Your Annual Plan is complete! The Main Thing for the year is clear and speaks to the head and heart. Everyone knows the Annual Key Initiatives. You've had a kickoff event for the entire Company. Focus and execution should be a breeze now, right?
Wrong! As CEO, your work is just beginning. How do you keep your teams focused on your Annual Plan throughout the year? It's your job to drive that focus everyday!
1. Use a Daily Question.
For example, one of my teams had an Annual Theme of "Breaking Barriers." The year was to be all about surpassing things that previously held them back: technology, infrastructure, process, metrics, etc. The CEO kept the team focused on this by asking this question of his team every day: "What are you doing today to break barriers?" When they had key decisions to make throughout the year, they asked, "Will this help us break a barrier?"
2. Bring it to life with Rewards and Appreciation.
In the above example, they could have had a "Breaking Barriers" award given quarterly to a team that exemplified the concept. On Daily Huddles if someone shares a victory that embodies "Breaking Barriers," the CEO should call it out as such. “Way to go breaking that barrier!”
3. Make the Daily Question visible.
Post it on the wall in the break room. Have it make its way to each person's desk or office. I had one team that was focused on customer service send out little mirrors that connected on to each laptop in the call center that asked each person if their smile could be heard.
4. Make it part of the vernacular.
The team should hear the Daily Question so often from the CEO that it becomes part of your Company's language. The team will model CEO behavior and start asking the Daily Question of each other. How great would that be?!
Intense focus on your Annual Theme works! It's up to you, as CEO, to make it happen for your team. So, what is your Daily Question for 2014?