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POSTS FILED UNDER "drive-one-direction"

08-23-20

WINNING TEAMS DON'T JUST HAPPEN

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKbusEvery team has people. 
 
But most executive teams struggle to get the right people in the right roles.

Previously we stated that 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.

READ MORE: DEVELOP ONE TEAM

08-10-20

WINNING TEAMS HAVE EXECUTIVES WITH EXCELLENT VISION

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORK_winningvisionEvery company has a vision.

But most of them are pretty blurry.

Only 35 percent of adults have 20/20 vision, and an even smaller percentage of companies do.

Most companies suffer from some sort of vision disorder, such as myopia—where they can’t focus on the long-term, or tunnel vision—where they get blindsided by market shifts and discontinuities.

Worse yet, according to Achievers’ 2015 North America Workforce report, a whopping 60 percent of employees did not know their company’s vision.

Fast-lane companies create alignment by having just One Vision. After all, how can you create One Company when every division has a different vision?

While it is critical to have One Vision, there are many ways to articulate one. In fact, we discovered four common ways:

  • The “visionary” vision
  • The “inspiring” vision
  • The “company ambition” vision
  • The “Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)” vision

In fast-lane companies, the process of defining the vision is as important as the vision itself. They use a collaborative process that combines top-down aspirations with bottom-up forecasts.

Assumptions are debated. Competitors are studied. Trends are extrapolated.

Of course, smart companies do a gut check before launching the vision. They understand what it will really take to turn the vision into reality. They have “counted the costs.”

There is nothing more demoralizing to a company than a unilateral, top-down vision that is more of a delusional pipe-dream than a vision.

And finally, high-performers make the case for the vision. Every executive—not just the CEO—can passionately articulate the vision and can explain why this is your vision.

Of all the visions you could have chosen, why did you select this One? If you can’t answer that question, no one will buy in.

Our Pit Stop Program provides a timely and efficient way to reconsider these questions.  Find out more.

Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book,Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Vision chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on One Vision.

07-20-20

ONE TEAM

LinkedIn-Post_OneTeam

Note: This is an excerpt from Dave Ramos' latest book, Drive One Direction.

In his landmark book, Good to Great, Jim Collins introduced the concept of “first who, then what.”

So, let’s start by clarifying your “who.”

We believe that your corporate executive team is ultimately responsible for creating alignment. Therefore, Step One is for them to accept that responsibility.

This starts with your CEO. Your CEO must operate as the company’s Chief Alignment Officer.

Randy Papadellis, the former CEO of the cranberry cooperative Ocean Spray, referred to himself as the “Chief Alignment Officer.” Papadellis joined Ocean Spray in July 2000 as the Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2002. Here is how he described the transition,

“I believe the biggest difference between being CEO and COO is the job of alignment. When I became CEO, I realized very quickly that it was my responsibility to take the many constituencies we have in our business—our grower owners, our Board of Directors, our key suppliers, our key customers, or most importantly our employees—and make sure that they were aligned and moving in the same direction.”

Aligned and moving in the same direction! My sentiments exactly.

Second, the entire corporate executive team must embrace alignment as a critical corporate initiative. There are several reasons for this:

  • The corporate executive team is ultimately responsible for aligning the company’s multiple divisions, departments, functions, and geographies.
  • The corporate executive team is ultimately responsible for aligning the interests of the company’s multiple stakeholders, including investors, creditors, employees, boards, vendors, customers, governments, the communities where you operate, and more. These stakeholders often have competing interests which must be aligned.
  • The corporate executive team is ultimately responsible for aligning the company’s multiple strategies, tactics, goals, priorities, and initiatives into a coherent corporate strategic plan (One Plan).
  • The corporate executive team is ultimately responsible for aligning the company’s resources— both human and financial—with the corporate strategy. Budgets must be allocated. Headcounts must be approved. 
  • Each corporate executive has the responsibility to align their functional area. The Chief Financial Officer must consolidate the budgets. The Chief Marketing Officer must integrate the marketing plans. The Chief Sales Officer must roll up the sales forecasts. 
  • Finally, the corporate team “sets the bar” for alignment. If they are not aligned as One Team, the rest of the organization will be dysfunctional. They must be role models for alignment. A misaligned executive team will never create an aligned company.


Let me say that again. A misaligned executive team will never create an aligned company.

LinkedIn Post_LAUNCHGRAPHICS_OneConclusion

 

06-18-20

HOW MCKINSEY UNLEASHED THE ACCELERATING POWER OF ALIGNMENT

LinkedIn-PostMcKinsey

Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the EveryOne chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on talent management disciplines. 

McKinsey (www.mckinsey.com) is a global management consulting firm with 22 industry practices, over 12,000 consultants, 2,000 research and information professionals, and offices in 120 cities around the world.

Each year, they set aside One Day to reflect on their core values.

Here is how McKinsey describes their firm, “We are a values-driven organization. The values inform both our long-term strategy as a firm and the way we serve our clients on a daily basis.”

Every company has values, but only a small subset claim that they are driven by them.

