The most recent quarter just ended and every publicly traded company in the world is scrambling to post stellar quarterly results. Why? Simply because the better the quarterly results as compared to the analyst’s projections the more likely your stock price is to increase. That’s not at all the case if you own a private company. Quarter to quarter results don’t matter very much. Even annual results don’t matter very much. You’re in it for the long haul. And, the way you measure better results as net positive cash flow and, if possible, less effort on your part.
A cornerstone of my work at Business Mastery revolves around the concept of Execution. This is the fine art of getting the right things done on a consistent basis. Essentially, the concept is converting your vision and your strategy to positive and consistent cash flow. This is a very important concept to internalize and it’s vital in these very tumultuous times.
I was reminded of this while reading a fine book by Stephen R. Covey and his colleague Bob Whitman called Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times. One of the key points they make is to “Execute Priorities with Excellence” and they continue to list how to do so.
- Focus on the top goals
- Make sure everyone knows the specific job to be done to achieve these goals
- Keep score
- Set-up a regular cycle of follow-through
Business Mastery System
If you are familiar with the Business Mastery System, you know its Execution Phase is quite a bit more specific and more importantly…it has a proven track record of getting the right things done.
Let’s review the step we take for this phase of the system.
First, establish and institutionalize Strategic Execution Teams (SETs) for the top management team and for every department, every project team, and key initiative.
Second, determine specific measurable goals for each SET at regularly scheduled meetings.
- Focus on Vital goals—those that provide the very blood and the air for your team…
- Negotiate every goal by the entire team in don’t let them get dictated by the “boss”…
- Align every SET’s goals with the overall goals of the entire organization…
- Assure that every team members goals is aligned with the overall team’s goals to ensure overall results…
- Record every goals set by the team and by every individual on the team…
Third, maintain a high level of accountability for the SET and each one of its members.
- Review every SET team goals for variances and negotiate action steps to get back on target
- Give every team member the stage to report on their own individual goals (I like hit or miss and no “story”)
- Expect every team member to hold everyone accountable—including the boss (who is one team members for accountability purposes)
Fourth, make the appropriate adjustments.
- Celebrate successes
- Demand quality correction action and new goals on every missed goal
Most importantly, this is not a technique to be used only during tough times like these. If you want the best possible results all the time, then use the four-step system I just gave you all of the time.
Remember, high performers love accountability
The reason is they know they are able to consistently exceed goals and receive the rewards.
Poor performers and slackers hate accountability
They hate it because the process will shine a bright light on them. Everyone will know for certain they are not producing the results the needs and wants. They will either start performing or get out. Either way, it’s exactly what you want…
A high-performance team getting fantastic results on a consistent basis.