The Art of Possibility: Rule Number 6

Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “Kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again 20 minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and a n apology. When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister. “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so god damn seriously.’” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?”

           “There aren’t any.”   

~ from The Sixth Practice in The Art of Possibility


I’m re-reading The Art of Possibility by Dr. Rosamund Stone Zander and Boston Philharmonic Conductor Benjamin Zander. The chapter, Leading from Any Chair, discusses the “silent conductor” in all of us – the importance of leading from wherever you are in life or work. We don’t need to be managers, CEOs, and senior executives in order to lead. Everyone can be a leader, regardless of age or position. We lead by helping others do their best. If we know how to perform a task, we demonstrate and explain the process to another person trying to learn it. We don’t wait for “the boss” to tell everyone how it’s done. We don’t hold back from showing someone else because we want to be better than him or her. We help them learn so we can all do our best. In this manner, we are all leading as “silent conductors” from any seat.

The art of being a “silent conductor” is to listen and watch for passion and commitment from others. In The Art of Possibility, Zander suggests the leader look in the eyes of those individuals and invite them to share. Speak to their passion. Ask yourself, “who am I being that they are not shining?” That gives you, as the leader, the opportunity to be a “silent conductor”, to ask for feedback, and pass the leadership baton.

Even children can be leadersIn The Art of Possibility, the chapter on Rule Number 6 is about humor and lightening up. Often we take ourselves too seriously. As leaders we frequently try so hard to prove our worth, to succeed against all odds, to be better than everyone else, we forget that the goal is “together we all win”, not “I win, and therefore you lose.”

Our “Calculating Self”, as Zander calls it, wants to survive in a world of scarcity. It’s the voice that tells us take actions that get us noticed, to be strong, to be right, to win at all costs. It’s the voice that drives us on, always striving for something just out of reach. We’re never satisfied.

It takes many forms: the parent who acknowledges his child’s B+ and says, “That’s good, but with a little more work, you could have gotten an A.” Or the boss who tells his people, “I expect your work to be perfect; regardless of what it takes to achieve that.” Or the educator who tells her students, “Follow the outline exactly without deviation.”

Rule Number 6 reminds us to “lighten up” and stop taking ourselves so seriously. There are many paths to success and we each have different approaches. Rarely is there only one “Right Way”. So when you find yourself falling into the trap of the “Calculating Self”, stop and ask yourself:

What would have to change for me to be completely fulfilled?”
“What new possibilities might emerge if I were to change my thinking?”

Is it the situation or the people you are with? Is it an expectation you have that others can’t live up to? What change will bring about peace of mind to you and to others? Perhaps it’s merely to interject a little humor into the situation.

Laughter is a powerful tool for dispelling tension and opening up possibilities; such as . Zander’s comment to the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra when they were practicing Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. The students were tired and tense, having just taken standardized tests, and were missing notes and key entrances in the music. He said, “Take it straight through the second movement, and NO MISTAKES. If you make a mistake…..a five-hundred pound cow will fall on your head.”

And that’s what The Art of Possibility is all about….seeing possibilities where none seem to exist. You can find the book on page 4 of our Strategy Book Store.

Employee Engagement Still Needed

Jeri Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International

Takeways: Employee engagement is still lacking in organizations. Job satisfaction numbers have not changed much since 2010. More than 85% are actively disengaged and have no passion for their jobs.

Employees at workIn 2010 I published an article (Employee Satisfaction a Critical Component of Success) about how employee satisfaction is directly tied to productivity and organizational success. The research then stated that the majority of workers are actively disengaged from their work, and only 25% felt a strong attachment to their employer.

Recently, I read an article written by Eric Siu of the Globe and Mail in Canada, “How to Ïncrease Employee Satisfaction for the Long Haul,” and it states that “a Gallup report demonstrates that 63 percent of employees are ‘not engaged’ in their jobs. This essentially means that 87% have no passion for their jobs,” he says.

It looks as though little has changed in five years, and my article is still relevant.

