Are you a visionary struggling to execute? Here’s why.
#executioniseverything #fractionalcoo #executionmanagement
So, you’ve manifested a new vision and have created a strategic plan to lift your organization toward its next level programming, scale-up, or expansion. The possibilities for the future seem endless (and the energy buzzing in the office matches that enthusiasm). But as you start to implement the plan, something happens. The buzz gets quieter, energy starts to stagnate and that once-future-forward enthusiasm seems to go retrograde. Before you know it, your strategic plan is on the back burner; a burned up piece of a “nice to do” activity versus a “mission critical” plan for advancement.
What happened? This graphic helps explain…
Too often, companies think that because a strategic plan failed to launch, the problem is with the plan. The temptation then is to change the plan. But 74% of the time, the plan is solid…it’s the execution that lacks luster. Even more shocking is that just 4% of good plans experience good execution. Why?
Execution requires attention. And the attention it needs is aligned with the people and the process, not the planning and presentation.
Planning exists in the vision–the direction we’re headed and where we want to be. Execution and action exist in the day-to-day. So, when implementing a strategic plan, shift, or new initiative, you’re basically asking the organization to do double-duty on their tasks. First, in the normal execution of routine for the business in addition to the smaller, more bite-sized execution of the strategic plan. Failure to move a strategic plan from the big vision to actionable steps is where 74% of companies fail.
Here are some steps to stay on track:
You’re asking your team to step outside their comfort zone. You’re asking them to bring life to a new version of your business. There will be a million little details that pop up to indicate whether the plan is working as expected, or if it needs to be adjusted. Open and honest communication for all persons and departments involved is critical to ensure you’re capturing what needs fine tuning. (Also good communication is helping your team understand the plan won’t go right the first time, and that’s not only expected, it’s ok!)
Again, too often teams expect the perfect strategic plan to execute itself straight out of the box. This is wildly unrealistic. Be sure you’re managing your own expectations and that of your team.
Consistent measurement is a barometer of performance. What does success look like at each milestone? Who is doing what? Which activities are wholly dependent on each other? And which activities have the potential to sink the entire project? Which activities are critical for success?
The most surefire way to burn out your team is to hand them a strategic plan and then walk away. Your leadership will be needed now more than ever during this process. Determine how you intend to hold everyone accountable to the goals and milestones you’ve created, and most importantly, hold yourself accountable for the success (or failure) in executing.
If this seems intimidating, you’re not alone. But the good news is, we can help. Launch Point helps countless businesses not only create the vision for their best strategic plan, but works to implement each step A to Z right alongside you and your team. We’re the experts in change management and implementation so you don’t have to be. And, we think we make the process as much fun as possible, too.
For more information, contact us today.
Have you stopped to consider just how many businesses are out there, similar to yours? (This may be an anxiety-producing thought…bear with us). What differentiates you from them? Hopefully, your answer is “my client experience!” But, some of you may be thinking – “uh oh, my client experience strategy is held together by duct tape.” Here’s what the duct-tape-strategy looks like from your client’s perspective:
Yikes. We know you’d never want anyone to feel this way, much less your valued clients. But this reality is taking its toll on your business. Without that “wow!” factor, client referrals will be tough to come by. Your sales pipeline will be in a constant state of churn-and-burn, which is real tough on your marketing budget, too. Client experience is what creates consistent opportunities for a robust sales pipeline–through top-notch referrals and an easy marketing buzz–simply because you placed some extra “oomph” where it counts. In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience (SuperOffice, 2021). Developing a great customer experience takes some creativity. It’s where your personality, values and mission come alive to communicate exactly who and what are, and what you can deliver.
Where are your competitive advantages? Look to where you’re unique. Perhaps you and your team are super innovative and flexible in product delivery – tell your clients about that. Hashtag, tweet it, and shout it from the rooftops if you have to. It’s not a shameless plug if it’s true. Better yet, ask your clients to share it for you, because they’re already aware and are ready to pay it forward on your behalf.
Consider nominating someone from your team to be responsible for overseeing your client’s journey through your organization. It’s a creative form of relationship management, designed to hold your customer’s hand, ensuring every need is met, every deadline is reached, and even educating them on some of the features of your business they may have missed. This level of personalization is going to make your client feel like you absolutely understand their needs and have made them a priority. And, it’s a great way to mitigate any issues, questions and concerns before they become actual problems.
