In working with many leading mid-market CEOs and their executive leadership teams on their growth strategies, I often ask these leaders what keeps them up at night. It turns out the answer is less varied and simpler than you might think. While they all say it a little differently, the answer almost always boils down to a variation of “How can I execute my strategic plan?” Turns out CEOs know that making plans is easy while executing them is hard. I’ve included the most common four questions I hear.
Rhythm Blog | Strategy Execution
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
Most Companies Fail Due to Poor Execution
As a fan of Blue Ocean strategy, you already know how important it is to have the right strategy. But, a great strategy executed poorly produces lackluster results and missed targets. Unfortunately, most companies and top executives focus their efforts on developing a strong strategy but spend very little time converting those strategies into “execution ready” plans that clearly define the actual work team members need to do to bring the strategy to fruition.
I hear time and time again from people that their meetings are a complete waste of time. In fact, they can often be a huge productivity killer. When I dig deeper, I can easily find out why. They typically don’t accomplish anything - the team gets together, but they don’t work on solving the problems facing the company. Team members often update the status of their pet projects, highlighting their accomplishments and glossing over the challenges. Many people get the feeling of Groundhog Day as they talk about the same topics time after time and never make any progress on the real, pressing issues facing the company. However, they don’t get the comedic genius of the great Bill Murray to keep them entertained during their problem solving meeting. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a better way to run meetings.
Bringing Rhythm into your organization can be a big change. However, it’s the first step on an exciting journey that will help you and your team build accountability, alignment and strong execution habits!
You’re not alone - many companies have been right where you are. They are experiencing stalled growth, missed numbers, people and accountability issues - the list goes on. Many of them had the same question you do: “So I decided to get started with Rhythm - what happens next?”
Below are a few common software implementation myths and how we help you avoid them:
What is Scrum, and why do I care? Scrum is a term that has moved from the discussion in the server rooms and development area of organizations and is slowly making its way to the boardrooms. This has caused some confusion on a few executive teams that I work with that are unfamiliar with the Scrum Agile methodology and wonder how it ties in with Rhythm. I hope to clear up some of that confusion with this post and inform you on how these methods can work together to achieve breakthrough execution.
In many fast-growing mid-market companies, departments and teams do their work with little time or effort spent communicating with other departments or teams. What’s the harm as long as everyone is getting their work done? According to an article in Forbes, this “silo mentality... will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.” These silos also have a negative impact on customer satisfaction and can kill innovation, according to an HBR article. This article also points out that “the bigger the company the more harmful a role silos play.” So, the time to step back and evaluate whether your have silos and take the time to fix them is now.
From a leadership perspective, there’s a real thirst for increasing accountability. Leaders have recently asked me various questions that linger over the concept of building team accountability:
“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 my team accountable and still be seen as a good leader?”
Building team accountability requires that we understand a few dynamics because it’s more complicated than we might recognize.
Here at Rhythm Systems, we are very blessed to have almost 10,000 blog subscribers, 10+ regular contributors, and many amazing readers who comment on our posts (both online and in-person when we are lucky enough to see them). We started blogging back in 2011 before it seemed like everyone and their mother had a blog, and we’ve learned an awful lot and put a ton of time into delivering great content to you, our readers, over the last seven years. In fact, we recently tallied up the hours our team spends on creating, editing, optimizing, and publishing content for this blog, and it was about 385 hours in 2018. We appreciate all of you who read and enjoy the fruits of our hard work.
Measuring the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is vital to the health and success of your business. However, when we onboard new clients, we find that some of them are uncertain about what they should be measuring and how they can use these powerful tools.
KPIs are more than numbers you report out weekly - they enable you to understand the performance and health of your business so that you can make critical adjustments in your execution to achieve your strategic goals. Knowing and measuring the right KPIs will help you achieve results faster.
I recently spoke to a great group of organizational leaders at the Rhythm Systems Breakthrough Conference in Charlotte, NC. The session was How to Build Team Accountability. Since that session, I’ve received several requests for blogs that dive into certain aspects of helping to hold people accountable, especially by using a tool such as a Job Scorecard. Since I love writing, I loved getting these requests!
There’s no “easy button” for cultivating team accountability in your company. However, with a model in mind and a few tools, you can begin the journey sooner vs. later.