Siu’s article goes on to state that many factors contribute to employee satisfaction, and that employees are most satisfied when their four core needs are met: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

I addressed these in my article, too, focusing on elements from Matthew Kelly’s book, The Dream Manager and using the Haines Centre’s Systems Thinking Approach to help employees create a plan to accomplish their dreams. In Kelly’s book, he demonstrates how helping employees achieve their inner most dreams actually has a positive impact on their work. Whether the dream is to own a house or participate in the New York Marathon, he cites examples of company successes when they helped employees achieve their personal dreams.

The book impressed me enough to create a special planning model and Employee Satisfaction Assessment which are described in my article. Having read Eric Siu’s article, I see that it still has relevance today. You can download my article from our website to delve further into this issue. Matthew Kelly’s book is also available through our Amazon bookstore, also on our website.

After you read the article, please let me know your thoughts. Connect with me on LinkedIn if we aren’t already connected. Just let me know in the message that you’re following up about the Employee Satisfaction article. Or send me a message through LinkedIn. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

10 Tips for Successful Virtual Meetings

Jeri Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International   June 2013

Meetings are a necessary part of business whether we like it or not. More and more frequently people are meeting via the computer with counterparts who may be spread across the globe. This requires key skills to ensure these are successful virtual meetings. Some are standing meetings that occur every Monday or Friday. Others are ad hoc meetings, scheduled around a specific topic or project.

If you’re a project leader, you may find these tips helpful for holding successful virtual meetings. Many also apply to face-to-face meetings.

  1. Use video. If possible, engage webcams. This makes it possible for people to see one another and feel like they’re in the same room. Skype premium limits video calls to 10 people at once and all must have a Skype account.  Google Hangouts lets you have up to 15 people on a video conference at once. GoToMeeting allows up to 6 to video conference at once. Another option is which allows you to have up to 9 video participants at once, but the free version comes with ads. Choosing the paid version eliminates this.
  2. Know why you’re meeting. Having outcomes or a purpose for the meeting ensures that everyone understands why they need to attend or even IF they need to attend. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to hold a meeting just because you always meet on Mondays. If there’s no purpose or reason to meet, cancel the meeting.
  3. Have a written agenda. Even though you’re meeting virtually and using webcams, it’s still important to have a written agenda and share screens. That way you can stay on track and/or get back on track if someone takes the conversation off topic.
  4. Put the expected outcomes at the top of the agenda. State the purpose of the meeting at the outset, and make sure everyone understands what that purpose is. You can always refer back to these outcomes if the conversation evolves into something else. And circle back around before you end the meeting to ensure that everyone agrees the outcomes were met.
  5. Set a specific time limit and stick to it. Everyone will appreciate your sticking to the timeline, and even ending the meeting early. The more frequently you do this, the greater likelihood you have of getting people to show up. They know what to expect and that you will keep the conversation moving. They will also be more willing to stay longer at times when it’s necessary because it’s not the norm.
  6. Take notes or have someone else take notes. As the meeting organizer, you can choose to take notes while sharing your screen or ask someone else to do so. Letting people see the note taking helps keep them engaged and lets them correct any misunderstandings in the moment. If you assign note-taking to someone whose screen is not being shared, allow time before ending the meeting to review those notes and make any necessary corrections.
  7. Schedule the next meeting before you end this one. Since you have everyone online already, chances are they have their calendars handy. Get agreement on the next meeting, if one is necessary, and then send out the meeting announcement shortly after this meeting ends. That prevents it from getting lost in their email box during the course of the week. Send out reminders with a link to the online meeting at least once more before the next meeting.
  8. Agree on who needs to attend. It may not be necessary for everyone on the team to attend every meeting. Depending on the agenda topic, it may only be necessary for IT folks to be present at one meeting, and marketing or operations folks at another.  If you do hold meetings with various team members and not the whole team, then schedule periodic meetings with the entire team and have the various team members report on their areas of expertise. This brings everyone up to speed on the whole project rather than just their portion of it, and ensures everyone is still working towards the same outcomes.
  9. Identify action items and accountabilities. Clearly list the actions that will be taken between meetings, along with the individuals responsible and dates by when they will accomplish them. This helps to move projects along, and gain commitment from team members.
  10. Follow up. As the team or project leader, you need to follow up with your team through emails and phone conversations to ensure they have the tools they need to complete the actions they’ve been assigned. This is an opportunity for you to also answer any specific questions they may not have asked during the meeting, or to assist with any roadblocks they may have encountered in executing their tasks.

