“If you can move people by inspiring and building their confidence to own and drive your new strategy, they will be committed to seeing change through and overcoming the organizational constraints you confront.”
Regardless of size, all businesses require strategic thinking to grow. Many leaders consider strategic thinking (and the subsequent execution of their strategic plan) as one of the most challenging leadership tasks. So many times, though, leaders confuse strategic thinking and strategic planning with being tactical and task-oriented.
While strategic thinking involves these two principles, it is not restricted to them. Rather, strategic thinking is the process of thinking, planning, and doing the work that will lead your company toward your preferred future.
Successful SMART goal (priority) setting is an essential skill for both personal and professional success. If you aren’t setting goals, you’re likely not making progress. However, research by the University of Scranton found that 92% of people who set New Year's resolutions never achieve them.
Business goals don't fare much better; 67% of great strategies fail due to poor execution. Writing an effective goal will increase your chances of successfully achieving that goal, or quarterly rock. Fortunately, goal-setting is a skill that you can learn and improve.
Here are 6 Easy Steps to Writing Effective Goals and Priorities:
You can make an argument that your company’s annual planning meeting is the most important thing you do all year. Each of your quarterly execution plans will anchor off of the decisions you make during the yearly planning meeting, and those quarterly plans are what drive the focus of your team’s weekly and daily execution. Plus, your Annual Plan has to move your company’s long-term strategic goals forward and be aligned to your core foundational strategy. Not to mention that you usually have your company’s most expensive leadership team in the room for one or two days - the cost is high and there’s a lot riding on this important business planning meeting. Don't worry, we have over a dozen years of experience in effective meetings, and we can help get you on the right track.
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 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.
As the CEO or team leader, you probably put a lot of time and energy into preparing for your Annual and Quarterly Planning sessions for your business. You probably spend time thinking about the agenda, planning the discussions you think you'll need to have, pulling together some data in advance, working on slides, coordinating with a meeting organizer on the logistics, or at the very least, collaborating with an outside facilitator to do all of these things. It's safe to say your brain is probably in the room long before you get to that planning session, but what about your team?
According to PMI’s 2017 Global Project Management Survey, 1 in 4 strategic initiatives fail. This is not great news for anyone who recently spent days in a conference room and weeks or months preparing for an Annual Planning Session to write strategic initiatives. I imagine you’d like to see more than just a handful of those initiatives bear fruit. How can you turn the odds in your favor?
One of my favorite teams to coach through the Rhythm Cascade process is the Sales team. Having been part of a large sales organization myself, it's always interesting to see different teams in action. Some teams have a list of 50 KPIs that they track, while others are starting from scratch. No matter the starting point, the question I get is the same: "What are the most common ones you see as a Rhythm Coach?" Below are a few of the usual suspects, along with some tips from some of our most successful sales teams on Rhythm.
You’re a couple of months into your 2019 annual plans - the honeymoon phase. Your annual plan still looks good, you’re excited to see it as often as possible, can’t stop talking about it, probably taking annoying selfies with your plan. I get it - it’s pretty exciting. You are bound to learn throughout the year things you didn’t know about your plan when you first fell in love. Perhaps the way it's executed isn’t the way you would do it, or others aren’t excited about it and it’s bringing you down - making you second guess.
From a leadership perspective, there’s a real thirst for increasing leadership accountability. Executives have recently asked me various questions that linger over the concept of building team accountability to help them achieve their strategic plans while creating high performing teams:
“How do I build accountability in teams?”
“What else can I do to get people to do what we need them to do?”
“How can I hold a team member to be held accountable and still be seen as a good leader?”
"How do I balance leadership accountability and personal accountability when building a team?"
Building team accountability requires that we understand a few dynamics because it’s more complicated than we might recognize. It goes above and beyond the responsibility for the outcomes, which is obviously important, but effective leaders know that they need a culture of accountability in their teams that provide the inputs needed to achieve the expected team performance.