10 Maggio 2015 § Lascia un commento
Often, when you get to the point that people agree to move forward with the collaboration, everyone thinks, “Whew! We are done.”
You’re not done—not even close. Now it is time to deliver.
A lack of focus on the discipline of implementation is the main reason companies fall short on their promises. That’s because implementation is more than a tactic; it is a discipline and a system that has to be embraced by leadership and ingrained into the threads of a company’s strategy, goals, and culture.
Three Keys to Successful Implementation:
1. Focus on the Goal
Successful implementation comes through focus. Individually, team members have to know what to do; they have to want to do it; they have to know how to do it; and they have to be disciplined in sustaining the course to get it done. As a team, they have to work well together by relying on one another, overcoming barriers, demonstrating trust and transparency, and holding each other accountable. An increased level of trust among participants will heighten confidence in one another’s intentions and actions, infusing commitment toward the common goal. When they have commitment, they are even willing to override personal self-interest in the interests of the collaborative.
Focus is required to prevent the ever pervasive scope creep that regularly slides into business projects. This can be costly and demotivating. Therefore, set hard deadlines and stick to them. Do not let inertia set in “to let others catch up.” When deadlines are not adhered to, the initial building phase can go on for years, even indefinitely. That’s why it is important to set goals, which can be easily viewed as a project with a specific beginning and end. This is much easier to get your arms around for planning, budgeting, and measuring return on collaboration.
2. Celebrate Success
Referring back to the race car analogy used earlier in this chapter, you have to keep the team motivated throughout the race. That checkered flag may be a long way off in the distance. That’s why it is important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Break down large projects into small steps to demonstrate “wins” in shorter time frames. Showing progress keeps everyone energized toward achieving the goal.
Keep the flame of purpose lit (the internal PR plan) so people don’t forget why they need to collaborate. It is important to align resources, recognition, and incentives to reinforce commitment.
3. Track, Measure, Adjust
Collaborators tend to have an entrepreneurial spirit—always looking forward, moving on to the next venture. This is an advantage and disadvantage. While being forward-thinking is a required characteristic for successful leaders, it often makes us forget the all important step of evaluating our efforts to ensure we are achieving return on collaboration (ROC).
Several factors can change over time that can cause collaboratives to veer off track. Market shifts, economic swings, competitive landscape, and consumer demands are continuously changing the business environment. Any collaborative strategy has to be adapted in response to these environmental changes.
Other changes may be going on within the collaborative that also need to be monitored. Are the goals and objectives of the collaborative’s members being achieved? How have expectations or opinions toward the collaborative changed? Have new players or leadership been introduced? Have new risks emerged that need to be addressed?
To ensure the collaborative stays on the right path, develop tracking systems and measures for both the planning and execution phases. Regularly assess your systems and measures. Does the tracking system get to the heart of the problem you’re trying to solve? Do your measures really tell you whether you’ve accomplished the objective? The right measures help make expectations clear. Get the team involved by pushing metrics/scorecards down to the team, where the data is being collected and used. A good scorecard has long-term outcomes and leading indicators (short-term drivers).
Don’t let the data get in the way of discussing why things aren’t working. It is up to the leader to see that meaningful conversations take place after all the numbers are reported. Therefore, set up formal reviews. Successful execution of plans means continual reviews. Meetings should track objectives and variances with a critical eye toward corrective action. Don’t allow rationalizations and excuses to obscure reality. People and resources should be a top priority at review sessions. The right people need to be in the right roles. This means continual evaluation.