BONUS TIP: Thank everyone for their participation. This one is so often overlooked. When people step up and volunteer to take on specific tasks, thank them for doing so. This helps to build team spirit and make people feel that their time and expertise is valued. Don’t go overboard, and be genuine about it.

Meetings are only successful if the outcomes are accomplished. Holding good meetings, keeping everyone informed, sticking to agendas, and following up with individuals between meetings are important task for the project leader.

Leaders – Are They Born or Made?

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International  5-17-2012

Takeaways: Leaders can be developed although being born with the key talents gives one a head start. In-born qualities may only emerge through training. If no training is provided, then those qualities may lay dormant. Those who believe leaders are mostly born tend not to invest in leadership training programs.

Leaders-Steve JobsAccording to Psychology Today, the research estimates say that leaders are mostly made. What do you think? In response to a poll on LinkedIn in June 2012,  54% said leaders are trained, while 46% said it’s an innate talent.

The fact that leadership skills can be developed is good news. However, the research suggests that there are some innate talents that are key to making a good leader.  These include:

  • extroversion – the ability to easily connect with others 
  • assertiveness – being unafraid to state your opinions
  • risk-taking – being bold and willing to stick your neck out
  • intelligence – being smart and analytical, but also
  • social intelligence – having an understanding of social situations and interactions

This doesn’t mean that introverts don’t make good leaders. They do. However, they need to create a self-development plan to gain the skills they need to lead teams well.

Leaders are Born – a Dangerous Concept

The idea that leaders are mostly born is a dangerous concept, according to Psychology Today. Executives who believe this pay less attention to implementing leadership development programs. They tend to think that those with the “right stuff”, the natural talents for leadership, will create organizational success. But that’s not necessarily true.

Another reason why this is a dangerous idea is that those in-born qualities may only emerge through learning. In a recent study Psychology Today conducted, they discovered that while extroverts have higher leadership potential than introverts, that wasn’t necessarily the case when it came to social intelligence and effective communication skills. Those are learned skills.

Consequently, it’s best to focus on leadership development first, and take the necessary steps to grow the leadership talent within your organization, rather than only look outside for talent.

Social Networking Pros and Cons

 By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International    6-16-2011

Takeaways:  Social networking mini-breaks help relieve boredom, increase productivity, and encourage team building.

Social Networking at WorkAccording to a 2010 study by Brent Coker, “Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing,” workers who social surf up to 20% of their total workweek actually increase their productivity 12%.  These mini-breaks from the mental challenges of work relieve the brain of tedium and help to clear the mind.

The above study was cited in the June 2011 Costco Connection magazine. According to the study. researchers found that participating in social networks online actually helps build additional knowledge to help further company growth.

The article also quoted a Costco member as saying, “Use of social media is essential to team building, well-being and a sense of collective purpose, especially in smaller companies where staff may be isolated at different sites.”

Social networks are also a quick way to get answers at work. I recall a technical computer problem I had that I spent hours trying to resolve, including support calls to Microsoft, with no success. I posed a question on LinkedIn and within minutes, received the right answers from several high level technical experts which helped me resolve my issue.

Some drawbacks

Allowing staff to openly use social media can lead to leaks of confidential information, poor brand image, and even customer service concerns. The article cites the example of Pro footballer Antonio Cromartie who was fined $2,500 for “breaching NFL rules for tweeting that the poor food served to players on Virgin Atlantic was linked to poor performance.”

According to the article, Deloitte’s 2009 Ethics & Workplace survey found that 74% of employed Americans say damaging a brand’s reputation like this is easy. Consequently, it’s important to have a social networking policy and ensure that all staff understand the parameters of that policy.  Check with your Legal Department before implementing it, though, since monitoring employee social networking activities raises legal questions about employee privacy vs. company rights.

Click here to read the full article.

Three Success Factors Affect Innovation

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International    5/17/2012

Takeaways: Following the three key success factors of finding opportunities, mobilizing support for them, and seizing those opportunities, organizations stay open to change and create a culture of innovation.

