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12-26-16

#2: THE DISCIPLINE OF VISION

Every organization has a vision.

But most of them are pretty blurry.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams have a crystal-clear definition of where they are going. Ultimately, developing a clear and compelling vision is a key responsibility of the executive team.

In addition, the vision is far more than a traditional vision statement, most of which are just meaningless blah-blah-blah. A great vision is much more dynamic.

Finally, we recommend that executive teams reflect on the discipline of vision and develop a “SMART Vision,” which is specific enough to provide direction and inspiring enough to provide the motivation to achieve it. Many are captured in catchy, memorable phrases, such as “$25M by 2025.”

Here are a few Check Points to consider:

• Does your vision forecast the market trends and potential discontinuities?
• Have you tested your vision against current and potential competitors?
• Can every member of the executive team articulate the vision with “energizing clarity?”

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SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 

12-19-16

#1: THE DISCIPLINE OF VALUES

Every organization has values.

Unfortunately, most executive teams do not live by them.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams are fully devoted to their values. To high-performers, the discipline of values is much more than words on posters in the break room or in a booklet on the brochure wall.

High-performance executive teams use their values to guide their decisions and never tolerate behaviors that are inconsistent with their values.

Far too many companies tolerate executives who do not personify their values because they are “making their numbers” or “have been here since the beginning.”

Here are a few Check Points for your consideration:

  • Which of your executives most personifies your core values?
  • Should “value personification” be a criterion for executive bonuses?
  • Are there any executives whose behavior is so counter to your values that it is time for them to go?

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 

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12-12-16

THE TWELVE DISCIPLINES OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE EXECUTIVE TEAMS

A little over eight years ago, I left the staff of McLean Bible Church and restarted my consulting business.

Since then, we have worked with over thirty different organizations in fifteen different industries.

As we have reflected on these experiences, we identified One Common Denominator. Every organization had some issues with the executive team.

So, we have been working to answer two questions:
  • What is a high-performance executive team?
  • How can we best help our CEO clients build one?
We have developed a model that addresses these two questions called The Twelve Disciplines of high-performance executive teams. Over the next twelve weeks, we’ll be sharing them with you.

In the meantime, if you would like to jump start the transformation of your executive team, drop us a line at start@shiftpoints.com.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage.
12-05-16

ARE YOUR EXECUTIVES A GROUP OR A TEAM?

Every organization has a group of senior executives.

Winners win because their executives work as a high-performance team.

There is a big difference between a group of executives and an executive team.

Groups of executives sit in the same room and present PowerPoint slides to each other. But people just pretend to listen, and are probably checking email or playing Angry Birds.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams have a shared vision, common goals, high accountability, and demonstrate a “we before me” attitude.

So, is your senior leadership a group or a team?

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage.


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11-28-16

THE BEST TEAM

As part of our Develop One Team process, we ask executives a simple question.

What is the best team that you have ever been a part of?

Most executives can’t answer the question. We will often prompt them by giving examples – it can be a sports team, or a sales team, or a product development team, or a volunteer team, etc.

What we have learned is that the vast majority of executives have never been on a great team.

Not even in junior high!

So, it is no surprise that virtually every executive team struggles with teamwork.

As part of your executive team meeting this week, take the “best team challenge.” I think you will find the (lack of) answers enlightening.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage.
11-21-16

WISDOM FROM SPENCER RASCOFF, CEO OF ZILLOW GROUP

In a guest article published on Fortune.com’s Leadership Insider, Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group validated what we have been advocating for 8 years. 

“It all starts with aligning employees behind your mission as a company.”

Of course, this presumes that your mission is clear enough to align everyone with.  Most companies – especially small entrepreneurial ones – struggle with the “all things to all people problem.”  Some call this “mission creep.”

Spencer goes on explain his approach this way, “There’s a lot of academic research about why it’s advantageous to have a mission-driven culture, particularly with millennials who are trying to connect with something beyond a job; they want a purpose, not just a paycheck.  A mission-driven culture will allow you to attract better, more engaged employees.  This is a big part of our company’s DNA. Everyone at Zillow Group is aligned behind one mission: Power to the People: Build the world’s largest, most trusted and vibrant home-related marketplace.”

Is your mission crystal-clear?  Is it inspiring?  Is everyone aligned with it?

If not, our Drive One Direction® process can help.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage.

You can read the entire article here:  http://fortune.com/2015/12/02/biggest-challenge-ceos-face/

11-14-16

WISDOM FROM LUKE SCHNEIDER, CEO OF SILVERCAR

Last week, I had the amazing privilege of leading a Pit Stop Program for Silvercar in Austin, TX.

Their vision is to change the way the world hits the road.

The first market they are revolutionizing is airport rental car. Their model is incredible, and they are the first company outside the “Big 3” of Hertz, Avis and Enterprise to be named North America’s “Leading Car Rental Company.”

Silvercar’s Net Promoter score is three times the industry average!

I strongly urge you to download the Silvercar app and use them at your earliest convenience. You will never want to use the “Big 3” ever again.

I also think everyone would do well to copy Silvercar’s spirit of innovation, starting with the customer experience.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 
11-07-16

WISDOM FROM KRIS DUGGAN, CEO OF BETTERWORKS

I recently learned about a fascinating SAAS company called BetterWorks.

Their software helps companies with goal alignment… more on this next week.

While researching the company, I was excited to learn that Kris Duggan, their CEO, agrees with our Decide One Thing® model. Here is what he said in a recent interview:

“Decide what kind of company you are. Focus is the main thing... As an early stage company, you have a chance to do one thing really well, so make sure you’ve really nailed it. Focus, focus, focus.”

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 

You can read the entire interview here: http://www.saastr.com/the-second-timers-kris-duggan-of-betterworks-this-time-i-generated-leads-before-we-even-launched/

 

10-31-16

WISDOM FROM GALLUP - DELIVER YOUR BRAND PROMISE

According to research from Gallup, only 50% of companies deliver on their brand promise.

You don’t need a Harvard MBA to figure out that 50% of companies don’t.

How about your organization… which half are you?

If you are not sure, perhaps you should start by taking a fresh look at your brand promise. Is it crystal clear? After all, you can’t deliver on a brand promise that no one understands.

Next, take a hard look at your company from the outside in. Put your executive team in your customer’s shoes. Try ordering your own products. Try using them. Try calling your own help desk.

These two activities are just a start, but for most organization, they are very revealing.

And often quite humbling.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage.
10-24-16

WISDOM FROM MARC BENIOFF, CEO OF SALESFORCE

One of the companies I admire most is Salesforce.com.

I especially appreciate Marc Benioff’s perspective on the importance of alignment.

“I've always thought that the biggest secret of Salesforce.com is how we've achieved a high level of organizational alignment and communication while growing at breakneck speeds. While a company is growing fast, there is nothing more important than constant communication and complete alignment.”

We advise companies to develop a unique, one-of-a-kind way of creating alignment. Theirs is called “V2MOM,” an acronym that stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures.

Benioff infused this into their DNA from the beginning, and clearly it has worked. Salesforce has reached $5 billion in annual revenue faster than any other enterprise software company.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 

Quote is an excerpt from Marc Benioff's book "Behind the Cloud.”