Pat is a new CEO of a $200 Million spin out from one of the Fortune 50. The pressure is on to show progress and value to investors and Pat is up to the challenge. Pat immediately challenges the leadership to cut costs and show a higher profit to please investors. The problem is the leaders don’t know where to cut because they don’t know what Pat’s vision is for the organization. What if they cut the wrong program, the wrong location, or the wrong people? Valuable time is wasted while the leaders drag their feet, costs continue to be incurred and profits decrease. Pat is frustrated and leaders have lost their confidence in Pat’s leadership. Pat is eventually removed by the Board of Directors.
What went wrong?
If you are trying to grow a business, you know there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do I know where I want the business to be in 3-5 years? What is my vision?
- Does my staff and leadership know where I’m trying to take the business?
- Do I have annual objectives and targets for my business?
- Does my staff and leadership know what the objectives and targets are?
- How do I hold us all accountable to these objectives and targets?
I believe that most people get up in the morning and want to go to work to do a good job. When people fall short, it is almost always due to unmet expectations. Typically, the expectations were not adequately communicated in order to be met successfully in the first place.
When you have a North Star or vision, you always know where you are going, what direction you are traveling, and you can ascertain several different ways to get there. If you have a map outlining the fastest route, even better! When someone veers off the route, there are typically consequences they will have to deal with (getting lost, isolation from the travel group, delaying arrival, etc.). But if you don’t have the map, how would you hold them accountable? If you didn’t tell them that they needed to follow the course and stay on the path, what’s to stop their creative minds from guessing and exploring other paths along the way?
What works most beautifully is an overarching organizational plan, and department plans, which align:
Imagine the beauty of transparency, communication and accountability if all leaders could see the plan of the CEO (the North Star) for the organization and the CEO could see all the plans of each department head and ensure each plan aligns to the strategic plan of the organization! The synergy is catalytic for the business.
The One Page Business Plan® allows exactly for this type of development, communication and accountability. Don’t be like Pat.
Look for the next post in this series on department plans—Why do you need one?
If you are ready to ‘dive all in’ and develop your North Star, of course buy the workbook here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about private planning sessions or sessions for your team. Otherwise, watch for more posts to come!
Check out our video workshop here.