The Execution Decisions

The heartbeat of your company pulses down from the CEO, and up from the employees and customers.
Business-people-with-clipboards

Last month, in the September issue, we explored the STRATEGY Decision. This month, let’s explore how a Scaling Up Coach would help a local Edmond management team work on EXECUTION within the 4 Decisions to Scaling Up their company.

Thousands of corporations utilize the 4 Decisions every company has to get right: 1- People, 2- Strategy, 3- Execution, and 4- Cash. Their C-Suite level executives are determined to scale up their companies 10x larger when they read Scaling Up.

If you’d like an abbreviated version of the 4 Scaling Up chapters on People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash as a sneak peak, visit my website www.StacyEads.com to request a free copy. No strings attached, just an 8-page PDF. Remember, this Edmond Business column is my community give back to my hometown who has given me so much over my lifetime.

Execution

The two key questions covered within the Execution Decision are:

  1. Are all your core processes running without drama?
  2. Is your execution driving industry-leading profitability?

More processes; less drama

I’ve said this before in past columns, Scaling Up your firm sucks cash and creates chaos if you don’t have proven processes in place. As you grow from a solopreneur to a small business, you have to create a written process because the staff you hire to help you can’t read your mind. At this level, you’ve got to have “SOPs” (Standard Operating Procedures) that take the guesswork out of each of your core processes.

There are typically 4-7 core processes that run your company. You’re not writing novel after novel in 3-ring binders on a dusty shelf. You should be focused on only the core processes that are most integral to a great experience and high profitability.

As you grow from a small business with only one layer of “CEO to employees” to adding a second layer of “CEO to Department Heads to Employees,” you will lose your effectiveness without processes. You not only need a way to write down SOPs, but your building up and coaching other managers now. They will need to learn how you make decisions, so they can live up to your expectations. Otherwise, you’ll end of micromanaging to death.

In both cases, a solopreneur adding their first dozen or so employees; or a small business adding an entirely new layer of management in the org chart… BOTH require a clear process for communicating effectively. Remember the telephone game where you all sat in a circle as kids? What was first whispered into the second person’s ear was nowhere near what came out of the ninth child’s mouth at the end! In Scaling Up, we call the right communication process “the pulse of your company”. We believe the heartbeat of your company pulses down from the CEO, and up from the Employees and Customers too.

Meeting rhythms

Verne Harnish, the author of Scaling Up, is famous for the Meeting Rhythms that add accountability and insight into your routine. There’s a Daily Huddle of no more than 12 minutes where everyone is standing to cover the News, Weather, and Traffic of the day. You learn “what’s up” with each person or each department, and they commit to what they will achieve that day. A report on your daily metrics is given, and employees speak up if they have any “Stucks” that are roadblocks impeding their progress. Shorter, standing meetings = more focus!

Internal to your team, the Scaling Up Meeting Rhythms are a set agenda for Daily Synchronization, Weekly Detailed Project updates, and Monthly transfer of Leadership DNA and knowledge to build what John Maxwell would call a” Level 5 Leader.”

Then Coaches help their Scaling Up clients during Quarterly and Annual retreats to “work on the business” rather than “in the business.”

For a free 30-minute coaching session to learn the Scaling Up Meeting Rhythms, please visit www.calendly.com/stacyeads/business-coaching to set up a private Zoom training with no further obligation.

Rockefeller Habits

Harnish studied John D. Rockefeller in depth to determine the 10 Rockefeller Habits to his continued success. The 70,000 businesses who follow the Scaling Up methodology all around the world use this Checklist as a How-To-Guide to Execution.

After all, you can have the greatest team (PEOPLE), with the greatest ideas (STRATEGY), but if they don’t EXECUTE… will you accomplish anything in the end? No.

Each of the 10 Rockefeller Habits typically include up to 4 behaviors to consistently perform as a team, per category. Here’s a very brief recap of the categories:

  1. Healthy Team: Is your leadership team healthy & aligned?
  2. Alignment to the Main Thing: Can your whole company state the #1 Main Thing for the day, the week, the month, or the quarter?
  3. Meeting Rhythms: Is your team pulsing with the synchronized heartbeat of your company in Daily Huddles?
  4. Clear Accountabilities: Do you run your company by metrics, rather than your gut?
  5. Employee Feedback: How often do you solicit employee feedback, surveys, engagement scores, and Start. Stop. Keep questionnaires?
  6. Customer Feedback: Are you conducting Net Promoter Score one-question surveys to know the brand perception of all your stakeholders?
  7. Values & Purpose Alive in the Company: Are your Core Values just a dusty poster in the break room, or have you brought them to life with intentional daily and weekly activities?
  8. Articulate the Strategy: Have you proactively worked on your one-phrase strategy being profit-driven, and known throughout the company from top to bottom?
  9. Know a Great Day/Week: Does every employee know if they had a great day or a good week with clear, accountable metrics for their specific role?
  10. Plans & Performance Visible: Do you have a posted Scoreboard that’s visible for everyone in their department to see their daily metrics during the company’s Daily Huddle?

Are you tracking if you have industry-leading profitability?

Many CEOs and CFOs look at their own internal metrics to see growth patterns year to year. But it’s a good practice to have curiosity about how your metrics fit within the larger industry or your geographic area. Sometimes this can be easy to find; other times, harder to find.

Automotive dealerships often put out books to show all the leading and lagging Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) per dealership in their group, or their region. Public companies have quarterly statements and annual data online. Yet for those private companies who don’t have access to their competitor’s profitability information, you can sometimes look to associations for guidance. Industry associations sometimes anonymously compile the data for trends and standards. Reaching out to Better Business Bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, or Economic Development Centers within your region may be of assistance as well.

The Universal EXECUTION Principles

In fact, almost every one of the 13 Executive Teams I coach started their Scaling Up journey wanting to work on Execution, because no matter how good you are, you always know you can strive for better, quicker, or faster.

Everyone has heard the common phrase if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. However, I take it a step further. If your strategic planning session doesn’t cover HOW to achieve your goals within a 13-Week Race, you’re doomed to stutter step at the starting line.

When I facilitate strategic planning retreats each quarter teaching all 4 Scaling Up Decisions in both the United States and Canada, the most important part is emphasizing that after I leave, they have a 13-Week Race to achieve all the goals they set out for the quarter. Every day matters.

Originally, I deployed best-selling author Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up book and toolsets when I ran a Metro-area software firm over the last decade, including the Scaling Up One Page Strategic Plan, and 10 Rockefeller Habits checklist. I don’t just teach the Execution Decision – I’ve lived it, day in a day out while I was an Oklahoma Most Admired CEO.

I became a Certified International Coach because I loved the idea of sharing the tools with other CEOs, like I do in this monthly Edmond Business column. In the coming months, we’ll explore each of the other Scaling Up Decisions.

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About Stacy Eads

Edmond native & UCO Alumna, Stacy Eads, is an award-winning “Most Admired CEO” who scaled her company as a Woman in Tech before becoming an International Scaling Up Business Coach. She now empowers other CEOs from $2M to $200M to embrace their leadership potential through quarterly strategic planning. Her talent is in high demand to CEO Coach, Train Teams, and Speak at Events in both the U.S.A. and Canada.

Stacy Eads’ career affiliations include 50 Women Making a Difference award, Circle of Excellence award, Torch Ethics award, Most Admired CEO award, Edmond Chamber & UCO Mentor, Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma Board of Directors, TEDx OKC Speaker Coach, and Ambassador Chairwoman for the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce.