“I’m running so fast in my business that I am exhausted…but I don’t feel I am really making much progress.” That’s a pretty common complaint from the business owners we work with every week. Virtually all of them have a tough time keeping pace with their customers’ needs, changes in their markets, competitive threats, and the need to develop their employees. Ultimately, it can make running the business harder and, frankly, far less fulfilling. Motivation suffers, and so does the business’s day-to-day execution.
Every company we work with faces tough challenges in executing on their business plans. They all need help executing more effectively—that is, getting things done quickly that move the business toward its strategic goals…call it day-to-day and week-to-week traction. And simply put, if they can’t get traction every day, they will not grow their businesses and their competitors will eat them alive. We help each of them to “Simplify and Clarify” to improve their focus and traction.
Here’s one example that helps drive my point home. A family business we are working with needed help simplifying the focus, and clarifying the roles, of its leadership team to ensure they could serve larger accounts. No one was really sure what skills they would need, and who should perform key jobs, as they grew…but they all acknowledged that too many tasks were in the owner’s hands.
Job one for them was to clarify the roles and responsibilities for each member of the leadership team to ensure they had the right seats defined for the company’s future, and the right people in those seats, and better delegation among the firm’s leaders. They found that much harder to do than they expected. We quickly discovered overlapping responsibilities, lack of accountability and fuzzy work assignments. The team sorted through it, clarified everyone’s role and the key accountabilities for each senior leader, and it had an immediate impact on the team’s execution. Weekly commitments are getting done, quarterly priorities are being met, and the team is much better able to pursue larger customers. Today, they are preparing to kick off a huge program with a new customer that, on its own, will bring to them a 14% increase in revenue. They might have dropped that ball just a few months ago, or burned out the team trying to adjust to the new account.
The take-away: Simplify and Clarify roles and responsibilities for your leaders first, then drive that down through the organization. It will have a huge impact on your ability to execute to achieve your growth goals.