But consider McKinsey. Not only do they claim to be “values-driven,” each year the entire firm takes one entire day to reflect on their values.

McKinsey makes a huge investment in Values Day. If you assume that the average billing rate for their 12,000 consultants is $500 per hour (which is probably low), the investment is in the $50M range!

How many companies do you know that believe in their values enough to invest $50M a year in them?

And if you are going to invest that kind of time and money, your values better be worth it. For your reflection, here are McKinsey’s:

Adhere to the highest professional standards

  • put client interests ahead of the firm’s
  • observe high ethical standards
  • preserve client confidences
  • maintain an independent perspective
  • manage client and firm resources cost-effectively

Improve our clients’ performance significantly

  • follow the top-management approach
  • use our global network to deliver the best of the firm to all clients
  • bring innovations in management practice to clients
  • build client capabilities to sustain improvement
  • build enduring relationships based on trust

Create an unrivaled environment for exceptional people

  • be nonhierarchical and inclusive
  • sustain a caring meritocracy
  • develop one another through apprenticeship and mentoring
  • uphold the obligation to dissent
  • govern ourselves as a “one firm” partnership

As you can see, their values are written according to our One Code model and contain eighteen very specific expected behaviors.

McKinsey says they are values-driven, and they put their money where their mouth is. Investing One Day per year to reflect on them is how they create strategic alignment.

Would your company take EveryOne away for an entire day just to reflect on your core values?

LinkedIn-Post_LAUNCHGRAPHICS_amazon

 

06-16-20

SPEED READING: EVERYONE

LinkedIn-PostEveryone

Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the EveryOne chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on talent management disciplines. 

Every company wants everyone to be aligned.

But most are focused on engagement.

Dozens of companies have developed surveys to measure employee engagement. These are often tied to the multitude of “Best Places to Work” awards.

When you evaluate the questions in employee engagement surveys, most focus on things like company benefits, work/life balance, and the quality of the coffee.

While it is good to have employees who are engaged, it is infinitely more important that they are aligned. After all, highly engaged employees can still be driving in the wrong direction.

There are many things that you want everyone to align with. For example, you want everyone to:

  • Align their behaviors with your company’s code.
  • Align their customer interactions with your company’s brand promise.
  • Align their decisions with your company’s strategy.
  • Align their actions with your company’s way.
  • Align their goals with your company’s goals.

Of course, this assumes that you have clearly defined all those things.

After all, how can you hire people who are aligned with your vision if your vision is blurry? How can you train people to accomplish your mission if you don’t know what it is? How can you incentivize people to deliver your brand promise if you don’t have one?

That is why we have spent the last eleven chapters emphasizing the importance of clarifying those things.

My next posts will explore how 23andMe, Cirque du Soleil, McKinsey, Publix, Simplexity, and the American Red Cross implemented corporate talent management disciplines to align EveryOne.

LinkedIn-Post_LAUNCHGRAPHICS_amazon

 

06-08-20

SPEED READING: ONE PLAN

LinkedIn-Post_OnePlan

Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Plan chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on their corporate plan. 

Every company makes plans.

For some, their long-range strategic plan outlines what they are going to do after lunch.

Fast-lane companies use both the planning process and the codified plan to accelerate alignment.

Unfortunately, according to Bain and Company, only 60 percent of executives think that their company’s planning process is effective.

Ideally, the output of an effective planning process is One clearly codified Plan. Most corporate plans contain the following elements:

  • A strategic plan
  • An annual operating plan
  • A financial forecast and associated departmental budgets
  • A headcount plan
  • Strategic initiatives (the critical few) that are essential to accomplishing the plan

Ideally, your company will have just One Plan.

To document the plan, some companies create a deck of slides, some create a narrative, some create infographics, and others use cloud-based software.

Our preference is to summarize it on One Page.

Regardless of how you document it, it is imperative that you effectively communicate it.

Obviously, people cannot execute a plan they don’t understand.

In this chapter, we will explore the planning processes that Google, Salesforce, IDEXX, and Hagerty used to unleash the accelerating power of alignment.

D1D-Rotating--Amazon

06-01-20

SPEED READING: ONE WOW

LinkedIn-Post_OneWow

Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One WOW! chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on their customer experience. 

Every company delivers a customer experience.

But most don’t deliver One that makes customers say “Wow!”

Bain & Company analysis shows that “companies that excel in the customer experience grow revenues 4%–8% above their market. That’s because a superior experience helps to earn stronger loyalty among customers, turning them into promoters who tend to buy more, stay longer, and make recommendations to their friends.”

Your company is already delivering some type of customer experience.

The question, however, is whether you are delivering a standardized experience that makes customers say “Wow!”

Obviously, your company has many customers. Each customer is unique and expects a customer experience that is custom-fit to their unique needs and wants.

However, fast-lane companies also standardize foundational elements of their customer experience. Thus, their unique Wow! is both standardized and customized.

To start the standardization process, identify One Experience that will appeal to all your customers. For example, you could ensure that every employee always calls every customer by name.

Over time, you can design a more robust customer experience that is a blend of multiple elements.

