All posts in “Strategy Execution”

Cure Initiative Overload with the Balanced Scorecard

A few weeks ago, I was asked by one of my clients if I could help her company with strategic planning. My answer was, “Yes and no.”

Like many of today’s organizations, this team was already suffering from initiative overload. Without a system for tracking business critical and mission critical goals, their strategic plan was doomed to fail. I explained that, “Yes, I would be happy to help your team create a strategic plan, but only if I can also help them put a system in place to help them execute that strategy.”

This is the season of the year where many of us are busy working on strategic plans. For some, those plans get shelved in favor of jumbled priorities and unfinished initiatives. For others, the goals that come out of the plans get added to the already impossibly long list of projects our overloaded teams are already working on. Either way, if we don’t have a process to turn our most important goals into an executable strategy, our plans can be pronounced dead on arrival.

Don’t let this happen to your organization. Instead, track your strategic goals with a performance management system like a Balanced Scorecard. First developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton in the late 1990’s, today’s Balanced Scorecard platforms help organizations of all sizes and in every industry turn strategy in executable goals in four important ways:

  1. Communicate the business critical and mission critical goals the organization is trying to accomplish.
  2. Align the day-to-day work that everyone is doing with strategic goals.
  3. Prioritize projects, products, and services.
  4. Measure and monitor progress toward strategic targets.

The system connects the dots between big picture strategy, operational goals, and key performance metrics. I have my favorite balanced scorecard platforms, but one-size does not fit all. Check out this site for options that may work for your organization, and ensure that your strategic plans get executed in 2018!

Question: What is your organization doing to manage initiative overload?

 

Bonus! Download our simple, FREE strategic planning template here – a framework to help you measure organizational performance beyond key financial metrics.

 

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CEE News is designed to help you with the challenges you face every day by sharing infographics, white papers, best practices, and spotlighting businesses that are getting it right. I hope you’ll subscribe to CEE News and it becomes a resource that continually adds value to your walk as a leader. If I can be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

4 Steps to Breathe Life Into Your Strategic Plan

Stand up if you can locate a copy of your organization’s strategic plan in less than five clicks from your desktop (or in a 3-ring binder on your bookshelf). Now keep standing if you’ve opened that file (or binder) in the last quarter.

Most likely, your organization is going through another season of strategic planning this time of year. But, if you haven’t cracked open last year’s plan, then the hours and hours of work you’re about to repeat will likely become another waste of valuable time and effort. To be relevant, strategy must be both planned and executed.

1. Make your goals short and clear. Fuzzy goals are easy to agree on but hard to execute. Fuzzy goals are open to interpretation and a waste of valuable resources. The outcome needs to be empirically verifiable. Everyone involved needs to be able to gauge whether the target has been met.

2. Assign individual responsibility for each goal. It may take a team to achieve each goal, but if everyone is responsible, no one is accountable. Clarifying responsibility will lead to accountability. Bonus: don’t assign most goals to the top executives. The further down the org chart goals are assigned, the more likely your organization will be aligned for success.

3. Measure twice. Cut once. Take the time up front to establish the best way to set targets for goal achievement, then report monthly on target-to-actual measurements. If you’re measuring something that your organization hasn’t executed before, look for industry benchmarks to set targets.

4. Review performance monthly. Execution-focused leaders meet regularly to review target-to-actual performance.

a. When performance slides, ask this series of questions:

b. Why is performance sliding?

c. Keep asking “why” until you reach a root cause.

d. What are we doing to fix the problem?

Do we need to put a cross-functional team on this to improve performance now, or is this an anomaly that will correct itself next month?

When leaders create explicit goals, assign individuals responsible, agree on achievable targets, and revisit performance every month, they are more likely to stay connected to strategic plans, and those plans are more likely to become reality.

Question: What is your organization doing to move from strategic planning to strategy execution?

 

Winter is coming! Need a roadmap to turn your most important goals into results? Whether you’re a startup or need a restart, we can help you develop a strategic plan and help your employees connect the dots. Click on the link above or email us at info@executiveexcellence.com to set-up a free 30 minute consultation.

 

Interested in getting more content like this? Subscribe to CEE News!

CEE News is designed to help you with the challenges you face every day by sharing infographics, white papers, best practices, and spotlighting businesses that are getting it right. I hope you’ll subscribe to CEE News and it becomes a resource that continually adds value to your walk as a leader. If I can be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

 

Sheri Nasim is President and CEO of Center for Executive Excellence, a leadership consulting firm headquartered in San Diego, CA. She is the author of Work On Purpose: How to Connect Who You Are With What You Do.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com or subscribe to receive CEE News!

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A Pharaoh Walks into a Bar

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Congratulations!  You just returned from your annual strategic planning summit.  You gathered economic, competitor, and market data.  You compared the strengths and weaknesses of your organization with external opportunities and threats.  You decided where to tweak your services, how to reach new markets, and ways to generate higher profits.  Now what? Read More