During the past 45 days I have presented workshops to more than 1,000 CEOs, business owners and senior executives in several states in the US and across New Zealand and Australia and have been amazed to see an extremely clear pattern emerge about what this widely diverse group of businesses all agree are key areas they must focus on more intently in their organizations.
Read this list carefully and consider whether these might also be areas that you need to spend more time, effort and resources on in your business.
- Lack of a vivid, compelling and well-communicated a vision and strategy for growth.
- Lack of specific, measurable, binary metrics that support the vision and strategy.
- Lack of disciplined execution / culture of high accountability.
- Do not truly listen to, and deeply understand, the voice of the customer (VOC).
- Do not understand our “Moments Of Truth” and therefore do not have processes in place to execute them flawlessly every single time, with every single customer.
- Do not do a superb job in talent development.
- Do not deal decisively with mediocrity and poor accountability.
- Have not invested enough time and energy in building a high-performance/winning culture.
- Not focused enough on innovation.
- Lack of trust and true teamwork across the entire organization.
I would say that in the last year, talking to literally thousands of business owners and CEOs that nearly every one of them struggled with at least a few of the things on this list. It would be my suggestion that you sit down with your top people and score the above items on this scale:
1 = Strongly Agree that this describes our organization.
3 = Agree Somewhat that this describes our organization.
5 = Not Sure if this describes our organization.
7= Disagree Somewhat that this describes our organization.
10 = Strongly Disagree that this describes our organization.
Anyplace you score a 7 or less should be an area of concern and any score below a 5 should get you very worried.
As you look at this list you might think the items I’ve listed are fairly mundane –just fundamental business practices that you know are important, however there is a big difference between knowing something – and actually doing it every single day. Most business people I talk to clearly understand that on a scale of 1 to 10 they should be a 9 or 10 on all of the items I’ve listed above, yet very few truly are. While having lunch with a client yesterday in Auckland, he asked me why this was and I replied that from my experience is because most people are too busy putting out fires and taking care of emergencies to focus on these critical fundamentals, or they do not have the will to enforce them as non-negotiable standards of performance across every part of their business.
Look for more blogs on these topics in the coming months as I will be building several new training classes to address these issues and adding them as chapters in the new book I’m writing. If you have any specific questions on these issues please send me a note or post it here on the blog and I will do my best to address them.
Hope you are doing fantastic — John
PS – all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy, so I did make sure to take a few days off to go fly fishing while on the south island of NZ!! (And yes, I released it – I release ALL of the trout I catch)