How Executives Create a Top Strategic Company
One topic I hear about from management and executives within organizations is all about – “how do we ensure execution of our strategic plan and objectives?” So, after asking a few questions, we uncover the reasons their execution of the plans is flawed.
Now, in many cases the executive team creates a Strategy and then just expect it to happen since they all agreed on what it should be. This is what I call – you build it and they will come strategy. While this worked well in the fantasy world of movie making, it has little connection to the reality of the business world and organizational dynamics.
In my opinion there are four initiatives a management team must have in place for the organization to execute and meet their strategic goals and objectives. These four initiatives include the following…
Four initiatives for Strategic Execution
- Create a Performance Mindset or Culture
Most executives have no idea about the real importance of developing or creating a high performance culture. Some actually believe the culture will just happen or is not something a management team can dictate or create. Well, in our research of high performing organizations, the culture is not left to chance by their executives. They take actions designed to create a performance mindset within the company. Getting things done for their customers becomes the overriding point of view. Think about how you can develop this performance mindset within your group of direct reports.
- Hold Managers Accountable for their Team’s Performance
Now this one is very interesting, since our research of corporate environments shows managers do not want to be held strictly accountable for the performance of their people. These are the managers who actually manage well (connecting to the past) yet demonstrate few actual leadership qualities such as being a visionary, collaborating with their people to set standards, and inspiring their people to extraordinary performance. However, when leaders hold their managers accountable for performance, well things get done. Think about Jack Welsh and how he did an amazing job of keeping his managers accountable for performance and results. He set the standards and EXPECTED his managers to deliver.
- Standardize Performance Evaluations
The key element of this topic is to actually have performance evaluations with everyone in the organization. Too often, an organization is expected to function at a high level of performance yet provide little to no feedback to their people regarding their performance. The fact is – people need to know if they are doing a good, great or bad job especially as related to the expectations of their manager. Managers need to take this opportunity to provide helpful feedback regarding the individual performance. If it is not up to standards, then a performance improvement should be built for each individual so they can begin the improvement process. Remember this important fact – an organization is only as good as its people. By taking the time to ensure proper development of your people, you set the stage for higher levels of performance.
- Build a Performance Based Competencies List for Every Position
Now, I have found organizations who attempt to simplify this too much by having a list of five to seven “general” competencies for everyone in the organization. While this looks good on paper and appears to be a simple solution for a complex issue – it ineffective for the most part. The reason for the lack of effectiveness is job positions are different and require different competencies – for the job or position to excel. There are systems built today which allow for every job position to “speck or talk about the competencies it needs to be great.” Once you have the competencies and other traits identified for a position, then it is a simple task to find talent that matches the position. The end result to this process is you have people using their natural strengths to execute their jobs everyday – thus leading to natural high performance. Unfortunately, most organizations do not make the effort to identify the traits and competences necessary for a job to excel, then hire blindly – usually on personality – and then wonder why a person is under-performing in the job. In most cases it is due to a mismatch between the job and the talent regarding their respective traits and competencies.
There you have a short list of things to check off with your organization. If you are currently doing all four, I expect you are in the top 25% of the high performers in your industry. If you cannot check off all four points, then you have some targeted work to execute before you can get to the top level of strategic high performing organizations.
If you need any assistance or help in getting started on any of these points, please call me at 901-757-4434 or use the contact us form to get a message to me. I will get back to as quickly as I can and we can discuss your situation and what options you would have to implement the four strategic initiatives.
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Tags: competencies for performance, create performance mindsets, high performing organizations, holding managers accountable, letting the job talk, Strategic Initiatives for top performance, Voss W Graham performance management