Focus on Results, Not Activities
Both players and coaches of most high school, college and professional football teams recognize that what matters most is not only achieving the “W” at the end of the game, but the trophy at the end of the season. For high school it’s the state championship, college it’s the NCAA national championship and professional the Super Bowl. Business should not be any different. The 3 or 5 year long term objectives should matter the most, and achieving the “W” at the end of each year’s annual operating plan plays an important role in achieving the long term results you want.
Too many CEOs, Presidents and Owners focus on activities without a clear path to the results they want. We often hear leaders tell us that, “we have a lot going on right now.” But when asked to what end, their response is often about achieving short term tactical wins rather than contributions to the larger long term objectives and vision.
Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Today’s activities should be stepping stones to achieving the longer term objectives. In our work with clients, our mission is to ensure that leaders focus on the results they want and then choose the right activities that will get them there.
As you choose the results you want, consider these three guidelines:
• Draw a picture of where you want to be in 3 or 5 years. Make sure your message is simple and easy to understand, and a message that everyone in the organization can get behind. Then align activities to the message so that employees can easily see the link between their work and the vision. Your goal should be for every employee to be able to explain what the company is investing in and what the expected results need to be.
• Stay focused on the most important activities. Like team players and coaches, when business leaders and employees have a clear picture of the results they are striving for, they will not allow themselves to be distracted by activities that waste valuable time and resources.
• Assess your business activities regularly to ensure the investments you are making will deliver the results you want. Challenge your leaders to eliminate activities that are not contributing to the results you want. Make everyone accountable to ensuring every activity will lead to achieving your objectives.
Managing a business is hard enough without complicating it with activities that will not get you the trophy over the long term. Managerial strategy development and execution skills help focus the organization on the most important short and near term activities that lead to long term success. Are you focusing on the right activities? Let us know what you think. We’d like to hear from you.
For more information about metrics to increase employee engagement and how it affects a company’s performance, please refer to this article prepared by FindMyShift: The Best Metrics for Getting Started with Employee Engagement