be effective versus focusing on being efficient.
  • Discuss, debate, agree
  • Then go out there, congratulate your team for taking the time to get fully aligned, and have a great quarter!


Rhythm Systems Quarterly Planning Agenda




Patrick Thean


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