A while back I asked if you wanted to attend another meeting. The idea was that it is worth taking time to monitor the most important thing to do. Not convinced?
Well, I like the following quote from the Chairman and CEO of Societe Generale. He leads one of the world’s biggest banks, which has 154,000 employees.
“Because we are a service company, our principal differentiator is our people. I am very happy to see the progress our employees have made around client satisfaction. For example, the branches have decided to close for a half hour to an hour every week to discuss and monitor their progress on client satisfaction. The decision to close was a very difficult one, because obviously it meant less access for our clients. However, the branches are very pleased with the management benefit this time provides them. Some branches only have three or four employees, so they rarely, if ever, had time to meet as a team. In the end, I think this illustrates our people’s commitment to the vision, because their decision involved risk and they were able to see that the benefit outweighed that risk.”
Apparently, it is more important to close your business for 30 minutes a week to figure out if you are doing the right thing the other 39.5 hours, than it is to keep going because there is too much work to do. I find myself agreeing with this. Two key questions for all of us:
- What is the goal that we are trying to achieve?
- Are we achieving it?
So, you have a strategy, but are you following it? Writing down a strategy is the easy part. Getting 1,000+ people to change what they do to follow it is the hard part. In this previous article I commented on the need for rapid resource (people and money) allocation to reflect a strategic change.
I like what is said in this video from McKinsey quoting one of their consultants:
“I don’t want to read your strategy plan. I want to see what’s shifted in your budget. Then I’ll tell you what your strategy is.”
Could someone reverse engineer your strategy based upon your team’s expenditure? They should be able to do so.
There’s a good article from McKinsey here.
A few key points from the man who runs Ford, which had 2012 revenue of $36.5Bn, and profit of $5.7Bn:
1. The leadership team meet every week to review the strategy and modify it where necessary. Note that:
– They review the environment (gather input) every week.
– Even though they run a very large organization, the senior leadership doesn’t consider itself too busy to meet every week on the thing that is most important to it.
– The leaders don’t consider weekly meetings on something that has a massive lag measurement (increased profits of 10% p.a.) too frequent.
2. The leadership team review corporate information every week. This means that they have corporate information to review every week. There obviously aren’t a lot of people in Ford who think that they are above ensuring data is entered into corporate computers.
3. The CEO of Ford gets his energy to run his business from his family, exercise, and spiritual well-being. Interesting. He doesn’t say that he imposes this on the rest of the organization, but he recognized the importance of spiritual well-being in his life, and the need for balance in life in order to work effectively.