grow company profitsSet Your Company's Course
SET YOUR COMPANY’S COURSE
This Program Aims To Create A Collaborative Executive Team…
And To Plan The Alignment Of Strategy, Operations, And Culture
When growth happens too fast to control, you’re experiencing many day-to-day problems. The biggest problem is that “there’s no time” and “there’s no space” to get a grip on the issues. The misalignment of strategy, operations, and culture throws everything off. It’s like a gyroscope that’s madly spinning out of control—and each spin creates additional problems.
You’re Dealing With A Cascade Of Problems
And They’re All A Result Of Wild Growth
Fast growth is a very good thing—but not when it’s uncontrolled. Many companies have this experience, and it can literally be the death of the business. It’s all in how you take control of the situation and manage it effectively. These are the problems you’re dealing with.
- Your fast growth adds complexity in people and systems. Adding complexity adds difficulty. Systems and processes are added on the fly, but never revisited or optimized. Culture changes as each new person is added. Everything’s moving too fast to get it under control.
- Strategic execution is wildly inconsistent—with underperforming and over-budget projects. Plans are static-only, with no capability to adjust dynamically. As circumstances change (and that’s inevitable), employees are left to try to force existing strategy to fit.
- Sub-optimal operations cause business results to fall short of expectations. Being unable to adapt to situational change adds time and money—and associated costs. When you don’t have your arms around growth, results become wild and unpredictable. You have to struggle to “get there”.
- You leave money on the table each and every day—in multiple ways. When your company’s growth exceeds your employees’ ability to adapt to change, it costs you dearly. Feel that whizzing motion? That’s money out of your pocket every time a project is late, falls short, or is over budget.
- Employees resist top-down change efforts, and you have an unengaged workforce. As you grow, you bring new people onboard. Without a good onboarding process, you’re not guiding employees where you want them to go. Like everything else during wild growth periods, it becomes “sink or swim”. You quickly lose cohesiveness in your workforce.
To Continue To Grow, You Need To Correct These Problems
As You Consider This Program, You Want Outcomes
Let’s be honest, you know your company has growth pains; that’s no secret. What’s missing is how to fix all of it at one time. We’re talking about aligning strategy, operations, and culture all in one fix. That’s a tall order. Here are the outcomes you’re looking for.
- Your fast growth is still complex, but now you know how to manage it. As you add people and systems, you have the outline for fitting them into a systematic whole. You have a framework as you revisit and optimize everything—eliminating complication and redundancy. You’ve outlined parameters to onboard each new employee in a way that contributes to a high-performance culture.
- You’ve outlined the plan for steadily consistent execution of high-performance projects. You’ve outlined a dynamic approach to replace static decision-making—allowing employees to adjust as circumstances change. You recognize how building in flexibility sets up employees to win—and to perform as “owners”.
- You can see the path to consistent business results—now that you have a plan to optimize operations. With a solid operational structure, you see how to tightly manage time, money and associated costs. You’ve begun to eliminate the unpredictability, and have a smooth ride to growth.
- You know what to do to eliminate leaving money on the table every day. You’re positioned to have that “birds eye” view that allows you to avert problems before they arrive. You’re on your way to creating a dashboard view of what’s going on real-time instead of seeing an after-the-fact disaster.
- You have a clear plan to get employees to take an “ownership” approach, and enjoy working together. Developing a high-performance culture is a lot easier once you have the outlines for hiring people who are high-performing. There may still be wildness, but you know how you’re going to tame it. You feel a new excitement about leading the team to accomplish something wonderful together.
This Program Is Packed With Benefits…
That We’ve Delivered To Clients For Decades
It’s challenging to get strategy, operations and culture all aligned. This is not for the faint of heart. You have to have courage and conviction to take it on. We want you to know the benefits of tackling your high-growth problems.
- The most important benefit is having a plan for sustained results to fund managed growth. That’s a complex statement that contains two concepts: “sustained results” and “fund managed growth”.
- Only sustained results can allow you to fund managed growth.
- Self-funding managed growth keeps you in control of the business.
- You know how to eliminate “on the fly” operations, and instead have a plan in place. With the outlines of the plan, you can fill out the details of resource utilization, skills, planning, and hardware/software. It’s easy to see how to manage according to your strategic plan.
