How are we doing?
Asking the simple question – how are we doing is something that management teams should be doing every quarter. Reviewing progress daily and weekly is crucial because it enables you to take corrective action – but what if the problems faced by your organisation are much more severe.
Can our position be so bad?
You don’t know if you never ask. Enterprises and the management teams that run them need to face up to reality. Committing to this process is brave, and not everybody is up to it – simply because most of us do not want to find out where and how we need to improve and do better.
The best decision you can make as part of a senior management team (SMT) is to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask some essential questions.
How can you go about this?
Well, you can manage this yourself, or if you want to learn more and see that the process has some depth, there should be a high degree of facilitation by someone objective and independent to the organisation. We have seen the responsibility been loosely and inappropriately bestowed on HR, QA & Risk, Compliance, Internal Audit or ad hoc project managers.
This can be a misjudgement and a cop-out of failing to deal with the real issues.
To get an accurate and independent view needs someone with behavioural expertise to manage the process, to get the SMT to critically reflect on their own and others’ thinking and ask some of those tough questions.
How can this be managed?
To make this process work, you have to be totally open to exploring and dissecting the key issues that are impacting your business. That means to generate the required information the facilitator to interview each of the top team, their direct reports and focus groups based on representative diagonal slices of the organisation.
Strategic issues for consideration
- How has our market position changed in recent months, and how can we ensure we are relevant in delivering to our customers and users?
- Where are we most vulnerable as an organisation?
- What short term decision have to be implemented straight away, and what do we have to commit to in the longer term to ensure that our strategy meets the challenges that confront us?
- How well do we structure roles and responsibilities around the changing strategy and business plan? What needs to change and when?
- Do we have the systems and processes in place to deliver a new business plan and execute a strong strategic and operational roll-out?
- How well have we prepared the culture for the profound changes we have to make and how robust is our implementation plan?