In their book, Seeing David in the Stone, James B. and Joseph E. Swartz identify the 12 actions of the great innovators and achievers throughout time.Success Factors: Finding & Seizing Great Opportuniti9esThese are broken into three areas, each with a set of four actions:

  • Finding Great Opportunities
  • Mobilizing Support
  • Seizing Great Opportunities

In Finding Great Opportunities, one of the keys is to differentiate yourself for opportunity. What is meant by this is to understand your passions and talents, and see where the potential rewards might be in those areas. Then search within them for opportunities where all three are high.

Three Key Success Factors:

  • Be passionate about something
  • Be good at it
  • Potential rewards are high

For example, young Einstein became a telegraph operator because he had a passion for that, he was good at it, and it was the latest technology of his time.

Another characteristic of great achievers is that they never stop searching. An example the book cites is the story of Colonel Sanders.

All his life he moved from sales job to sales job and paycheck to paycheck. At age 65 he found his opportunity when he moved to Corbin, KY to run a gas station. To increase sales, he started serving his special fried chicken. Business boomed until a new interstate highway bypassed Corbin.

He decided that his passion was cooking, he made better fried chicken than anyone else, and he loved to sell – Kentucky Fried Chicken was born. He traveled the country calling on restaurants. He would cook each owner a batch of chicken, then sell a franchise. Ten years later, at age 75, he had 600 franchisees. He never stopped until he found a way to differentiate himself from the crowd, and when he did, he found tremendous opportunity.

Another key differentiator is being willing to change the ways in which you differentiate yourself. When one of the three key success factors is no longer valid, you have to be willing to change in order to achieve greatness yet again.

Organizations can become great when they are led by people who themselves have learned to differentiate themselves personally and follow the three key success factors. By creating that focus and being willing to alter course when one factor is no longer valid, an organization can continuously improve and renew itself.

3 Business Warning Signs It’s Time to Act

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International 6-8-2012

Takeaways: Not listening to customers, fewer new products, and bottom line challenges are three business warning signs your company needs an overhaul. It’s time to take action.

It’s easy to get complacent when times are good. Your business is growing. You’re attracting new customers. And the bottom line is healthy. But when times are tough, you need to take a good look at where your revenues are coming from. Too often, leaders don’t recognize the warning signs that it’s time to act decisively.

Fewer new products

This is the first sign of danger when your people are having a more difficult time coming up with new ways to make your product offerings better. Instead of major improvements, the enhancements are smaller and smaller – such as changing the design of the product packaging without changing the product itself.

You aren’t listening to your CustomersBusiness warning sign: not listening to customers

One of the first business warning signs: When you stop asking your customers for their feedback, you’re starting down a dangerous path. Your customers, especially loyal ones, will be happy to tell you what they do and don’t like about your products. They’ll even offer suggestions about change they would like to see. If you aren’t listening to them and acting on what you hear, you’re missing a major life of defense. It’s easier and more cost effective to retain current customers than it is to acquire new ones.

Bottom Line challenges

When you begin to see problems in your financials or performance indicators, such as increased expenses compared to reduced revenues or higher customer complaints, it’s time to make changes. If you’re not providing added value to your customers, they’ll look elsewhere for solutions. This is another of the business warning signs.

Listen to your front line staff who deal directly with the customer and trust them to make suggestions and course corrections. Make them accountable for their actions and track results closely. It’s OK to make mistakes – that’s part of learning what works and what doesn’t.  But don’t continue down the path of denial with blinders on.

You may wake up to find the competition eating your lunch!

9 Tips to Managing Virtual Teams Successfully

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International    6-8-2011

Takeaways: Managing virtual teams is becoming more common as companies are widely dispersed geographically. Trust, communication, high touch, and soft skills are some of the key areas to incorporate in order to build and maintain successful virtual team performance.

