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02-27-17

#11: THE DISCIPLINE OF DECISIVENESS

One of the most dysfunctional and destructive organizational pathologies is undermining, especially at executive levels.

Unfortunately, we see this all the time. 

Issues are discussed at the executive meeting.  Alternatives are debated.  And eventually, a decision about the best course of action is made.

Far too often, what happens next is that executives who did not get there way undermine the decision.  Sometimes, their undermining is overt, blatant, and public such as when executives say, “They made a dumb decision.” 

Most of the time, however, the undermining is much more covert.  Whispering at the water cooler.  Backstabbing in the bathroom.  Sniping at Starbucks.

This kind of behavior, especially at executive levels, must never be tolerated.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams debate, decide, and align. 

First, there is an open and candid debate.  The CEO – or the most senior leader in the group – plays a critical role in creating the environment that facilitates this.  Far too often, decisions are made by a CEO who is in monologue mode.

Second, there is a decision.  There are many ways that executive teams make decisions.  Sometimes, the CEO decides unilaterally.  Sometimes, there is a group consensus.  Sometimes, one executive makes a recommendation and the team endorses it.

Finally, once a decision is made, everyone aligns behind it, even it if wasn’t their preferred course of action. This is the discipline of decisiveness.

A few check-points for your executive team to consider:

  • Does your team have productive debates about strategically important issues?
  • Does your team make effective decisions in a timely manner?
  • Is your team suffering from undermining?

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies unleash the accelerating power of alignment.

DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF THE SHIFTPOINTS WINventory TOOL

02-20-17

#10: THE DISCIPLINE OF A SINGLE METRIC

Executive teams track and evaluate many metrics to get a complete view of performance, but high-performers identify One Number as the main one.  

Because you can’t win if your team doesn’t know how you keep score.

The problem with most dashboards is that they are too complex.  They present a mind-numbing array of information.

Many numbers are important, but it is the job of the executive team to decide which One Number is the most important one.

Revenue.  Revenue Growth.  Profitability.  Market Share.  Customer Satisfaction.  Net Promoter.  Employee Engagement.  Human Sigma.  Economic Value Added.  Return on Assets.  Earnings per Share.  Share Price. 

All of these metrics (and more) are important. 

Which one is the most important?  That depends on how you define success. 

Ideally, find One Number that is simple to measure and simple to communicate.  Something that is a leading indicator, rather than a look in the rear-view mirror.  Something that drives your economic engine, fuels your growth, and ignites your passion. This is the discipline of a single metric. 

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies unleash the accelerating power of alignment.

DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF THE SHIFTPOINTS WINventory TOOL

02-12-17

#9: THE DISCIPLINE OF PRIORITIZATION

For seventeen years, Ford used an incredible tagline.

Quality is Job One.

The Ford executive team had the courage to admit that their cars had quality problems, and fixing them was critical to the company’s survival.

So critical that the Ford executive team made it Job One.

Every organization has a multitude of issues.  They have a multitude of opportunities.  All of them are important.

But only one of them can be Job One!

High performance executive teams apply the discipline of prioritization to make one thing Job One. 

Providing this kind of specificity requires what Jim Collins calls "piercing clarity."  Most executive teams lack the courage or discipline to do it.  They have twenty-seven priorities… and wonder why the organization is confused about what is important.

So, what is your organization’s Job One?  Profitability?  Sales?  Customer service?  Employee engagement?  Cost control?  Quality?

In addition, Ford made quality their Job One for seventeen years!  Most executive teams can’t stay on one thing for seventeen minutes.

High-performance executive teams know that it takes a long time for organizational performance to improve.  Pick One Thing.  Make it Job One.  Stay with it… for seventeen years – or as long as it takes.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies unleash the accelerating power of alignment.


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02-06-17

#8: THE DISCIPLINE OF PERSEVERANCE

Congratulations to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for winning Super Bowl 51.

Their dramatic comeback was the greatest in Super Bowl history.

When I started SHIFTPOINTS, I came across a great quote.  “The defining trait of a successful entrepreneur is… irrational perseverance.”

It is also the defining trait of high-performance executive teams. 

Like Brady and the Patriots, most companies go through tough times.  The loss of a big customer.  The failure of a new product.  The disruption of their market.

High-performance executive teams come together to persevere through tough times.  They galvanize the company with a compelling new vision.  They energize the company with an intensely focused strategy.  They identify a new source of differentiation and competitive advantage.

And most importantly, high-performance executive teams simply refuse to quit.  They follow the discipline of perseverance. 

So, if your company is going through a tough time, I hope Brady and the Patriots inspire you to persevere.  

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies unleash the accelerating power of alignment.
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