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How to Integrate Strategy, Culture, and Accountability

In one of the LinkedIn discussion groups focusing on Cultural Change and Strategic Planning, the question was asked “What tools do you use to bring the three areas of growth together (people, strategy, accountability)?

Thank you Ray (client) for your comments and question. We use a few tools, an Execution Roadmap which is similar to a one page strategic plan which many of us use for our first two-day strat session. Then the following quarter I have two other tools I use, depending on the need of the client, I use a Strengths Maximizer tool which we created off the StrengthFinders 2.0 book which helps increase individual awareness and we do some work off that to increase the trust level of the team, by increasing self-worth and value of self. We then use Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team tools to work on building team awareness. We then combine all activities to identify what kind of culture.  We then develop a strategic plan based on their specific culture, and the strengths of the individuals on the executive team so they understand what they are committed to which can then be followed with accountability matrices. Most of our clients are $75-$500 million in revenue privately held. Our contracts are typically two-years (8 quarters) to complete the work.

1. Develop the Strategy (Hedgehog, BHAG, Sandbox)

2. Assess the Strengths of the Executive Team (capabilities, skill, maturity, passion)

3. Establish Accountability Metrics (90 day increments)

4. Repeat

We have found the strategy will have execution challenges if the executive team has weaknesses in capabilities, skill level, or maturity level. Using the above tools and showing them how their team fits together, and what they are capable of committing to based on team maturity level – is the special sauce in building a strategic plan.  The team can execute based on their culture – with this combination margins can grow, people can grow, and the company can be healthy – which attracts a healthier customer for growth to continue.

For discussion purposes I have over simplified the process, you can see that each of these steps/tools are highly specific in their effect on the organization. I choose these tools because it makes the members of the exec. Team see themselves, their role, and their responsibility to the team and to the organization – only then can an executable strategy be created. I work it both ways strategy to individual, and individual to strategy, so each person knows their role in making the strategy happen!

Barriers to Growth


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