Managing virtual teams is becoming more and more common, especially with today’s technology which allows teams to meet via the internet and web conferencing. Nevertheless, it presents its own set of challenges that are different from teams who meet face-to-face.  In her book, Virtual Team Virtual Team SuccessSuccess-A Practical Guide for Working and Leading From a Distance, Darlene DeRosa offers some practical tips on putting to work the six hardest lessons virtual teams face:

  1. Focus on people issues: Virtual teams rise or fall on the human interactions: communication flow, trust and productivity. The leader needs to create ways for people to interact-mix your task teams, find ways to shine a spotlight on individuals and celebrate your team’s successes as a team. 

  2. No trust, no team: This was one of the key differentiators between high-performing teams and the rest of the pack. Make sure your team is empowered to make decisions and let them act on those decisions. Help manage conflicts before they create permanent rifts. 

  3. “Soft skills” are essential: DeRosa and her partner Rick Lepsinger found that interpersonal skills make a huge difference in virtual team performance. Teams that have been through team-building and interpersonal skill development activities perform better than those that haven’t. Training as a group seems to matter, individual skill development doesn’t always help the team. 

  4. Watch out for performance peaks: Teams that have been together a long time (more than three years) tend to be more successful than teams working together for less time. Yet many teams peak  after a year and then performance levels off or even declines. Clearly define team roles and accountability. Periodically examine the team’s performance by getting feedback from various stakeholders and share that feedback with the team. 

  5. Create a “high touch” environment: Technology has made virtual working possible, but isn’t a perfect substitute for human interaction. If you can get the team together physically, even once a year, do it. In the meantime, use a variety of tools and use rich tools like webmeetings and videoconferencing when it’s appropriate to remind people that those other team members are real live humans as well, not just screen names. 

  6. Virtual team leadership matters: Their research shows that leadership does, in fact, have a statistically significant correlation with team performance. Effective virtual team leaders overcome the limitations of distance by being especially sensitive to interpersonal communication and cultural factors. Real conversations have real benefits.

Three tips to keep in mind when managing virtual teams.

Building trust.
It’s important to have the first meeting face-to-face so team members can bond. Following that, meetings can be held virtually. Also ensure that all team members are responsive to others on the team, responding promptly to emails and phone calls. Accountability and follow-through are important as well in building trust among the team.

Team member selection.
Look for members who are both technically proficient and have good interpersonal skills. Communication is especially important to help virtual teams feel connected. Comfort with technology becomes an important concern as well.

Managers should maintain constant communication with team members via phone, email and even social media. Set up a private social media site where team members can share updates, challenges, and successes.

Culture of Dreams Creates Employee Satisfaction

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International   6-12-2010
Takeaways: Helping your people achieve their personal and professional dreams helps the business, too. People are more productive and feel more connected to the company and their work when the employer helps them achieve what they want in life.

Have you ever wondered why some companies are having extraordinary success and others aren’t? Look beneath the surface. Are the employees engaged in their work? In other words, are they passionate about what they’re doing? Or do they just show up to earn a paycheck and go home? According to Matthew Kelly in his book The Dream Manager, “the great majority of people in the workplace today are actively disengaged. People don’t feel connected to their work, the organizations they work in, or the people they work with.” Building a culture of dreams in your organization can change that.

A 2007 study of 550 Human Resource managers by Monster states that “the next 20 years will witness a dramatic change in the U.S. workforce. The Baby Boomer generation, 72 million strong, will reach retirement age and have the opportunity to leave the workforce. Successive generations of workers are proportionally smaller, leaving a potential gap in the number of workers versus the number of workers needed to maintain the expansion of the U.S. economy. The ability to effectively manage worker knowledge is becoming a critical core competency in an era when knowledge is the primary resource for delivering organizational value. The chasm that exists between a firms’ most valuable asset, knowledge, and the lack of formal management of this asset represents key opportunities for organizations to gain a competitive edge.”

Worker shortages projected

How does this relate to helping people achieve their dreams? Companies need to find ways to reward and train employees to help them become the best they can be. In doing so, these workers stay longer and help the organization become the best it can be. With a shortage of available workers coming online in the next 10-20 years, it is ever more critical that companies start acting today to get the current generation trained and focused on helping the company achieve its future vision. This means aligning HR policies, training, and procedures with the company’s future vision and mission.

Bottom Line Results

When organizations help their employees achieve their dreams, they get numerous positive results that affect the bottom line. This creates a culture of dreams within the organization.

