3 key ideas for success
Lead and Lag indicators, what are you measuring?
When seeking to drive improved performance across your organization most business leaders focus their attention solely on key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are ‘lag’ indicators. Lag indicators are a signal of performance AFTER an outcome is achieve and include aspects such as new sales, profit, revenue and survey results. There is nothing wrong with these measures but in isolation they are only telling half of the performance story of your business and its typically too late to change anything. What organizations looking to drive improved performance should be focused on in combination with lag indicators are lead indicators of performance. Lead indicators are a signal of performance BEFORE an outcome is achieved and include aspects such as sales calls made, conversion rate of sales team, error rate on a production line and various productivity measures. Ensure in your own business both measures are focused to speed up the rate of performance improvement you are achieving.
Is your competitive advantage still a competitive advantage?
The current information age is allowing business leaders to gain access to new business insights rapidly via the web. Advances one company had over another don’t last very long. If your point of difference over your competitors for example was ‘quality’ but within 12 months the entire market are producing product at the same quality level what do you do? Reviewing your competitive advantage (using the sustainable competitive advantage tool) on at least an annual basis will assist you to ensure you assess what competitors are doing and also what the market is valuing. It will quickly challenge you on do you still have a competitive advantage and if not then what do you need to evolve to next. No longer can you stand still for long.
Overcoming hurdles is the only way to boost retained learning
Traditional training and development of leaders involved establishing a range of attributes relating to a successful business leader and then running team members through a series of workshops to learn each attribute. This worked very well (and in many cases still does) to provide team members with the fundamental knowledge of what it takes to be an effective leader. However in the current fast-paced and volatile business environment so many of the issues leaders face on a daily basis are un-predictable and rarely straight forward. This requires a greater level of self-awareness, intuition, problem solving ability and people skills. Force Feeding the array of knowledge a business leader requires to be successful no longer works, it goes in one ear and out the other. What is required for high retained learning is to provide clear commercial goals, the tools for people to address them but allow them ownership of their own professional development to do the training, learn the tools and overcome the hurdles themselves. Each time they are forced to overcome a hurdle to achieve the commercial outcome retained learning rises dramatically and their effectiveness as a business leader with it.