Of course, you can’t just develop a unique customer experience … you must deliver it.

Unfortunately, according to Gallup, only 27 percent of employees feel that their company always delivers what they promise.

Therefore, your company must develop the systems, processes, and culture to align everyone—and everything—to deliver your One Wow! … not one time but every time.

In this chapter, we will explore how The Ritz-Carlton, Costco, CrossFit, and Four Sisters unleashed the accelerating power of alignment by developing—and delivering—a standardized customer experience.

05-26-20

SPEED READING: ONE WAY

LinkedIn-Post_OneWayNote:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Way chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on their corporate standards.

Every company has corporate standards.

But most have never optimized them.

When something is a corporate standard, it means that you have One—and Only One—Way of doing something. This might be as mundane as having One—and Only One—Way to complete an expense form or as significant as having One—and Only One—Way to perform heart transplants.

Companies make all kinds of things a corporate standard, such as:

  • Their unique way of doing business
  • Mission-critical business processes
  • Policies or rules
  • Dress codes
  • Software applications
  • The exact size and furniture for every office
  • And more

Theoretically, these corporate standards are absolutely, positively, and nonnegotiably the same everywhere in your company.

Everyone must comply with them. No exceptions.

For nearly 16 years, Jenny Wu, an amazing stylist at Bubbles Hair Salon in Reston, Virginia, has cut my hair. Part of Bubbles’ One Way is a dress code: stylists are required to wear black. If a stylist shows up with purple hair, they get commended. It they show up in a purple shirt, they get sent home to change clothes.

While standardization can improve alignment, we advise companies to find the right balance. If nothing is standardized, there is chaos and anarchy. If everything is standardized, your company is a stifling bureaucracy.

We learned of an insurance brokerage that required every employee to write in blue ink. That sounds pretty stifling.

In contrast, UPS trains their drivers to “always” turn right. This standard was based on extensive analysis of traffic and route efficiency. That sounds smart—and the corporate standard was fully embraced.

In this chapter, we will explore how Bognet Construction, Formula One, Starbucks, and ING unleashed the accelerating power of alignment by standardizing their One Way.

D1D-Rotating--Amazon

05-18-20

SPEED READING: ONE PORTFOLIO

LinkedIn-Post_OnePortfolioNote:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Portfolio chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on their product portfolio.

Most companies sell multiple products and services.

But they often struggle to align them.

One way to create alignment is to literally sell just One Product. As we just learned, Basecamp chose this strategy.

However, most companies offer multiple products and services. Often, these are developed in different divisions. And divisions—by definition—divide.

In the 1970s, Bruce Henderson from the Boston Consulting Group introduced the concept of product portfolio management. His now famous “growth-share matrix” categorized a company’s products as cash cows, stars, question marks, or dogs.

Perhaps your company still uses this management tool to manage your product portfolio.

Once you decide to develop multiple products, your business becomes more complex, and alignment becomes exponentially harder.

In some cases, customers may not have any expectations of product alignment. For example, people do not expect seamless interoperability between Proctor and Gamble’s Tide, Pampers, and Crest products.

However, in most cases, customers will indeed expect some level of alignment. For example:

  • They may expect your products to have a similar look and feel.
  • They may expect your products to work together.
  • They may expect your products to share common components.

This means you will have to develop corporate standards for product alignment and interoperability. These standards are an important component of your corporate core.

In this chapter, we will explore how BMW, LEGO, RYOBI and HubSpot aligned their product portfolio to create both synergies and differentiation.

05-11-20

SPEED READING: ONE STRATEGY

LinkedIn-Post_Strategy

Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Strategy chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on their corporate strategy.

Every company has a corporate strategy.

But most people don’t understand what it is.

In a Strategy& survey of more than 1,900 executives, an astounding 80 percent said their strategy was not well understood within their own company.

Obviously, people can’t align with—or execute—a strategy they don’t understand.

Strategy is “one of those words.” Every company needs One, but even the strategy consulting firms don’t have a common definition for what a strategy is.

Rather than create a new definition of strategy or propose yet another framework, this chapter focuses on five critical strategy questions every company must answer in order to provide clarity to the organization:

  • Which market segment(s) should you target?
  • What product(s) and/or service(s) should you sell?
  • Where should you compete?
  • How much should you charge?
  • What is your business model?

To unleash the accelerating power of alignment, your company must answer them clearly and precisely.

Unfortunately, many companies struggle to do this. If they even have a strategy, it could be summarized as “more.” More markets, more proposals, more products, more cities, etc.

The problem is that sometimes, more is less.

In contrast, fast-lane companies are much more disciplined about their strategy. In this chapter, we will look at how USAA, Basecamp, Iridium, Dollar Tree, and TOMS answered the five strategy questions.

Obviously, there are many other strategy questions that must be answered. Many of these are functional strategies. The Chief Financial Officer must develop a strategy to finance the company’s operations. The Chief Marketing Officer must develop a strategy to build awareness and demand. The Chief People Officer must develop a strategy to recruit, retain, and develop the very best people. This week, we will focus on the five corporate strategy questions.