Why Create Working Relationships: Principles 1 & 2 Managing by Agreement and Managing by Exception

Why Create Working Relationships: Principles 1 & 2 Managing by Agreement and Managing by Exception

You can’t manage anything your people don’t agree to do. This is why employees’ agreement to do the work, coupled with their commitment to follow through and their willingness to be accountable, are at the heart of working relationships that really work. Two important principles are Management by Agreement and Management by Exception. The principles of management by agreement and by exception are the foundation for effective working relationships. These principles mean: The manager and employee have agreements about what work is to be done and how and when the work is to be done. Often these agreements are expressed in documented business systems. Any changes in the work requirements are made only after mutual agreement between the manager and the employee. The employee takes on full accountability for performing work and achieving results as agreed, and the manager is accountable for providing the employee with the resources and guidance needed. Exceptions to the agreement are reported immediately. The employee is accountable for notifying the manager and any other affected people in writing if the work will not be performed or the system carried out as agreed. The manager also notifies the employee if commitments made by the manager cannot be achieved. The manager can assume the work is being performed as agreed unless otherwise notified. Periodic check-ins between the employee and manager, called “reporting loops,” are the main vehicle for keeping each other informed about how work is progressing. Failure to notify of changes, exceptions, or missed due dates is not acceptable. Relationships built on trust are developed as managers and employees keep their commitments and successful results...
Building a High Performance Environment

Building a High Performance Environment

Building a high-performance organization requires vision, structure, and tools. An old adage suggests that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The truth is, the more things change, the more they change. Sometimes you plan and invite the change but more often than not it arrives unannounced, leaving you scrambling to respond. Change is the one constant for every business in today’s global economy. Your success will depend as much on your ability to embrace change and use it as a resource as it will on the production of your product. To create a high-performance work environment, it‘s important for you to focus on vision, structure, and tools. Clarify your strategic vision and integrate it into your company’s daily life. Create a structure that’s designed specifically for the results you want, and give your people the tools they need to perform their jobs at the peak of their abilities. Once you identify the elements of high-performance, you can begin to create an environment that uses them in your organization. No two businesses will do it in the same way. The object is to encourage a culture and build a structure that’s best suited to accomplishing your Vision. Here are the fundamental steps that will help you: First  –  Integrate the vision. There are a number of ways to build your vision into the culture of your organization. The most effective strategy is to broadcast and reinforce the vision at every opportunity, and to systematically include it in all your activities. Second –  Build the structure. You’ll be tempted to look at your company’s structure solely through...
Elements of a High-Performance Environment

Elements of a High-Performance Environment

The real hallmark of a high-performance organization is its employees’ ability to see change as a resource. Change provides an opportunity to test your assumptions and those of your team, and to grow your business. Change creates opportunities to see things in ways you don’t ordinarily see them, and to do things in ways you don’t ordinarily try. If you can use change to your advantage, it can fuel your company’s growth in ways that money and technology can’t, because it moves everyone out of their comfort zones, frees them to take a fresh look at the business, and drives invention and innovation. Constructing an organization that relishes change requires thought, planning and the willingness to stay with it until you get it right. Your efforts will pay off for everyone involved, not just employees. A high-performance company will draw-in customers, motivate vendors, attract investors, and assure lenders. Their energy and vitality inspire confidence in everyone they touch. To get you started, think about what your business would look like if it were a high-performance environment. Change is the one constant for every business in today’s global economy. Your success will depend as much on your ability to embrace change and use it as a resource as it will on the production of your product. It all starts with you Integrating the company’s vision into the daily life of the organization starts with the leader. The leader is in charge of articulating the vision, reinforcing and protecting it every step of the way. There are a number of ways to integrate your vision into the daily life of your...
Your Organization Strategy is Your Bridge to Your Future

Your Organization Strategy is Your Bridge to Your Future

No system you create in your business will more powerfully represent the progress toward your company’s Vision than your company’s organization chart. An organization chart is a graphic depiction of your company’s organizational strategy. It’s your plan for how systems and work need to be structured so that your Vision will one day be realized. In your organization chart you can plot your future with a few simple, well-placed boxes and lines The impact of having a well-conceived organizational strategy is felt by everyone in your company. For you: a plan for clear communication of accountabilities, uncompromised by individual personalities, and a reliable guide for growing your staff and developing your systems companywide. For your employees: the reassurance that comes from clarity, stability, and an honest view of where they stand and what’s to come, plus a way to see possible opportunities for their own professional development. As you work with this process to develop your organizational strategy, you are creating the framework for growing step by step, system by system, and position by position, toward your Vision. Double Vision — not a Malady, but a Necessity Double vision is your ability to see and make decisions based on two realities at the same time. The first reality is your current situation: your current employees, customers, commitments, and resources. The second reality is your dream, your vision, and how your company will look, act, and feel when your Vision is finally realized. Create your organizational strategy as it will be when you’ve achieved your Vision, and immediately begin aligning your decisions and activities with that strategy. It’s that simple....
How Do You Measure Success? With Key Strategic Indicators?

How Do You Measure Success? With Key Strategic Indicators?

Why do you need to think about key strategic indicators? Well, the short answer is, when you have a vision statement for your business, and you’ve been courageous enough to get started and invest in your dream, it makes sense that you’d want to track your results, right? Your emotions provide the impetus to keep going; yet, what you need as a small business owner is a quantifiable systematic way to track your progress and make sure what you are feeling inside about your business is in alignment with the world outside. Tracking your progress enables you to do what you love and ensure that you can line up the experience of your business with how it is actually. Moving You Forward Your Key Strategic Indicators involve the quantification of the ‘state of your business’ with an emphasis on elements spelled out in your company vision. It is also a regular inventory of the critical systems in your business with the aim of finding whether or not they are moving you toward your goal. Consider putting in writing what certain non-measurable indicators represent. Apply a numerical valuation so you understand what “inspirational workplace” or “exceptional client service” or “customer delight” actually means to you and your employees. There is value in noting how each of your employees experience your company’s progress toward excellence in each of those areas. Measurable and Non-Measurable Indicators It is common in business today to think of indicators as only those things you can objectively measure. Sales, profit margins, growth rates, assets, liabilities, net worth, market value, efficiency, units of production – they are measurable...
5 Ways to Build Value Not Work

5 Ways to Build Value Not Work

As the owner and leader of your business, your job is to build value in your organization. Taking the long view, the goal is to create a business that you can sell when you want to exit your business. Many business owners sell their businesses for significant money when they retire or move on.  Others close their doors and receive nothing for their business.  Here are 5 ways build value in your business. In order to build a business that has value when you are ready to exit, focus on these 5 areas now: Financial Performance: How is your business performing financially? Do you have good financial records? A budget? A cash plan? Key financial indicators? I am always surprised at how many of my clients do not have these in place when we start working together. Money is the blood of your business and you have to have knowledge of how money flows through your business. Growth Potential: Are you growing or are sales stagnant? Do you have potential to grow over time? Do you have a good product strategy? Do you have a marketing strategy? Differentiation: Your brand is what people say about you after they buy from you. It is more than your logo and colors. It is the feeling your customers have about your company. Is your brand strong? What is your brand? Are you sufficiently differentiated from competitors? What is your brand commitment? Do you live up to your brand commitment consistently? Customer satisfaction: Are your customers satisfied? Do you meet and exceed your customers’ expectations? Do you have a way of measuring customer...