- You’ve committed to replace a hierarchical CEO-to-frontline approach with true collaboration. You and the executive team have shifted from “I say and you do.” Instead, you’re ready and know how to make the paradigm shift to, “We do. We’re all in this together.” You’re looking forward to this being a lot more fun for everyone—including you.
- You have a plan to get a focused and engaged company culture. Now, you know how to add each new employee and shape a high-performance culture. You have the outlines of an onboarding process that promotes the behaviors of high performers.
- You have the beginnings of a plan that moves employees to do things because they want to—not because they have to. You clearly see how to create a culture where all enjoy being part of something bigger. This is truly the beginning of a cultural transformation.
- You have clarity on empowering employees to act like owners—and to take on ownership mentality. You’re excited about how this approach can lead to employees taking better care of assets, and contributing to company health.
- You see a path to maximizing ROI as the natural result of focused owner/employees. You feel a new commitment to consistently improving numbers through collaborative effort.
- You have clear outlines for standardizing execution excellence. The executive team has laid out what it takes to ensure that projects are executed well. You feel confident that—once these outlines are fleshed out—the team can consistently produce sustained profitability.
- With solid plans in place, the latest shiny object doesn’t distract you. You know what direction to lead the team. No longer are you tempted to follow the other sheep. You see how to get the whole organization thinking, “Let’s be sure we don’t leave any money on the table. It’s more fun to scoop it all up.”
As You Consider This Program, You Want Details
You Need To Understand How It Works To Know That It Does Work
You may be sitting in your office wondering how to solve your problems. What you’re dealing with can seem intractable. We want you to understand how this program has been carefully constructed to produce the specific outcomes described. Here’s how it works.
You’re Sitting There Considering This Program
It’s Important You Understand How It Works
You’re not going to buy a suite of programs unless you understand it. Not just a surface-level understanding either, but an in-depth understanding. You want all the details, so you can prove to yourself that it WILL work for you. Here’s how the Align Strategy program works.
Phase 1: Setting our Strategy
Step 1: Confidential Online Assessment And Interview
As soon as we’ve scheduled the Set Your Company’s Course program, we begin getting to know each executive.
- The engagement starts off with a confidential online assessment. This is an in-depth tool for each member of the executive team. We want to emphasize to you: results are not shared with anyone—not even the CEO. We need to start our relationships with complete candor—and trust. The assessment is a way to learn the following about each executive:
- Their background
- Current duties
- Current goals (business and personal)
- Current concerns, fears, and doubts
- Management style
- Who they are as a human being
- Pre-work For Program
- Interactive Tutorial For Preparation
- We start you off with a video of a mini training session. This provides the foundation for the work we’ll do in the program. The objective is to prepare all participants to get a running start for the work we’ll do together.
- You get a high-level look at the frameworks we will set up. You can ask questions, take notes, and print a takeaway with your own contributions.
- I envision having the participants input examples of some of the scenarios i am describing. Nothing heavy, something like: ‘what examples have you seen of this … at your company. on a scale of 1-5, how relevant is this… at your company.
- Suggested reading before the program (all about the compelling story)—not obligatory, simply suggested.
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek
- Brand Bewitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand, Park Louis Howell
- Prepare for a working lunch. We’ll have a working lunch breakout session. Plan to have something simple and quick (like a sandwich) you can eat as you virtually share with your breakout partner(s).
Step 2: Conversations With Each Executive
As soon as possible, we start the conversations with each executive participant. It’s important to set each participant up to succeed. The conversations do two things:
- Give a chance to clarify all the information submitted in the assessment. Sometimes, hearing the same words spoken gives them a different meaning.
- Give me a feel for the person and personality of each executive. We’ll be working together closely in the upcoming program, and it’s important to understand where each participant is “coming from”.
Step 3: ½ Day Session—Who We Want To Be As A Company
Note that this is set up as a ½-day event, but it actually needs to be scheduled open-endedly. We need to come to completion of the work by the end of the session.