Last, make sure you build a consistent and structured process for your clients to go through with some magic “wow” dust sprinkled in for added effect. Processes create flow and consistency in your client’s touchpoints through the sales and onboarding phases, problem identification/solution phases, and product/service delivery phases. This consistency creates an experience where your client knows what to expect, and your team knows what to deliver. Equipping your team to create some additional ‘experience love’ through these phases will ensure that “wow” you’re hoping to provide your client.
Delighting your customer is critical if you want to set yourself apart from your competition. Launch Point helps businesses identify where their biggest wow factors are, while streamlining and optimizing workflows, process, and overall experience. If you’re ready to retire the duct tape and create your company’s most ideal client experience, contact us today.
Hey, boss. Has this happened to you? Your team–super pumped about the work they’re delivering–comes to you to showcase their latest and greatest achievements. You’re so excited to share in their excitement! Only…when the work is unveiled, it’s precisely not the work you needed them to accomplish. What went wrong?
Prioritizing is easy right? Especially when you told your team a bunch of times what to focus on. And yet – here we are. Sadly, this less-than-ideal-situation is far too common. Focusing on the wrong tasks means your business is operating less efficiently. If it continues long enough, it will hurt your bottom line. Your business won’t grow at the pace it needs to. Important tasks will go unfinished. Your customers won’t have a good experience with your brand. Worse yet, you’ll feel like a micromanager, and your team will probably share that opinion.
There’s a certain buzz we all get from putting out fires. It’s this buzz that will make your team feel like they’re being productive. The “tyranny of the urgent” makes us think like we’re handling the most important thing first, and that feels like prioritization. Only, it’s not. It’s the loudest thing clamoring for our attention. Organizations that put the practice of prioritization as a primary function of their culture will succeed more than those that don’t. Here’s how to start:
Establish clear roles and responsibilities Does your team know who is responsible for what? Or are those lines slightly blurred? Determining which position is responsible for what task is the best way to ensure everyone stays in their own swimlanes (not cannonballing off the deep end).
Scorecards and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) What gets measured is more likely to get done. Once each role has their own specific responsibilities laid out, putting these expectations on a scorecard with key indicators of success is critical. That way your team will know exactly where they stand with what you expect, and helps your company move forward in the best direction.
Implement and optimize your project management system If you don’t have a project management system, now is the time to get one. Aside from the obvious benefits of keeping your team’s workload segmented and on track, a good project management system will help you and your team determine what is a project and what is a task. Or, said another way, what is a “big rock” to focus foundational success on, and what are tiny pebbles being thrown at your team’s capacity, unnecessarily weighing them down. Project management systems keep the main thing as the main thing, and will cut down on distractions, shiny objects, nice-to-do’s and all out time-killers.
Last, be sure to communicate your mission, vision, values and strategy to your team, often. These high level organizational mantras will keep you and your team aligned, moving in the same direction. When everyone knows why they’re showing up each day, and what is aligned with your company’s highest calling and destination, they’re more likely to execute on the most important aspects of the job.
Need to prioritize your priorities and not sure where to start? Launch Point is your solution. We put productivity to work by ensuring the ins and outs of your business are aligned, optimized and the most ideal for you and your team. Achieving company-wide goals is easy when your entire workforce is moving in the same direction. Contact us today for a complimentary discovery call.
How many times have you longed for increased productivity, for yourself or for your team? The most common loss-of-productivity complaints come with subjects like ‘too many emails,’ ‘endless meetings,’ and the dreaded to-do list that never seems to reach its finish line. At the end of the day, we’re slammed, buried and overwhelmed, and optimizing productivity seems like a rather far-out “nice to do” instead of a reality.
Solving for lost productivity would be an easy thing to do if we were only focusing on our own plate of responsibilities, right? But, we live in a networked and highly complex world. Therefore, our productivity problems rarely ever exist just on our plate, they’re being dished out from a buffet of other sources, too. So, how can we apply simple fixes to a complex issue?
Some teams opt to create a la carte communication channels appropriate to the situation, rather than having only one channel for all communication. For example, Slack can be used as an instant messaging solution for your teammates to communicate in the moment. This is especially helpful for frontline employees who may need quick answers while working with your clients. With this in place, less urgent or timely communication can be rerouted to your inbox so you can respond as it’s feasible.
If productivity woes are weighing you down, contact us for an assessment on what can be done. Issues common to most small businesses can be mitigated with a few streamlining tips and tools. Our team at Launch Point can help identify and implement solutions quickly and efficiently after just a few discovery sessions. Book your consultation today.