“Execution is the ability to mesh strategy with reality,...

execute-strategy What will your tactical narrative sound like for your business leading into the new business year?
...align people with goals and achieve the promised results”One of the organizational planning best practices we use with our clients is beginning the process with a look back at what was accomplished in the current year. We look at how many of the goals were accomplished and what percentage of the desired results were achieved. This sets the stage for the leader’s communications narrative of what is being carried over to the following year as well as what needs to be added to continue to grow as an organization. In Chapter 6 of our most recent book, “Finding the Missing Piece: The Impact of Effective Communications on Sustainable Success”, we focus on the communications involved at a tactical level and why it is critical to the effectiveness of an organization’s overall communication strategy.Drawing on the definition of business alignment as the process of matching the organization’s tactics to the available or...
Continue reading
  206 Hits
  0 Comments
206 Hits
0 Comments

“Trust is the glue of life.

PPT What will your operational narrative sound like for your business leading into the new business year?
It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication.”As business leaders start looking at how this year will end and begin planning for the next year, the words of Stephen Covey in the title ring true as leaders develop their new operational plans. Operational planning is comprised of the four guiding elements of the business: People, Process, Technology and Compensation. In Chapters 4 and 5 of our most recent book, “Finding the Missing Piece: The Impact of Effective Communications on Sustainable Success”, we focus on the communications involved in operational planning and why it is critical to the effectiveness of an organization’s overall communication strategy.Drawing on the definition of business alignment as the process of matching the organization’s tactics to the available or readily acquirable resources to achieve its strategic objectives, we will focus on the available or readily available resources needed to achieve the strategic objectives. In leveraging operational communications, leaders...
Continue reading
  190 Hits
  0 Comments
190 Hits
0 Comments

“The ability to learn faster than your competitors...

strategy-making How is your business strategy creating a sustainable competitive advantage and how do you know?
...may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”It is the time of year where many organizations are starting to plan for the continued success of their business. Whether for-profit or non-profit, large national corporation or small local business, the challenges of maintaining a sustainable and successful strategy continue to challenge leaders at all levels. Leaders continue to navigate a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment laced with supply chain issues, employee retention, political unrest, and economic inflation to name a few.The inspiration for the framework of this month’s discussion is an article in the most recent issue of Harvard Business Review titled “Strategy-Making in Turbulent Times – a Dynamic New Model” by Michael Mankins and Mark Gottfredson. Right up front I’ll argue whether their model is new or not, a point the authors even acknowledge as true for parts of their recommendations. However, the five elements of the structure are valid...
Continue reading
  524 Hits
  0 Comments
524 Hits
0 Comments

“Leadership is cause...

cause-and-effect How is your leadership causing sustainable success?
...everything else is effect.”John Maxwell’s first irrefutable law of leadership (Law of the Lid) states, “Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness.” It is further reinforced by the title quote credited to Professor Stephen Adei, in 2004. In today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment, effective leadership is paramount to sustainable success in every sector; for-profit, non-profit, private, public, corporate, and entrepreneur. To the extent leaders effectively impact the cause, the more predictable and impactful the effect.In our upcoming book, Finding the Missing Piece: The Impact of Effective Communications on Sustainable Success, we refer to the answer to a question we often get in our coaching practice around the three things leaders need to know about effective leadership. Our answer is always the same:Create and communicate a Vision and StrategyBuild a Structure aligned to the StrategyDisciplined and accountable ExecutionIn essence, these represent the three levels...
Continue reading
  843 Hits
  0 Comments
843 Hits
0 Comments

“I Love It...

strategy_-thinking-journey What does it look like when your next plan comes together?
...When a Plan Comes Together!” Many might remember this often-used phrase from the fictional character Hannibal Smith, the leader of “The A-Team” from the mid-80’s TV series (or the 2010 movie). In many cases it always seemed there was no plan, but in the end, things worked out for the team eliciting his infamous phrase while lighting the obligatory cigar! Suffice it to say, most, if not all, plans for 2020 were shot to hell due to the pandemic. However, as business leaders adapt to the new reality and start to put 2020 in the rearview mirror the narrative becomes, “What’s next?”The 4th Quarter of 2020 is shaping up like no other in recent history. In addition to the lagging effect of the pandemic, the effect of schools in various stages of openness, continued social unrest and a very contentious national election, what is a business leader to do to plan...
Continue reading
  1475 Hits
  0 Comments
1475 Hits
0 Comments

"Priority is...