Set Ground Rules And Expectations
We start the session with a quick overview of ground rules, expectations, and definitions. It’s an efficient summary of the following:
- Lay ground rules. It’s important that participants block out the time and give full attention. Everyone has to be onboard. This is not an event where a participant can do anything but participate fully. It needs to be scheduled as a “sacred” event.
- Communicate expectations. What are we trying to get out of this—each participant—and me, the facilitator? What do we intend to accomplish? Where do we want to end up at completion?
- Set definitions and determine common ground. We need to be clear that we’re all starting from the same context. Everyone needs to have the same intentions and dedication.
Create Compelling Story
We work differently and start with a compelling story. A compelling story is a narrative that gets employees to excitedly adopt your company’s strategic vision. You get them to that level of excitement by making them (employees) the “heroes” of the story.
Your employees are the people who will live, eat, and breathe your compelling story. They are the ones who make it come to life. That story must be so compelling that employees need little encouragement—they want to “do what it takes”. There are 5-C’s of storytelling (sorry I couldn’t find who originated this to credit them):
- Connect—The story must create an emotional connection with your employees. They need to instantly and continuously feel that the story moves them and that they want to be a part of it.
- Challenge—The story highlights some common pain point we as a company are facing. Both executives and employees share this pain point. Examples:
- We need to save our jobs from outsourcing.
- We need to provide service so superior that our low-cost competitors can’t get a foothold.
- Conflict—There is a mutual “enemy” that threatens a favorable outcome for the company (employees and executives). This threat needs to be so intense that it leaves no option for our employees and executives except to fight this enemy.
- Conquer—Together, we clearly articulate where we are going and how we will defeat that enemy. At this point you want employees to feel, “Let me at them. I’ll kick their ass.”
- Conclude—This is what we will be feeling when we win, let’s go get them!!!
Use The Compelling Story To Clarify Who We Are As A Company
Once you’ve settled on the Compelling Story, that drives your culture. Culture is the environment you jointly and intentionally create. In this case, everything is centered around developing a high-performance culture.
- Determine company Purpose/Vision/Mission. The executive team works together to create these ideas that guide the company
- Our Purpose—Why we exist as a company. The WHY is our guiding light. Until we know why we exist, it’s impossible for everyone to work collaboratively to accomplish the same thing. We eliminate different agendas. The company goals become primary, and personal goals become secondary.
- Our Vision—Where we are heading as a company. Together we craft a cohesive company vision. That vision must be universal, and universally accepted throughout the company. Vision must also be employee-centric to fully engage the workforce.
- Our Mission—Who we serve, how we contribute, and our unique contribution. We work together to refine our mission statement.
- Our Values—Those characteristics that distinguish us from other companies. We’re creating a high-performance culture, and want our values to revolve around high performance. These are the values you want employees to live by, not just be static words on a wall.
Phase 2: Design Our Frameworks (full day)
These frameworks become the behaviors that the executives model for the workforce. Together we establish behavioral expectations that are then emulated—and rewarded. We will develop four frameworks to create and support a high-performance culture:
- High-Performance Culture Framework
- Collaboration Framework.
- Decision-Making Framework.
- Communications Framework
Step 1: Develop The Frameworks For High-Performance Culture
A high-performance culture doesn’t just happen—it’s created intentionally. When you experience a high-performance culture, you know it. But, it’s not so easy to figure out how to get one in your own company. Let’s start out by explaining what a high-performance culture is.
Add working lunch. Figure where it fits and how it fits. Do they haved lunch after introduction of high-performance culture. I think that would be a great theme for a lunch breakout.
There are six components of a high-performance culture:
- Employees aim high.
- They have a fundamental dissatisfaction with the status quo.
- They know what winning looks like.
- Employees focus externally on customers/competitors.
- They don’t focus internally on politics or turf wars.
- Employees think and act like owners.
- They take responsibility for overall business performance, not just their own slice of the pie.
- Employees are team players, and top team players are rewarded.
- You want every employee to bring their personal best to the table.
- We’re working as a team, but you also need to be yourself.
- Employees have a bias towards action.
- Culturally, there is little patience for bureaucratic debate.
- Employees embrace change and innovation.
- They don’t let themselves get bogged down in “tradition”.
