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Four steps for leaders looking for progress from their teams.

The subjects of our leadership sessions can be simply grouped into two areas: creating a strategy and the ability to execute that strategy.  Or put simply working on “where do you want to go?” or “how are you going to get there”?

As a leader which one do you struggle with most? 

Most leaders would say that they have a goal, a vision or a strategy, but how many have a clear path to achieving it? 

Most leaders would say that they have a goal, a vision or a strategy but how many of their employees understand it?

Most leaders would say that they have a goal, a vision or strategy but how many of their employees are committed to achieving it?

Studies have shown that only one employee in seven could name their organisations goal and the other 6 of those seven named a goal that often didn’t even remotely resemble the actual goal.

Studies have also shown that of those employees that knew and understood a goal only 51% could say that they were passionate about the team’s goal, leaving nearly half not enthused.

Responsibility and accountability are also an issue for most strategy execution.  In the same studies 81% of employees said that they were not held accountable for regular progress on the organisation’s goals and 87% had no clear idea what they should be doing to achieve the goal.

In short, employees were not sure what the goal was, were not committed to achieving it, didn’t know what to do about it and were not being held accountable for it.

These are only a very few examples of how strategy execution can breakdown.  Others include lack of trust, misaligned compensation systems, poor development processes and poor decision making.

How do we solve this then? 

The main barrier to any strategy execution is simply the day job – not having time to focus on moving forwards when the day to day stresses eat up all the available time in the day.  Does that sound familiar?

The day to day is urgent and it acts on you and your employees every minute of the day.  The strategy and goals you have set to develop the business are important but when urgent and important clash usually urgency wins.

Let’s ask again then.  How do we solve this then?

Step one – focus on your wildly important goal.  Focus on less so your business and your employees can achieve more.  Select one or perhaps two wildly important goals instead of trying to do everything.  The one, or two things, that will make every other achievement irrelevant or minor.

Step two – Act on the lead measures.  This is identifying which tasks and actions have more impact on achieving the main goal.

Step three – Engagement through gamification.  Generally, people are more engaged when they know whether they are winning or losing.  So, keep a simple but effective scoreboard that people can instantly understand.

Step four – addressing the issue of accountability.  We would recommend regular goal meetings – weekly short, sharp meetings where colleagues report progress and hold each other to account for any lack of progress.

Try it – see what happens!

We will go into each step further in future articles.  Ensure that you follow us so you don’t miss out.

For more information on how we have supported businesses to get stuff done please click here

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