Context-Matters How are you creating knowledge for your next key leadership decision?
…a Function of Context”It occurs to me as I reflect on the last few months there exists a glowing opportunity to improve our collective ability to make more effective business decisions. In the last few months, leaders have been bombarded with reams of data and information about the pandemic. In the last few months, leaders have also misinterpreted or misunderstood the difference between good information and total BS bringing the title quote from Stephen R. Covey to mind.If we agree that effective decision-making is a crucial soft skill (it is!) for leaders to have, then we have to also agree it is crucial to having the full understanding of how to do it well. In today’s fast paced, technology-infused world we live and work in, it is critical for leaders to cut through the noise and make effective knowledge-based decisions. In our experience, these guiding principles apply when making key business...
Continue reading
  1528 Hits
  0 Comments
1528 Hits
0 Comments

“It is not Balance you need...

process-adaptability How are you ensuring your core processes are adaptable?
...but Adaptability”One of the underlying benefits of this new reality is it provides a stress test for business continuity plans and the core processes that keep businesses moving forward. Based on what we are seeing, there is plenty of opportunity for process improvement as we now know what worked coming out of last year is likely not going to achieve desired results going forward!Process improvement has two major moving parts. The first key part is how well the processes are documented. This is crucial as it provides a common set of instructions for the entire team, business and/or agency to follow. It also provides a baseline for any adjustments necessary when the underlying business conditions change. The second key part is by what methodology does the team, business and/or agency keep these core processes evergreen? In other words, how is each core process objectively reviewed to ensure it is still relevant...
Continue reading
  2535 Hits
  0 Comments
2535 Hits
0 Comments

The Missing Piece Workbooks are now available!

BAMM5
If you liked the value you found in "The Missing Piece" books you’ve read over the past several years, you’ll love the new workbooks that align to each of your Missing Piece favorites! Each respective workbook includes the original text from the corresponding book that brings the Business Alignment Maturity Model to life in the context of your business. We moved the questions from the end of each chapter into the section of text that speaks to each question. No searching back through the chapter to refresh your memory, it’s all right there to help you put what you read into the context of your organization and team. Best of all, we added specific tools referenced in the books to better support your goal planning, business analysis and operational metrics. These tools will get you started faster to create sustainable success for your organization!If you are a Corporate Leader, click here and scroll to the...
Continue reading
  2240 Hits
  0 Comments
2240 Hits
0 Comments

“There is nothing so useless…

We-are-too-busy
…as doing efficiently what should not be done at all.”I spend a good bit of time in my practice working with businesses on their business planning and people development initiatives. A few of these clients have also invested their time in what is likely the least appreciated part of achieving sustainable success in business ~ process improvement! Peter Drucker’s quote above is a reminder to all business leaders, regardless of size of business, industry or profit status, that everything we do is a process and we should well be aware of whether we are doing the right things well versus just doing anything well.All successful organizations use the same basic processes regardless of whether they sell services, products or both. Their core processes are the ones that directly influence revenue acquisition and the supporting processes are those that have an indirect influence on revenue acquisition. These supporting processes included functions such...
Continue reading
  4564 Hits
  0 Comments
4564 Hits
0 Comments

Leadership is responsible for 94% of quality problems...

business-quality-control How are you gaining 94% improvement in your organization?
...so it is leadership's responsibility to help people work smarter, not harder.These words by W. Edwards Deming are a call to action for today’s leaders to help them focus on the right business goals to execute their business strategies. You may recall Deming as the statistician who made popular the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle and considered the father of modern quality control. It is also relevant we consider his thoughts as today’s leaders address the challenges of achieving their business strategies in an unstable economy, an uncertain regulatory environment and untapped globalization.Against this backdrop are elements of the alignment process that fall between Strategy and Goals in the Business Alignment Maturity Model. These layers often go unnoticed and unattended by leaders until it is far too late. The focus here is the Structure layer of the Business Alignment Maturity Model. The Structure layer prompts leaders to look at their People, Processes and Technology...
Continue reading
  2293 Hits
  0 Comments
2293 Hits
0 Comments

Lessons in Business Alignment...

…from the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. While I know most sports fans have moved on to Hockey, Basketball and the X-Games, it has become a tradition in this forum to highlight leadership lessons from the reigning Super Bowl Champions.  There were plenty of headlines surrounding the Ravens Super Bowl win (The Harbaughs, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco etc.). The one story I found most interesting, however, was the promotion of Jim Caldwell to Offensive Coordinator replacing Cam Cameron.  This story got far less press, but was significant not only the story of the Ravens success, but for leaders in general.  In the aftermath of the change, the Ravens produced some of the most memorable offensive plays of the entire season, ultimately leading to their Super Bowl win. The leadership lesson is the execution of the oft-quoted line from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great that says, “Put the right people on...
Continue reading
  2162 Hits
  0 Comments
2162 Hits
0 Comments

Is your Business in Alignment and why is that so important?

Growing up I learned how to take care of my cars myself. Tune-ups, wheels, brakes, engine timing etc. were all things that kept my cars running. And just like driving a car out of alignment decreased fuel inefficiency and added wear and tear to the vehicle, so leading a business or organization out of alignment is just as inefficient and, I could argue, irresponsible in today’s current economic environment. So what do we mean by “Business Alignment”? Wikipedia identifies no less than 15 definitions depending on whether you are a role-playing gamer or a biochemist. To a leader in today’s business environment, it means the level of congruence between the Vision of the business to the desired results expected from day to day operations. What we know to be true is when a business achieves alignment it holds a competitive advantage through increased effectiveness and efficiencies. What is a competitive advantage...
Continue reading
  2094 Hits
  0 Comments
2094 Hits
0 Comments