On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before a crowd of close to 250,000 thousand people and delivered one of the most purpose-filled declarations in history. His clarion call to transform chaos into a symphony, to exchange despair for hope, and to overcome injustice with justice for all culminated in his most famous cry: “I have a dream!” It was this dream, this overarching purpose, and his unrelenting hold on its truth that shaped his entire life's work and continues to impact the world decades after his death. That is the power of purpose! What was so significant about King’s legacy is that there was never a gap between what he said needed to be done and the work he was willing to do to make it happen.
“Are you kidding me? Have a meeting every day! We already have way too many meetings. The last thing my team wants to do is add another morning huddle meeting..... every day.”
Yep, that was me about 12 years ago when my coach, Dan Weston, suggested we implement the daily huddle meeting in my company. I was reluctant, but he made me promise to give it a try. My team was reluctant at first too, but in time, this became one of the most important rhythms in the company. And, not only did the executive team huddle, but the design team huddled, customer service and sales huddled, the engineers huddled and the front line supervisors huddled daily.
Does your who do what? It sounds somewhat funny, but this is really a serious question. Many people know what these terms are, but for those that do not, here is a brief refresher. These terms come from author and management consultant Jim Collins. You can find some great BHAG examples on our middle market CEO blog.
Written by Cindy Praeger and Eskinder Assefa
A fairly significant body of research now clearly shows that the reason why a number of mid-to-large companies face is not that their strategies were not sound, but because they were unable to create a culture of strategy execution to perform well on those otherwise sound strategies. Successful teams bridge the strategy to execution gap through Intelligent Work.
Written by Cindy Praeger and Eskinder Assefa
Departmental silos in business are organizational units that should operate as specialized components of the proverbial ‘well-oiled machine’ but, unfortunately, almost always wind up operating increasingly in isolation of the rest of the company and will often end up in turf wars.
Organizational units created to provide excellence in some functional area inevitably grow to the point that they become more or less independent of the rest of the company. That, in turn, leads to fragmentation, destroying synergy with the rest of the organization and, at the same time, wasting resources by replicating expertise and data found elsewhere in the company choking the flow of information and making most cross departmental projects failures.
Your Brand Promise is the commitment to your customers that really matters to them and differentiates you from your competition. It is one of the most important building blocks help you win more of the right customers by helping you focus on how you sell your product/service to your Core Customer.
What makes a Brand Promise “good” is not only its appeal to your Core Customer and its ability to help you close sales with them, but also your ability to consistently deliver on that promise. You'll find that most of the brand promise examples listed below you are already familiar with as they clearly define the what the brand promises the customer and is used heavily in their marketing as it completely aligns with their brand.
Recently, AvidXchange, a Charlotte-based fin tech company, announced Series F funding. Their innovative accounts payable platform is changing the way middle market companies do business, and this new round of funding will fuel their continued growth.
“We’re shaping the future of the B2B payments industry by fundamentally changing the way businesses pay their bills, providing a single platform for AP and payments with the largest payments network for the middle market,” said CEO Michael Praeger in a written statement.
Late last year, Raleigh-based tech company Pendo raised $100 million to fuel their growth. The successful startup provides analytics to help companies improve their websites and software for end users. According to CEO Todd Olsen, the company plans to use the money to hire more software engineers (among other things): “We tend to think that investments in product pay back long-term dividends to the company… A big part of our investment thesis is to continue hiring engineers.”
I have recently been involved in a few conversations with clients that are new to the Rockefeller Habits or to long-range planning. The questions that keep coming up are "Where do I start?" and "Should I first establish my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), 3-5 year strategic plan, Core Values, etc.?"
I recently re-read the HBR article entitled "Building Your Company's Vision" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, and I was struck by the great examples they gave to illustrate different types of Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). If you are asking yourself "What is a BHAG?" or struggling to come up with an audacious goal for the first time, these examples will help you get started as it is a powerful tool to align your company around a single mission statement. These may also be helpful if you are working with your team to reset after accomplishing your 10-25 year visionary goal. Don't let your team fall into the trap of complacency after reaching the finish line of one BHAG (pronounced bee hag); celebrate your success, and then reset. Having a long term, a visionary goal is a habit of successful companies that becomes the unifying focal point of effort that aligns your team and gets everyone excited is the only way your company will continue to grow with purpose and increase team spirit.
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.