Tag archives for Goals&Objectives

Taking the Business Performance Bridge

TAKEAWAY: One way to facilitate business performance is to intervene right at the hand-off between strategy and execution. New energy and approaches are being applied at this point of hand-off, using it as a bridge  to promote change, simplify, and increase diligence.

In the war of business, there’s a vital bridge between strategy and execution. This is the bridge where companies move from ideas to reality, and the battle fought here often determines the outcome of the war. You need to take this bridge, maintain it and use it to your advantage. However, many companies fail to accomplish the mission. Too many don’t see the battle line, or take it for granted, or don’t take the required deliberate steps.

It’s an up hill battle if direction has been less than clear or incomplete, multiple plans are in play, and the troops are looking for clarity or even find themselves at odds with each other (friendly fire). With supportive leadership and a meaningful strategy and objectives that are expected to drive behaviors and performance, what can a company do to take the bridge, to bring the strategy to life and perform as desired?

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Process is the Blood of Business Performance

We’ve all heard that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Even more basically, you can’t measure what doesn’t exist. Not everyone is in a bloody process mess, but in cases where you hear “we don’t really have a process” the key word is really. If they are delivering a product or service, they have at least the essence of a process. Processes might not be formal or agreed or understood, which in turn makes them susceptible to waste and variation and manipulation, but they get manage to get things delivered. All things considered, such a situation usually provides no real basis for improvement, it is more a definitional exercise, and might best benefit from something like DFSS. Companies might need a blood test if up to now they were freely growing up and not worrying about processes, if they are made up of companies that have been merged together or otherwise “re-engineered”, if they come to find their efforts more subjected to compliance and complexity, or if they have reached a performance ceiling.

It’s never been productive, and today it’s evermore untenable, to be stuck speculating about what could be done and should be done versus what’s said to be done and what is actually done. But it happens – quite a bit. Companies get stuck in such a rut and are hard pressed to get out. Like plaque in the blood stream, it’s hard to clean up even if you know it is there. And why is that? The short answer has to do with the need for the blood system (process) to work in conjunction with the nervous system (rules) as attached to the brain (strategy-goals-objectives), all of which is affected by DNA (culture), and ultimately the soul (individual behaviors), which in total reflects and sustains meaningful life (operational capabilities).

So let me slow down here before I get my blood pressure up. Please don’t get me wrong on ideas like collaboration and refinement. It’s more than okay, it’s necessary to speculate and think deeply about process. But such thinking must be characterized by movement toward closure and readiness to assume associated responsibility. Apply the tourniquet. Beware of sending process off to committee. Processes and process ownership cannot be sacred cows – they are too important to health.

Theoretically, the company (the body) owns the processes (the blood). But process is an easy target. Everybody knows the blood is in there and for whatever reasons, could try to draw it. This does not usually work and is not advised. Processes are an element of the business architecture that also need some applied ownership. The rightly skilled people need to be entrusted with the right degree of formalized ownership. To keep efforts vital and unconstrained (“disease free”), process ownership should include: 1) the associated process performance ownership – not just a determination of what needs to be done; 2) real experts – either directly or through defined direct communication mechanisms; and 3) a clear defined path to influence (and in some cases control) the interdependent architectural elements (such as policy/rules) and fundamental enablers (such as leadership and IT).

Of course, processes represent precious intellectual property that must be protected – it is lifeblood.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone in the Enterprise Needs to Know How They Contribute to the Goals and Objectives

Imagine what it would mean if every employee knew how they contribute to the company goals and objectives. Making sure they know can be pursued as part of a human resource strategy. You can think of it as an effort to achieve high performance teaming, or to harness the full power of the team.

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