Finish What You Start – Business Challenge for Week of May 31, 2011

Welcome to June!
This week’s business challenge is about completion – finishing what you start.
As business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s easy to come up with great ideas and new projects but success is driven by what you can actually implement. Your challenge this week is to take some time to review what projects or ideas you and your organization have started but haven’t finished. What’s holding you back? Now is the time to either create new timelines to “put the top on the box” and finish or abandon them altogether. The second part of the challenge is to make sure you have finished each of the previous Business Challenges over the past three weeks. Each challenge represents topics that are vital to a company’s success so if you haven’t done them it’s time to step up to the plate. If you are stuck or confused, call or email me and let’s get you unstuck and clear. Finishing what you start is an important leadership muscle to consistently exercise, and a key differentiator of successful companies.

Here is a recap of the past 3 weeks with a link to all the details:
Week 1: The Strategy Challenge
Week 2: Working Your Strategic Plan Challenge
Week 3: KPI Challenge

Finish strong!

If you have any questions on this or any other topic, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Bruce Rector

KPI Challenge – Your Business Challenge for the Week of May 23rd, 2011

I was at a new client’s office recently and was walking around meeting some of the management team. I stopped to talk to the VP of Operations, a busy guy bustling around answering questions and giving lots of direction to his team who also looked very busy in their maze of cubicles. I asked him how things were going and his answer shocked me because of its honesty. He said, “I really don’t know. I know we are really busy and everyone works long hours but I don’t know if things are going good or not because I’m not clear on what we are working toward.”

We talked further about his remarks which revealed a simple, yet all too common, issue for many businesses. The company had never identified it’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) so the management team didn’t know how they were doing. To them, busy = good.

For those of you not familiar with KPIs, they are quantifiable measurements that determine if you are progressing toward your goals or not. Many businesses get caught up in getting the work out and never evaluate whether “the work” is supporting the overall goals of the company. The last few weeks, your Leadership Challenges have been about Strategy and Plans. If you missed either one of those, refer back to the Strategy Challenge (http://therectorgroup.com/leadership-challenge-for-week-of-may-9-2011) or Working Your Strategic Plan Challenge (http://therectorgroup.com/leadership-challenge-for-week-of-may-9-2011) before you move on.

This week’s Business Challenge is the KPI Challenge. Are you ready? Take a minute to think about and answer these questions:

1. Do you know what your company’s Key Performance Indicators are? ___Yes ____No
a. If yes list them.
b. If not, give some thought to what your overall goals are and how you will measure your progress, or lack thereof, toward that goal? List them here:

2. Do you have a system in place to measure and manage your KPI’s routinely?__Yes __No
a. If yes – describe your system. (who, what, when, why and how)
b. If no, develop one. Spend time with your team determining how each KPI you listed in #1 will be measured and managed routinely. Create it!

3. Are you regularly meeting with your management team to discuss KPI’s ? __Yes __No
a. If yes, describe how often you meet? Is it consistent? Are you using the time to discuss, learn and grow form the results?
b. If no, create a schedule and communicate with your team your expectations.

If you answered yes to each question, congratulations! Keep up the good work. If you answered no to 1 or more questions, use the above excercises to create a system to manage and measure the KPI’s for your organization. Good luck!

For additional information on KPI’s view my video: Key Things That Should Be On Every CEO’s To-do List

If you have any questions on this or any other topic, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Bruce Rector, President
The Rector Group
Tel: 954-356-0439
brector@therectorgroup.com

Business Challenge for Week of May 16th

Greetings,
Your challenge for May 16, 2011 is Working Your Strategic Plan. Companies spend a lot of resources creating a strategic plan that ends up never getting looked at until next year and worse yet, never implemented. Why? It is challenging to take ideas and put them into action day in and day out. And while a strategic plan is essential to the success of any business, how it gets implemented determines how successful the business becomes. This week’s challenge involves determining whether or not you have the type of organization that can create and implement your strategic plan.

Take the Challenge: Working Your Strategic Plan
1. Schedule an hour to get your key management team together (in person or via phone call) to review the 2011 strategic plan. If you don’t have a plan see last week’s challenge.
2. Grade yourself on your progress of implementing your strategic plan keeping in mind we are in Week 20 of the year.
3. Determine if you have a clear action plan or implementation plan for each goal and idea in your strategy.
4. If not, create one. Define the specific tasks, who is responsible for completing each of them and when each is to be completed.
5. Create a reporting mechanism moving forward for each person or team to report progress. Determine who will drive the implementation.
6. Schedule your next review session. I’m a big believer in weekly review sessions that the CEO or President runs. It may be painful at first but if you want results, you must manage the process and monitor the results.
Developing a Strategic Plan that you put in into effect is vital for business success. Do what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it. Tie individual employee’s objectives to the corporate objectives by being clear about what must be done, by whom, and what the payoffs will be. Make sure to provide ongoing feedback and progress reports.

One of the primary functions of a successful leader is to establish, develop, articulate, and reinforce the organization’s mission, values, and goals. For a strategic plan to be effective – and not dismissed as worthless by the work force – leaders have to live, model, and continually reinforce the vision and the planning process.

Good luck with this week’s challenge! I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Make sure you are signed up to get your Business Challenge Every Monday. Sign up Here.