(Co-Authored by Aaron Schulman & Tim Scholten)
The first 4 steps of our Market Beating Strategy TM create a great foundation for success that will allow you to see the initiatives and goals from your strategic planning process actually become a reality.
In step 4, we teach you how to efficiently and effectively Assess your strategy so that your entire team is on board and self-accountable so that all are working with excitement, unity and passion towards the initiatives that will reach new pinnacles of achievement.
This next step in our Market Beating Strategy (™) is called “Choose” and this is where everything begins to get real. Choosing is like pruning that allows the real growth to happen because your entire team is now laser-focused on the main initiatives that you know will grow your company, not only impacting your bottom line, but the morale of every contributing team member.
In the “Choose” stage, we help you build simple systems to help your team prioritize and choose the best strategies so that you spend time on only the activities that drive your success. The support, ownership and accountability created helps you avoid your plan becoming another dusty roadmap never accomplished.
Some symptoms & signs that your business / team needs to master “Choosing“
You don’t have a plan for accomplishing your initiatives
You wonder how you will find the time and money to do them
You aren’t sure what impact your initiatives will have on your bottom line
You don’t know when you will find the time to get them done
Your teams don’t agree on what is important or on priorities
You don’t know if people are on board with your plans
After you master the skill of “Choosing” at our Marketing Beating Strategy Workshop, your business will exhibit these characteristics of a thriving business:
You know which initiative(s) are the MOST important
You have prioritized how you will go about accomplishing your initiatives
You have the money and resources to accomplish your initiatives or have a plan to get them
You know the bottom line impact of each initiative
You know how long each initiative will take
You know who is going to lead the initiative
You know what impact your efforts will have on this years performance
After putting the work into the first 4 steps of developing your strategy, choosing is where the process gets to be fun and can help to create a cohesive team.
Case Study 1– The first time I took one team through this process, the Choose stage got really interesting.
We listed all of the initiatives on a white board and gave everyone on the leadership team 3 votes.
Each vote had their name on it.
Each team member then placed their vote next to their top 3 initiatives.
Using this approach we could easily see the things that the leadership team agreed upon.
We made sure to clarify why it was a priority, and then began ranking them.
We also discussed each item that only one person selected to understand why they saw it as a top priority.
This helped to clarify initiatives further as team members discussed the pros and cons of each.
In a few cases the initiative was moved up the list based on that conversation.
We continued working down the list to further prioritize initiatives until the entire list was ranked in priority order that the leadership team agreed upon.
We then spent some time evaluating that the sequence of priorities could be accomplished based on who was to be involved.
This step is critical so that you can ensure that no one is over committed: That team members aren’t assigned to too many initiatives at the same time.
It is the “How realistic is this sniff test”.
This step ensures that what is needed to execute the initiatives in sequence is considered.
At the end of the Choose Step this team stated that this was the best list of initiatives that they had ever created and this process had given them more confidence than they had ever had that their strategy was achievable.
What was even more significant was that they agreed that the initiatives were prioritized and ranked correctly.
No one on the team felt that they were not heard and that their priorities weren’t given the correct focus and attention, and that they had the resources to achieve the initiatives they were responsible for.
Case Study 2 – Another client felt they ran out of time during their planning process and skipped the Choose stage.
The CEO worked the list and prioritized it for the team.
He presented the strategy document to the team and found out just how important the Choose stage is to the process.
Most of his leadership team didn’t agree with how he had prioritized the initiatives.
What the CEO couldn’t do by himself was fully understand all the downstream utilization of people on each of the teams and fully know their capacity.
His team told him that the plan was not realistic the way it was written: The timelines wouldn’t work.
Team members would be burned out or feel over taxed.
The pushback he received from his team caused him to stop and go back to the Choose process to ensure that plans and timing were realistic and that everyone’s priorities were heard and the leadership team bought into the strategy 100%.
He realized that unless he was prepared to try to drive this strategy entirely on his own, he needed to include his team in the entire process.
What most leaders learn after doing this once or twice is that team buy-in makes execution of the strategy 100% plus easier.
When they have participated in and support the strategy, they will help the rest of the organization understand and support the strategy.
Rather than having leadership roadblocks to the strategy, they gain advocates that help them create the teamwork needed for outstanding execution of the plan.
The team dialogue around each initiative creates so much understanding and team support that it helps to create a cohesive team in the process.
This is how you lead a team and get 100% buy-in.
This is how you build momentum time and time again.
This is how you turn a winning strategy into visible progress that you can take to the bank!
Would you like some guidance to turn your strategy into realy profiatbility and unstoppable momentum?
Give us a call for a brief, no-nonsense strategy session and we’ll help you.
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