Posts Tagged ‘strategy execution’

In 100 Words: Don’t Let Urgent Win

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 by AdvisorCatalyst

Urgent and Important spar for supremacy in our minds and work. Intentional and strategic thought and action is many times held at bay by the press of immediate demands flying at us. “I’ll get to it tomorrow” quickly becomes next week or month.

Then sometimes a person or event forces us to slow down, and we gain new perspective. We are forced to step out of the day-do-day and think more deeply. If you want to see Important win out in your work and life, consider creating forced slowdowns. Quarterly calibration sessions are one way of accomplishing this exact thing.

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” Dwight D. Eisenhower (quoting an unnamed former college president in a speech)

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In 100 Words: Your First and Best Time

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 by AdvisorCatalyst

Why do we spend time setting the top few quarterly priorities (a.k.a. Rocks) only to put off working on them until we get some free time? Free time will not simply appear in our schedules. To accomplish Rocks we must put in the time. This doesn’t mean all, or even the majority, of our working time has to be dedicated to Rock work.

We should, however, invest our first and best time – our first and best time each day and week. Watch results accelerate when you commit the first hour of your working day to the Rock you are leading.

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” Alexander Graham Bell

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In 100 Words: Time for Strategy Planning

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 by AdvisorCatalyst

As leadership teams craft strategy plans for the upcoming year, they should remember the following lessons:

• There are no formulaic answers, however, you can benefit from a systematic approach to both your preparation and strategy planning conversations.

• Markets are dynamic so be disciplined in your strategy thinking. Challenge and test your basic assumptions – even if they are producing good results. Things change.

• Strategy requires clear choices and resource commitment. Each decision either reinforces or weakens the whole. The strength of how the decisions weave together form the fabric of compelling business models (think IKEA, The Container Store and Southwest Airlines).

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” – Peter Drucker

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In 100 Words: Don’t Fly Solo on Quarterly Rocks

Monday, May 2nd, 2016 by AdvisorCatalyst

Flying solo is a major accomplishment for a learner pilot. It is, however, a poor approach for a Quarterly Rock Champion. The Rock was selected because the leadership team thinks it will have significant impact on the organization’s future if it is accomplished during the next 90 days. This typically requires deep work and focused use of resources.

A Rock Champion should set up a strong team and utilize project management disciplines. Along the way, keep the leadership team regularly apprised of the status so they can: generate ideas, challenge the work, and commit resources necessary to complete the objective.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

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In 100 Words: Limit Your Options

Monday, June 15th, 2015 by AdvisorCatalyst

Common sentiment seems to hold that we are back in a period of strong economic growth. Leader’s radar screens are filled with many new and exciting opportunities. We can get downright giddy after slogging through years of a tough market.

We may also find ourselves unprepared for saying NO to the majority of good opportunities. Yet, it is critical we do so. Instead, too many leaders will do almost anything to keep all their options open. In the end, hedging options typically slows down decision making and robs resources (commitment) from the best opportunities.

How can you limit your options?

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

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In 100 Words: Calibrating Your Annual Plan

Saturday, March 14th, 2015 by AdvisorCatalyst

How is your annual strategic plan faring now that we are almost 90 days into the year? In What Makes an Effective Executive, Peter Drucker makes this statement regarding the strategic plan:

“It must not become a straightjacket. It should be revised often, because every success creates new opportunities. So does every failure. The same is true for changes in the business environment, in the market, and especially in people within the enterprise – all these changes demand that the plan be revised.”

It’s hard to say it any better. What fine-tuning adjustments do you and your team need to make?

“A written plan should anticipate the need for flexibility.” Peter F. Drucker

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In 100 Words: Key Practice of a Level 5 Leader

Thursday, May 1st, 2014 by AdvisorCatalyst

Alan Mulally’s upcoming retirement as CEO of Ford Motor Company is big news these days.  All organizations, not just those in the automotive sector, should take note.  Mulally’s leadership in turning around Ford highlights a key Level 5 Leader practice he, and the executive leaders, used to take Ford to the top of the industry.

A tight weekly executive team meeting (Mulally’s BPR – Business Process Review) was implemented to drive both business plan execution and building a strong leadership team.  Candor, along with accountability around data, virtually non-existent in past Ford culture, have paved the way for consistent business performance.

 “Running a business is a design job.  You need a point of view about the future, a really good plan to deliver that future, and then relentless implementation.”  Alan Mulally

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Practices of a Level 5 Leader

Thursday, May 1st, 2014 by AdvisorCatalyst

Alan Mulally’s upcoming retirement as CEO of Ford Motor Company is big news these days.  All organizations, not just those in the automotive sector, should take notice.  Mulally’s leadership in turning around Ford highlights a Level 5 Leader (a leader who places the success and results of the organization ahead of their own individual accomplishments and legacy).  Here are some key practices he, and the executive leaders, used to take Ford to the top of the industry.

Most significantly, or simply, Mulally used a tight weekly executive team meeting (his BPR, or Business Process Review) to drive both business plan execution and building a strong leadership team.  Candor, trust and accountability, virtually non-existent in past Ford culture, now form the foundation for the executive level leaders.  With that foundation, a deliberate focus on data culminated in a dramatic turn-around (2007 – 2009) followed by years of consistent business performance.

Second, Mulally created a simple vision for the organization, repeated that vision all the time and didn’t change the course even when people outside were constantly looking for the next “new plan”.  His view was, we have the right plan and we’re still working on implementing it.

Third, Mulally focused the organization back on the customer.  Significant money was invested in new product development and quality initiatives even during significant cuts to operations.  What mattered to customers was appealing designs, good fuel economy and cars that didn’t break.

Fourth, Mulally simplified the business.  Ford reduced the number of brands (auto name plates) down to two.   They also reduced waste and redundancy in operations by coordinating design, engineering, quality and manufacturing efforts across the entire global organization.

Mulally’s final step will be completing a deliberate and orderly succession.  Here is a link to a recent article highlighting the transition.

For more in-depth understanding, see the book, American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman.

 

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In 100 Words: Accelerate Your Biggest Opportunities

Friday, March 14th, 2014 by AdvisorCatalyst

Are your best resources committed to your biggest opportunities?  Let me be more specific in two ways. 

First, do you know the most significant growth opportunity for your organization looking five-plus years into the future?  Many times it’s different than your current way of business. 

Second, out of all your talent resources, are your absolute best people focused on what you know to be that largest opportunity?  It’s all too natural for the best people to be consumed with the existing business.  It’s an energy trap.

You accelerate outcomes when your best people are leading your most significant growth opportunities.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”     Ronald Reagan

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In 100 Words: Execute Like Crazy!

Friday, January 31st, 2014 by AdvisorCatalyst

Now is the time to execute!  2014 plans have been laid out and communicated to the organization.  First quarter Rocks (priorities) are identified.  Could your goals be better defined?  Could you spend more time fine-tuning the plan?  Absolutely.  You can always find additional things to study or clarify.  But, now is the time to run.

Don’t hesitate.  Don’t procrastinate.  The momentum you gain (or lose) in the first 90 days will impact your entire year’s plan.  Go heads down on executing your Rocks.  Then, at the end of the quarter, you will have opportunity to reassess and make course corrections.

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. (George S. Patton)

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