It may seem daunting to tackle your Strategic Annual Planning session for 2021. With so much uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic, economic crisis, and upcoming election, it may be tempting for some company leaders to postpone planning. The temptation is understandable; nobody wants to waste time crafting a detailed annual plan that will have to be scrapped in Q1, which happened to many of us in 2020.
As a CEO, you have specific challenges from a leadership perspective. You have to keep your team connected to your overall strategy, make sure they get the resources they need to be successful and drive focus & accountability at every level—this is no small task, for sure! CEOs who use Rhythm have some incredible resources right at their fingertips to help them do just that.
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?"
"Creating a culture of accountability is hard, how do I provide constructive feedback without being the bad guy?"
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.
- The creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.
Porter argues that tactical improvements or operational efficiencies are not strategies but that the essence of strategy is to perform a different set of activities from that of your rivals. For many businesses, regardless of size, strategy work may get completed annually but there is a disconnect between strategy and performance. There have been many books and articles written on the topic of “Execution”. An Execution framework is critical to be certain, but outstanding execution will not rescue strategy that lacks focus or differentiation. To be successful, a company must master the three areas of Strategic Growth: Strategic Thinking, Execution Planning, and actually Doing the Work.
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.
It is easy to confuse your strategy and your 3 year strategic plan. I have seen somany leaders tell me that they have a great strategy. Yet, when asked specifically what their strategy is, they have difficulty sharing the key strategic initiatives they are going to make - and when. Strategy and strategic moves should not be as complicated as we sometimes make it. This is the very reason that there is a strategy or execution debate. You must do both well to succeed, and you need the right rhythm to get it done.
We talk a lot about plans - annual plans, quarterly plans, team plans, project plans. But what’s your plan for the next 90 days? What are you doing? How will you deliver predictable results with your individual plan?
We all know that Rhythm strategic management software is about focus, alignment, and accountability. While most of the consulting I do is with teams, I love it when I get the opportunity to work with someone one-on-one. They are usually struggling with one question: How do I gain personal focus while still supporting my team’s plan?
Here are some great ways to center yourself, prioritize your own personal 13-week race, and set yourself up to deliver predictable results.
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. They often ask "Why do we need KPIs?" or "Why use KPIs?" or "Why are KPIs important" as they think their way of doing things isn't broken. Effective KPIs are important metrics to make sure that you can accomplish any business objective.
It’s summer. Bright blue skies, puffy cotton candy-like clouds, and colorful flowers abound in gardens everywhere. This description is also a metaphor for the mindset and optimism of entrepreneurs. And in that mindset, like an approaching hurricane for your garden, lies danger not yet encountered. In fact, even serial entrepreneurs make minor mistakes that wreak hurricane-like havoc on their carefully planted business. You need a contingency plan for health and safety prior to a hurricane, and you need a contingency plan for when things go wrong, or you’ll never be able to be successful scaling up your business.
The approach of detailed business contingency planning is one for growing an established business. I won’t address that in this blog as the pattern I’ve seen is that so few entrepreneurs and their business make it to the established, growing stage. I’ve seen many get stuck at $15-50mm in revenue while struggling to break past their growth barriers. My advice here is targeted to those companies. If your business is larger, let this be a reminder of the contingency basics. And, if you have a larger business that doesn’t have contingency planning in place, let this be a warning.