Get a grip on your business
Part 6 of a series on unlocking greatness in your business. Previously, I covered what makes a great Vision, how to surround yourself with great People , how to get a handle on the pulse of your business through Data, what to do with your Issues and how set up your business to deliver on your promises, day in day out, through Process. This week I cover the 6th and final key component, Traction.
Traction is the art of channelling all of the human energy in a business to achieve desire outcomes. It’s about making the vision for the business a reality. Once leadership teams have solidified their vision, put the right people in the right seats and defined their way of doing business from the ground up, they are prepared to maximise the traction of the business.
Creating accountability and discipline and then executing it is one of the biggest weaknesses in any organisation. Every year a lot of time, effort and money goes into creating great visions and “million dollar ideas”; however, the majority of these go unrealised by leadership teams and business owners, because they are unable to gain traction in order to fully develop their ideas.
The gap between vision and execution is huge – and it takes some know-how and focus to make the goals for the business come true.
Leadership teams who don’t have a firm grasp on the business report a lack of accountability, poor communication, and stagnation within the organisation. Without having a clear sense of direction in terms of both long and short-term goals, business owners often find themselves facing chaos in the day-to-day process of conducting meetings and handling issues within the business.
One of the biggest challenges I face when working with leadership teams is the knowledge that bringing discipline and accountability into an organisation will generally make people a little uncomfortable, and these feelings or the fear of creating discomfort is often what holds organisations back from accomplishing their goals. For leadership teams who want to be successful, however, it’s important to recognise that this short-term discomfort is an important part of growth.
Gaining traction requires a full commitment from leadership teams because once they have started on a new path with a laser focus on their goals, there’s no more going back to the old way of doing things. Once the organisation develops accountability, discipline and communication, the initial discomfort eventually subsides, and core processes become the most important. This makes it easier to meet goals and accomplish more, helping business owners gain traction on the business.
Without the right processes and goals in place, meetings become unproductive and important issues can quickly begin to slip through the cracks. When leadership teams don’t have a structure in place that defines how to discuss issues, develop goals and resolve problems, even the most focused leaders will find themselves in trouble.
Leadership teams who have strengthened Traction in their organisation become more than just reactionary leaders or unorganised members of a team that doesn’t know what their biggest priorities are. Strengthening Traction gives everyone on the team a clear definition of what their responsibilities are, offering perfect clarity and timing on what has get done and what the deadline is. Through learning how to work as a cohesive unit by mastering all the elements of traction, companies can work towards the same goals and get more done in the same amount of time. Having this clarity of focus on the goals for the business provides momentum and gets leadership teams on a positive track for building the business.
Traction in a business isn’t just about increasing sales or developing a bigger customer base. Leadership teams gain traction by narrowing their focus to just the most important priorities for the next 90 days. Inspired by Steven Covey’s use of Rocks to describe strategic priorities (see link in first comment for a video of Steven in action demonstrating this principle), we refer to these Priorities as Quarterly Rocks. I touched on how to identify your rocks in the 1st key, Vision.
Developing your team’s Quarterly Rocks helps to define your priorities each quarter so that everyone is united on each of the objectives set forward for the quarter. Having quarterly meetings to establish your Rocks keeps leadership teams laser focused and working towards completing your objectives each quarter, and helps to focus on the future.
The Quarterly Rocks process works by having leadership teams come together every 90 days to establish their top priorities for the next 90 days, with heavy consideration placed on the goals of the 1-Year Plan and ultimately, the 3-Year Picture. Through this focusing session, the leadership team decides on the most important priorities to execute in order to be on track for the 1-Year Plan, which puts them on the right path for even longer-range goals.
Creating a “90 Day World” for your company provides clarity and focus so that everyone, from the leadership team on down the line is working toward the same goals while keeping long-range goals in mind as well. Meeting as a group and developing your Quarterly Rocks isn’t always an easy process, but it’s one that when executed correctly, can successfully bring leadership teams together and provide a sense of increased traction throughout the organisation.
You know when you have really unlocked this part of your business when all your staff have Quarterly Rocks that are in sync with where the business is going. For front line staff it can be as simple as cross training on other roles, documentation of process for their area or even training on new tools for their job. Whatever the choice is, if chosen properly, the individual will have a clear line of sight as to how their work is contributing to the overall goals for the business.
If you’re ready to make positive change, the first step is to schedule a free 90 Minute Meeting. This session will paint a clear picture of the system and will help you decide whether to move forward with EOS®. Schedule a 90 Minute Meeting with Us today.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you have found ways to get a grip on your business and excel at execution of your Vision in the comments section below.