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POSTS FILED UNDER "decide-one-thing"

01-23-17

#6: THE DISCIPLINE OF TEAMWORK

In theory, every executive team is a team.

But in reality, most executive teams struggle with the discipline of teamwork.

There are many reasons for this. Executive teams have unique dynamics that make them unlike any other team in the organization. (More on this in the weeks to come.) Most function like a golf team, where everyone is playing their own individual game.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams operate more like a basketball team. They have a high degree of interdependency. They model unselfishness and demonstrate a “we before me” attitude.

You don’t develop this kind of teamwork by sitting in a conference room presenting PowerPoint slides to each other. You must spend time as a team working together to solve your company’s most pressing problems. You must also take time celebrate your company’s biggest victories.

A few Check Points for your consideration:

  • Does your executive team have a strong foundation of trust?
  • How much of executive compensation is based on overall corporate performance?
  • Are you tolerating any executive behaviors that undermine teamwork?

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage.

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01-16-17

#5: THE DISCIPLINE OF EXCELLENCE

Every executive performs.

But most executive teams have at least one member who is not meeting expectations.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams optimize the performance of every member of the team.

This starts with high – and continuously elevating – expectations of performance. High-performance executive teams are constantly raising the bar.

They set high targets and challenge each other to get better.

Thus, every executive must commit to both individual excellence and continuous improvement. (I’m astonished by how many reach the executive level and then stop growing and learning.)

In addition, as companies grow and evolve, the executive team must also grow and evolve to embody the discipline of excellence. 

Sports teams are great examples of the relentless quest for excellence. They trade for players who can upgrade the team. They are constantly evaluating performance. Raising the bar is just part of the process.

Here are a few Check Points for your consideration:

  • Is every executive on the team really performing up to your standards?
  • Does your executive team have a culture of challenging each other to “raise the bar?”
  • What are you doing to help each executive develop their professional skills?

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 

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01-09-17

#4: THE DISCIPLINE OF DESIGN

Every team has people. 
 
But most executive teams struggle to get the right people in the right roles.

As we discussed last week in The Discipline of Purpose, clarity of purpose is a prerequisite to building a high-performance executive team. 
 
Once the purpose is clear, you must apply The Discipline of Design.  Answering a few questions can accelerate the process:

  • What are the skills, strengths, and experiences required to accomplish your executive team’s unique purpose?
  • What are the skills, strengths, and experiences of the existing executive team?  What are your gaps? How can you close them?
  • What roles are required?  Which executives are best positioned to fill those roles? (Note: these roles do not have to be linked to the executive’s title.  For example, if the CFO is the person with the most experience with employee engagement, perhaps they should lead that initiative, not the VP of HR.)

Of course, there are many other questions that impact the design of the executive team.  The key point is that great executive teams don’t just happen.  They are designed.

DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF THE SHIFTPOINTS WINventory TOOL

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 
01-02-17

#3: THE DISCIPLINE OF PURPOSE

Every team has a purpose. 
 
But most executive teams have never taken the time to clarify what theirs is.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams have a clear – and unique – sense of the discipline of purpose.
 
This seems like it should be obvious, but there are many different kinds of executive teams.  In the same way that each company should have a unique purpose, the executive team running that company should have a unique purpose as well.  (A church’s executive team has a very different purpose than a construction company’s executive team.)
 
To clarify your executive team’s unique purpose, consider three factors: decisions, outputs, and outcomes.
 
Decisions are the unique things that your executives decide as a team.  (Like approve bonuses.)  In some companies, this list is actually quite small, since most of the decisions are made by individual executives without bringing the issue to the entire executive team.
 
Outputs are the unique deliverables produced by your executives as a team.  These include things like corporate strategy documents, annual budgets, or organizational goals. 
 
Outcomes are the unique results that your executive team is responsible for as a team.  These include things like financial results or employee engagement.

Once you know your executive team’s unique purpose, you can design the team to accomplish it.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 

 

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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?”

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PREVIEW EDITION OF DECIDE ONE THING. 
SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage. 

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.
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. 
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.”
10-17-16

WISDOM FROM GEICO - EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT

“Fifteen minutes can save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.”

Everybody knows that.

GEICO started running the fifteen percent campaign (developed by The Martin Agency in Richmond) in 1999.

Fifteen years later, they are still at it.

In 2013, they even added a parody campaign where someone reads a "fifteen percent" ad and a second person says, "Everybody knows that."

One message. Fifteen minutes. Fifteen percent. Fifteen years.

That’s the kind of discipline it takes to build a winning brand.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies create a Differentiating Competitive Advantage.