Plan and Execute: Lather, Rinse, and Repeat
Repeatability, scalability, dependability, reliability — words that are often used in describing a well-run business. Lather, rinse, and repeat are the words in the 4-pt. type on the back of the shampoo bottle. What do these words have in common? They are a constant within organizations that have chosen their path, created a plan forward, and row like heck everyday.
It’s rare that I run into a company that has really developed a “secret sauce” for business growth, prosperity, and increasing shareholder value. More often, I see a company that excels in running their plays and executing every day. So, how you can better prepare your company and your team to be top performers as well?
Know The Goal
What do you want to be known for, what are your core values, what is the reason for your business existence? These are some higher level questions but once addressed, can help to make the other decisions much easier to make. At each step in the process, if you know the goal, you can check each decision by asking, “will saying yes or no to this decision increase our chances of achieving our goals, and how, and with what risks.” Too often leaders face indecision because the company or decision makers lack that clear sense of direction.
Know How You Will Get There?
OK, so what’s your plan? In most cases I see companies that have good equipment, plenty of staff, and many great customers. As the leader, your opportunity is to make sure those groups are aligned to the goal. I’ll touch on this item one more time – without a clear vision of the goal, the alignment process can be very difficult. Based on your defined goals, create a plan to get there that incorporates all the variables that you have to contend with. For example, you might not have all the specific equipment that you want, and you’re not going to fire your entire staff and start over, and the same goes for your customers. The challenge is to define your path forward to achieve your goal with the team that you have and the opportunities in front of you, all the while not taking your eye off of your goal. You might also decide that you need new or different types of customers. That’s a transition that happens over time, and with direction and a plan, you can accomplish.
Not Everyone Will Make It
For some organizations all of this makes perfectly good sense and their full staff is on board. For others though, creating a plan, a path forward, and an execution strategy can be viewed as a threat. Many folks are great at reacting to opportunities and taking action to solve a problem. This line of thinking is more about working to create your own opportunities, not only reacting to those presented to you. Working to create your opportunities involves daily execution of the plan and accountability. Answer this question, “What am I doing today — or what did I do today — that will help to achieve the goals that I’ve signed up for?” In a sales world, it’s having a plan for when the phone is not ringing.
Those that view this as a threat will tell you it won’t work and that it’s a waste of time. What they are really telling you is that they aren’t ready to change and that they like the old way of doing things, and they really don’t want to be accountable for much. By the way, if the old ways of doing things are knocking it out of the park — keep doing them. If they are not, go back to paragraph one. As a leader, if you believe in the goal, and the plan forward, you’ll need to make a choice with those folks who have not bought into your plan. It doesn’t mean they are bad people, or that their past contributions were not valuable and appreciated, but it may mean that they need to be doing something else.
All teams need a leader who has a sense of direction for the company and is willing, and able, to lead the plan forward. Share your vision with your staff, find ways that they can help and contribute to the goal, and work to keep everyone focused on what’s important to the future of the business. If you have any comments about the planning or decision making process in your organization, I’d like to hear about them.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.