Blog written by Cindy Praeger & Guest Blogger, Eskinder Assefa
Complexity and growth seem to come hand in hand. The bigger a company becomes the harder it is to communicate clearly and effectively, as emails flood inboxes and employees spend increasingly longer hours responding back to emails rather than engaging in meaningful work. The bigger the company, and the greater the filters on communication, the less clarity and focus the company’s missions and goals seem to have.
Silos: The Execution Killer
Fragmentation becomes prevalent as the company is broken into departmental teams that create silos. As companies grow and mature, silos become practically inevitable and inhibit the free flow of information and resources across organizational lines. Employees tend to become preoccupied with their particular departmental agendas rather than the overall company goal. Everyone is busy on their own projects, ignoring interdepartmental ones, and causing the company to suffer for it in the long run. There is no real focus or common purpose—too many priorities driven by too many bosses.
All of this makes executing growth initiatives on time extremely challenging. Unless everyone in the company is working as one team to maximize results, their hard work will mean little as deadlines are missed, product launches are bungled, and customers are frustrated.
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The Irony of Growth
It is actually ironic that at a time when mid-market companies have more resources and expertise than ever before, they commonly execute poorly on their strategic initiatives, such as integrating acquisitions, entering new markets, launching new products, and scaling operations. The way to combat this is to create and maintain high-performance teams that follow the Right Rhythm of Work™—intentional times to stop, review what is working and what is not, and make necessary adjustments.
For high-growth firms running at a rapid pace, these rhythms are critical to getting the right things done at the right time and in the right sequence. The best way to do this is to have a well-designed platform within which all your goals and activities are presented.
The Right Rhythm of Work
The right rhythm of work™ consists of four highly interlocked rhythms:
1. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan
The execution of long-term plans is carried out over several years by individuals in multiple departments, which means it’s incredibly easy to get off track or to lose sight of the common purpose.
If you organize initiatives as projects with a clearly seen common purpose and the right software to keep track of goals and progress, it's easy to keep on track. With this tech, you can easily monitor progress and instantly discovered where you are diverting and fix the problem before it’s too late.
2. Annual and Quarterly Planning Alignment
The key to building and sustaining a high-performance team is to continually focus the team on achieving strategic, advantageous results. High-Performance Teams need a tool designed to manage work towards expected results, linking the strategic plan to the projects and the action items within each project. Organizational alignment is key outcome of great team planning.
Because the work is organized by projects—and because projects are cross-functional—those responsible for the outcomes of each project have to learn to work across the company. This builds a strong sense of unity and a feeling that “we are all in this together.” This helps to remove the issues and dysfunctions of silos.
3. Weekly Adjustment Meetings to Solve Problems Fast
Unproductive meetings are a huge source of frustration and wasted time for employees and executives alike. It is the managers’ responsibility to make sure that teams are clear on goals and priorities, having a clear dashboard for the team and each individual helps ensure this.
Meetings are far more productive when attendees come prepared knowing what the issues are having reviewed their dashboards.
At cross-functional meetings, everyone will know the status of all initiatives and what is required to achieve productive results. This is how growing mid-market companies eliminate silos and build strong trust and collaboration throughout the company.
4. Daily Focus and Leadership
CEOs, executives, and managers can each have dashboards where they can see a scorecard of project statuses.
Whenever a status is red or yellow, they can drill down to see where the issue lies, and by reading the associated comments, they understand the underlying context.
The key is to have the right system that enables CEOs and managers to measure what matters and let the CEO, department and project managers and team leaders know when they need to step into mentor and coach towards high performance. This allows for quick and effective responses to issues in a timely matter, instead of allowing the CEO to be baffled by hearing about a problem for the first time at a quarterly meeting.
Rhythm provides a High-Performance Platform and White Glove services that include management consulting and change management experts to help you establish the Right Rhythm of Work™ to change habits towards high performance.
Contact us to find out how we can help you bring your entire company together so you can confidently execute on your growth strategies.
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Photo Credit: iStock Getty Images
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images