You probably can relate-so often I hear CEOs, Presidents, and Entrepreneurs say:
“As an organization, I’m not sure we’re focused on the right things.”
“We seem to be working on too many initiatives, which adversely impacts our productivity and causes needless stress on our executive team.”
“Everything seems like a fire drill here. Our employees are always behind the 8-ball stressing to get things done on time.”
“Our business seems to have grown overly complicated and our service delivery and quality can be inconsistent.”
These comments, and others similar, indicate that starting from the leadership team to the front-line staff there is a lack of clarity as to the real priorities of the organization.
Annually, companies create business plans with lists of initiatives that they hope will enhance business performance. Often the list can number ten, fifteen, or even over two dozen initiatives that the company leaders hope to complete that year.
Seldom taken into consideration during the planning process is the organization’s capacity to execute all those initiatives. Equally not taken into consideration is the prioritization of all those initiatives. All initiatives aren’t created equal in their impact on the organization. More initiatives don’t necessarily translate into more progress and better results. Sometimes the opposite is true.
One of the key points I work hard to reinforce with leadership teams is the idea that “less is more.” Every company has limited financial resources and employees have a limited amount of time. Especially time outside their primary role to work on special projects. Why wouldn’t you focus those precious resources on the most pressing and/or promising initiatives?
The Introduction of Rocks
When helping clients master the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) tools and disciplines, one of the first priorities we tackle in their first session day called a “Focus Day”, is to help them set “Rocks”. Rocks are simply 90-day business priorities designed to get everyone in the company 100% on the same page with what is most important over the next 90 days. This creates what we call a 90-Day World for the organization.
We start by predicting the revenue, profit, and measurables in terms of what the company needs to achieve in the next quarter to achieve its 1-Year Plan and 3-Year Picture.
We then identify three to seven priorities for the company over the next 90 days and three to seven priorities for each member of the leadership team.
We then migrate this tool and discipline down into the organization, so every employee has one to three Rocks that crystallize their real priorities.
Employee Rocks roll up to leadership team Rocks, thus ensuring that every employee in the organization is rowing in the same direction with absolute clarity about their real priorities.
Creating a 90-Day World in Your Company
Rocks create a new level of discipline, focus, and accountability in a company. Every 90 days, after running hard for a quarter, the leadership team comes up for air and looks back on the past quarter to see how they did. They re-check their vision to make sure they’re on the same page because sometimes they’re not.
Once the leadership team is on the same page, we then set priorities for the next quarter, and the team goes back into the business to execute with discipline and accountability for another 90 days with crystal clear priorities.
A Simple, Effective Solution
Since the pandemic, the pace and complexity of business have grown exponentially. Employees at every level ─ leaders included ─ struggle daily to be productive amidst a continual barrage of business problems, operational challenges, and customer needs. Being busy is vastly different from being productive. Introducing Rocks in your company will bring a level of order to chaos, and clarity to confusion, which I guarantee will be a welcome change at every level in your company.