I have been in the privileged position of working with the Leadership Teams of many businesses to review their Strategic Plans, and in so doing, I've had the opportunity to help them set up, tweak and improve those plans. As the facilitator of those reviews, one of the main things I bring to the table is to ensure that the discussion and debate uses the correct context to drive decisions.
A Japanese proverb says, “Vision without action is a dream. And action without vision is a nightmare.” For any successful organization, the vision is the strategic plan. And yet many leaders find themselves in the nightmare of constantly putting out fires and working “in” the organization instead of “on” it.
The New Zealand national rugby union team, commonly called the All Blacks, is the most successful sports team in history. They have a 77% win rate since their international debut in 1903.
When conducting strategic planning with clients I have a saying that I share with them, “Successful Business Execution is 20% getting clear about what needs to be done, and 80% following up to make sure it actually gets done”
Most successful entrepreneurs and all of our clients use the last quarter of the year to polish their strategy. That way, they can start the new year at full speed.
Being in the privileged position of guiding our clients through our Quarterly Strategic Review process, every quarter I receive feedback on one of the elements of our strategic planning process. Each quarter we review our client's current reality and methodically help them set their key strategic priorities for the coming quarter.
Clients typically come away from a strategic planning session or a goal setting session all fired up and focused. It’s one of the best parts of any consulting engagement. As I mentioned earlier in this series, it’s the best time to ask for a referral and to get a testimonial.
I love watching a great rowing crew in action. The boat glides through the water, propelled by oars moving in perfect rhythm. It may be the most graceful example of teamwork in the world.
Business is filled with numbers, but you want everyone in your company to be aware of, understand, and talk about only a few. These are the numbers that track the execution of your long-term, 3 to 5 Year Strategic Moves, and chart your progress toward your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).
Back in 2006 I attended a presentation given by business author and former Gallup researcher, Marcus Buckingham. One of the highlights of his presentation was how he defined the difference between leadership and management.