Together, we define your version of a high-performance culture for your business. This is the high-level framework that your managers and employees later fill in the details for.
Step 2: Design The Collaboration Framework
In this session we lay groundwork for the Collaboration Framework to be developed. We will be designing the “outer boundaries”, and the workforce fills in the details later.
- Collaboration framework—This framework lays out our plan for how we become a collaborative workforce. The collaboration framework has two parts.
- Mindset—How we change our thinking to transform into a collaborative workforce. Some examples include:
- We’re going to adopt saying we vs. I.
- We’re going to ensure that there are no longer information silos.
- This is how we’re going to share our purpose, and to make it drive our work efforts.
- Technology that enables collaboration (slack, email)—We discuss and determine the technology that needs to be in place to support collaboration.
Step 3: Design The Decision-Making Framework
Creating a solid decision-making framework empowers the workforce to be confident acting as owners. All information is documented, so employees have guidance for decisions.
The objective is to push decision-making down to the lowest level possible to make needed decisions. We want to streamline and eliminate work stoppage due to, “I have to talk to my supervisor.” situations. We create three types of decision frameworks.
- Day-To-Day Operating Decisions—Your operating process sets work decisions within certain ranges. We design a framework so that the front line can manage exceptions to those ranges.
- Unplanned Situational Decisions—Never-before-seen circumstances are going to happen with some frequency. We create a framework for how you want employees to step back, observe, assess, and take action step-by-step to independently resolve these situations.
- Operational Improvement Decisions—You will be gathering data and doing trend analysis. Based on that analysis, you can look at the financial impacts and see what needs to be improved operationally. That analysis drives suggestions or recommendations to be made for a management-level decision.
- , Step 3: Design The Communications Framework
The Communications Framework is how we facilitate meaningful communication in the organization. These communications might be about workflow, project management, priorities, status, and outcomes.
Communications need to flow in three directions.
- Leadership to employees
- Employees to leadership
- Employees to employees
We plan how to set up a communications structure that facilitates these conversations. This plan likely involves hardware, intranet, chat rooms and whatever works for your company to feel connected.
Finalize Your Company’s “Make It So” Implementation Plan
Step 1: Summary Session
In this session we do a quick review of all we’ve covered. We put the pieces together and make it a cohesive whole.
Step 2: What Next? Session
In this session, I introduce potential next steps. Basically, you can take the Make It So Implementation plan and do the work yourself. Or, you can choose to move on to our next program where your managers build on this work, and design the Operating System for your business.
Step 3: Final High-Level Make It So Implementation Plan
The final deliverable of this program is the High-Level Make It So Implementation Plan. My partner documents throughout the program. This gives you immediate access to a summary of all decisions made. As the name of this program implies, it sets the course for your company.
All executive decisions are memorialized and plainly laid out. At this time, we also provide you a proposal for delivering our next program—Build An Operating Platform.
Let’s Have A Quick
We Both Know Implementing This Is Next To Impossible On Your Own
Your day-to-day operations get in the way of progress. Your plate’s just too full already, and you simply get too busy.
It’s easy to get territorial about what you’ve already accomplished. We all have our inner rebellious child saying, “I can do it myself!” (foot stomp, foot stomp). But, sometimes an outside eye can make things go more smoothly. It’s not a comment on the quality of your accomplishments, but a platform for a step up.
Here’s a quick summary of everything you receive!
- A confidential assessment and interview of each executive.
- An interactive preparatory tutorial with a high-level overview of what we will be accomplishing.
- Create a Compelling Story that promotes a collaborative workforce.
- Determine Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Values for a high-performance culture.
- Develop the High-Performance Culture Framework.
- Design a Collaboration Framework that supports a high-performance culture.
- Design the Decision-Making Framework that empowers a high-performance culture.
- Design the Communications Framework that enables a high-performance culture.
- Deliverable: A written Make It So Implementation Plan
- Documented onsite and real time
- Delivered at conclusion of program, not a later date.
CALL TO ACTION
THIS IS WHERE YOU SUMMARIZE
Where To Next?
Now that you understand how our Set Your Company’s Course program works, you may want to review our Build Your Operating Platform (link) program to learn how your managers fill out the details of an operating platform.