  • Dramatically reduced turnover (employee turnover costs a company 150% of each person’s salary, and can be as high as 250% for sales and managerial positions)
  • A reduction in unauthorized absenteeism (in 2005 the average per-employee cost was $660; today it’s likely much higher)
  • Increased loyalty to the company
  • A new culture of empowerment and possibility
  • A motivated staff where everyone is part of the sales force talking to friends, relatives, customers and prospects

As a business owner or manager, can you really afford NOT to pay attention to your people’s dreams? The answer is no, not when companies worldwide are facing shortages of both management and skilled labor over the next 10-20 years. By 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimates there will be 165 million jobs and only 162 million people available in the workforce; 19 percent (30 million) of those available workers will be age 55 and older.

Culture of Dreams connects hearts and minds

Why haven’t more companies done something about this? Many companies aren’t using a Systems Thinking Approach® to their strategic planning and management process. The strategies they have in place don’t connect with the future reality of the workplace and the hearts and minds of their employees. By focusing primarily on the bottom line, too many companies have forgotten that it’s the people in the organization that make it succeed or fail. They haven’t fostered a culture of dreams.

The modern employee is looking for more than just a decent paycheck. People want work that is interesting and challenging, but more than that, they want to feel appreciated and valued for the contribution they make. Younger employees also want to work for companies that are socially responsible, and one way to be socially responsible is to help your employees achieve their dreams.

Put the Dream Manager to workSo how do you as a manager or business owner implement a plan that reaches the hearts and minds of your people? According to Matthew Kelly, in his book, the Dream Manager, begin by hiring a Dream Manager to work with each person individually and help them create plans for achieving their dreams. Survey your employees to find out what drives them, what dreams they have for their own future. The answers may surprise you. Then work with each person to create a plan that helps them achieve the smallest dreams first, and then the successively larger, more challenging dreams later, after they’ve succeeded in achieving their initial dreams. The very fact that their company takes the time to help them succeed, will turn their attitudes around and get them re-engaged in helping the company succeed.

You can download my full article on this subject here.

Strategy Execution is Key to Success

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International 2-20-2013

Takeaways: The area where most companies fall short is in strategy execution by not tying individual performance to the key strategies they need to implement. Y-Change provides an organization-wide tool to track projects and strategies across the enterprise, including individual performance.

We’ve heard it time and again – the area where most companies fall short is in strategy execution. They spend countless hours up front planning and engaging their staff in providing solutions and getting their input on the key strategies. But then when they begin to implement them, they usually fall short of plan. Why?

Many companies do a lot of things right. They dig deep to find what’s working and what’s not. They involve their key stakeholders both within and outside the organization. They ask for and integrate feedback into the plan. They streamline processes, create new structures to improve communications and work flow. Yet, the old habits still creep in and it’s back to business as usual.

A June 2008 Harvard Business Review article by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elizabeth Powers of Booz & Company, shares the case of “a global consumer packaged-goods company that lurched down the reorganization path in the early 1990s.” It’s a perfect example of where many firms fall short on the execution side. They overlook the key ingredient – the people in the organization who have to execute the strategies.

Tie annual reviews to strategy execution

By not tying individual performance to the key strategies, the company found that their people weren’t being held accountable for executing the strategies well and effectively. People do what you “inspect” not what you “expect”, as our former mentor Stephen Haines liked to say. In addition to creating the right structures and providing people with adequate resources to do their work, it is critical to tie their annual reviews and the rewards system to the key strategies you want everyone to focus on. Without that, they will naturally revert to doing the work that generates the rewards. It’s human nature.

Y-Change Cascade of Planning and Implementationg

Cascade of Planning

A key tool for managing strategy execution at all levels is Y-Change. This online software tool tracks all the strategies and key actions at every level in an organization, along with accountabilities and project deadlines. It’s even possible to tie in each individual’s performance review plan to the high level organizational strategies so you can see the chain and interrelationships from the lowest level all the way up to the CEO’s office. This powerful tool is used by many organizations of all sizes and in any industry because it is fully customizable to the needs of the organization.

If you would like to see a free demo, click here.