We’ve been talking a lot about how successful companies build effective leadership teams because it is foundational to a company’s success. When leadership teams are not in alignment, it can be detrimental to the growth of the company. Our recent blog covered the differences between chemistry and alignment in a team, and why the latter is so important to develop and nurture.
In brief, we covered that chemistry is a nice-to-have in an organization. It provides for an easy way for teams to work well together and get along. Alignment, on the other hand, is defined as “an arrangement of groups of forces in relation to one another.” This intentionally and properly constructed arrangement can make the difference between your company realizing its vision and meeting its objectives or falling flat. Since this is such a compelling equation to get right, we wanted to spend more time on the “how” of alignment so you can start thinking about steps you can take to ensure your leadership team is not just getting along – but is well aligned.
The brain trust at C Squared has dedicated countless hours to developing a process that helps business owners streamline their roadmap development process for business growth. Our process aligns leaders by taking deliberate steps, as a leadership team, to transition from analysis and planning into TAKING ACTION. If you’re looking for progress in your organization, this is the place to begin.
Guided Discovery Lays the Foundation
The process begins with our Guided Discovery meeting, which provides a conversational and safe environment for the team to get their thoughts, feelings, and ideas out in the open. Shining a light on a company’s internal issues is just the beginning as we proceed through a very deliberate and structured approach to the conversation, such that all important elements of Operations, Finance, and Strategy are discussed. Not only are the team’s insights captured (in writing), but gaps are also measured in an objective way. This enables us to clearly compare what’s “important” to the team to how they are “performing” in these specific areas.
The information is captured in a two-hour complimentary Guided Discovery meeting, and then collected into an Opinion prepared by C Squared, including the raw material needed for working on alignment within the leadership team.
Transitioning from PLANNING to ACTION!
Organizations that want to turn this valuable information into an actionable roadmap continue with these next five steps of the Goal Alignment and Roadmap development work. This is the meaty work where the rubber meets the road and action arises from the plan. During a half-day offsite meeting we go through each step of the roadmap development:
- Refresh1-Year Goals
All goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time based). There will be two types of goals:
- “Core Goals” are focused on company growth and profitability.
- “Gap Goals” are focused on closing the “Gaps” uncovered during the Guided Discovery experience where leadership has identified an area within the business that is IMPORTANT but feels PERFORMANCE is lacking.
- Test Short and Long-Term Goal Alignment
The next step is to look at the alignment between the company’s 1-Year goals and their longer-term vision. The 1-year goals should support the 3-year objectives, which in turn must support the 5 to 10-year vision.
- Convert Goals into Key Initiatives
Key Initiatives are the actions that need to be taken to accomplish Core Goals or Gap Goals. A company’s key initiatives are like the gas you put in your car: all the work and time put into building the car is of absolutely NO VALUE until you fill it up with gas. This step converts plans into action.
- Prioritize Key Initiatives & Assign
The last step before creating a Roadmap is assigning the Key Initiatives either to the Company (leadership team) or to a Department (department head). This can be a tricky exercise in business logic, but it is vital. Think of Key Initiatives as Lego pieces that you are putting in place (one Lego at a time) until you build that cool fire engine, only in your case the cool fire engine might be growing net profits by 25%.
- Finalize the 1-Year Roadmap
At the end, we’ve developed the roadmap which provides a clear picture of precisely which Key Initiatives will be addressed, by whom and when.
As a leadership team creates the company’s roadmap together, alignment is achieved. With a clear path to follow, including ownership and timelines, the company can cohesively move forward, confident that everyone is on the same page.
The C Squared team has skilled guides to walk leaders through this process. We offer the initial Guided Discovery session free of charge because it gives us a chance to pay it forward and to help businesses succeed. If you’re planning for growth in 2023, your first step needs to be to set up your complimentary Guided Discovery process to ensure your leadership team is fully aligned and ready to advance quickly.