If your company is growing, it probably has well-established priorities. The organization that understands and acts upon its top five priorities is one that progresses and grows. As a business leader, how are you growing your company?
You need to keep each person working in the company focused. It’s harder to do once a company grows to over 30 employees. It becomes harder to personally interact with staff, so how do you keep everyone aligned and on the same page?
Priorities need to be set for each quarter, and no more than five. Then you need to identify one goal that supersedes the others so you have a Top 5 and a Top 1-of-5 priority list. Verne Harnish goes into detail about this in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.
Each member of the staff should know what the top five priorities are, and what the top one of the five is. As a result of strategic planning, you should know what challenges your company faces in the long-term, and how to align everyday goals to meet those challenges.
Once you’ve determined your company’s top five priorities and top one of five, each of your executives must determine his or her top five and top one of five. Make these lists on the basis of a regular performance appraisal process. And continue to cascade this down the organization until you reach everyone.
When everyone knows their priorities, then regular progress reports and meetings should bring clarity, relevance and energy to each individual. You create alignment around what people are working on, what matters most.
Providing, of course, that there is a system of accountability in place. Without checking in on progress through meetings, there can be a lack of commitment to delivering results. You need resources, deadlines, and even sub-deadlines to make priorities urgent and real.
Sounds obvious, yet how many times do I see bosses and staff setting out clear priorities without adequate follow-up? You’d be surprised. There are many reasons for this. Identifying and pursuing your top five and top one of five can be difficult and even painful. This whole process can be at the least uncomfortable. If it isn’t then, you probably haven’t zeroed in on the right set of priorities.
It has been said that the shortest distance between two points is clarity. Your strategic planning should bring about such clarity. Does it? I’d love to hear from you. If you’re interested in growing your company you might want to have a conversation with me. Check out this page here.