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Author: Gary Frey

Plans and Performance Visible to All

Fans wouldn’t tolerate going to a game where no one kept or knew the score.

Yet, many companies expect employees to be excited & engaged without making their plans or performance visible to everyone. (Kind of like going to a soccer game without knowing or posting the score – hardly engaging.)

How can we make the 10th Rockefeller Habit (The company’s plans & performance are visible to everyone) a reality & make the game of business more exciting?

Here are four items on the Rockefeller Habits Checklist that can help:

  1. A “situation room” is established for weekly meetings (physical or virtual).
  2. Core Values, Purpose & Priorities are posted throughout the company.
  3. Scoreboards are up everywhere displaying current progress on KPIs and Critical Numbers.
  4. There is a system in place for tracking & managing the cascading Priorities & KPIs.

Already doing these things? Goooooaal! Want to up your game? We’re here to help.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #10 of 10 Rockefeller Habits.

Did You Have a Good Day at Work?

Imagine going to a football game that doesn’t keep score. Crazy! Who wants to go to THAT?

We all want to know: Are we winning or losing? Yet, we subject our employees to that craziness if we don’t give them clear success measures. THEY want to know if they are winning or losing.

How do your employees know if they’re winning or losing?

That is the essence of the 9th Rockefeller Habit…Can all employees answer quantitatively whether they had a good day or week? Here are four items on the Rockefeller Habits Checklist that can help:

  1. 1 or 2 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are reported on weekly for each role/person.
  2. Each employee has 1 Critical Number that aligns with the company’s Critical Number for the quarter (clear line of sight).
  3. Each individual/team has 3-5 Quarterly Priorities/Rocks that align with those of the company.
  4. All executives & middle managers have a coach (or peer coach) holding them accountable to behavior changes.

If your team doesn’t have meaningful KPIs, they may as well be playing football without keeping score.

Want facilitation? We’re here to help.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #9 of 10 Rockefeller Habits.

How Clear is Your Strategy for Your Executive Team?

On a scale of 1-10, rate the alignment of your Executive Team on each of these: Your BHAG? Your Core Customer(s)? Your Brand Promises? Your Elevator Pitch? Gutsy?


Ask your team if they can articulate each of these key elements of your company’s strategy from the 8th Rockefeller Habit:

  1. Does everyone know your company’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)? Is progress tracked & visible?
  2. Is everyone clear on who are your Core Customer(s)? (The ones who you love to serve, deliver your best margins, pay on time, & refer you to others.) Can they articulate what they look like in 25 words or less?
  3. Can everyone articulate your 3 Brand Promises? (Primary & 2 Secondary) Do you have KPIs tied to these & are you reporting on them weekly?
  4. How aligned are they on your Elevator Pitch? (A compelling response to the question, “What does your company do?”)

If you’re happy with the results, congrats! If you aren’t satisfied with the results, there is HOPE. You must make alignment on these foundation stones of your company a PRIORITY. It doesn’t just happen on its own.

Want facilitation? We’re here to help.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #8 of 10 Rockefeller Habits.

Core Values Can Be Your Superpower

Core Values & Purpose: Dead words? Or, are they so alive that they are your company’s “superpower”?

As the CEO, the difference is YOUR responsibility, not HR’s.

A fast way to tell how “dead” or “alive” they are in your company: Ask yourself & your team these challenging questions from the 7th Rockefeller Habit:

  1. Have your Core Values been discovered & has your Purpose been articulated? Are both known by ALL employees?
  2. Are all of your executives & middle managers referring back to the Core Values & Purpose when giving praise or reprimands?
  3. Are all of your HR processes & activities aligned with the Core Values & Purpose (hiring, orientation, appraisal, recognition, etc.)?
  4. Are actions identified & implemented each quarter to strengthen the Core Values & Purpose in the organization?

If you’re happy with the results, congrats! If you aren’t satisfied with the results, there is HOPE.

YOU & your team can have a massively positive impact on your corporate culture AND on the lives of SO many. You must be deliberate. It doesn’t just happen on its own.

Want facilitation? We’re here to help.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #7 of 10 Rockefeller Habits.

“Can you give us perfect “10s”? “If not, why?”

Some customer surveys seem so selfish. They annoy me. HOWEVER, when was the last time you & your management team directly asked your customers about how they are doing?

How about their perspective on your company’s competitors? Now THAT is engaging.

It’s amazing the valuable information you can uncover if you simply change the questions & ask your clients DIRECTLY vs. outsource customer feedback to the marketing department.

Here are 4 game-changing questions from the 6th Rockefeller Habit:

  1.  Are ALL of your executives (& middle managers) having a 4Q conversation with at least one end user weekly?
    • a) How are YOU doing?
    • b) What’s going on in YOUR industry/neighborhood?
    • c) What do you hear about OUR competitors?
    • d) How are WE doing?
  2. Are the insights from customer conversations shared at your weekly executive team meeting?
  3. Are all employees involved in collecting customer data?
  4.  Do you have a mid-management team responsible for the process of closing the loop on all customer feeback?

If you are actively addressing these, congrats! If not, we’re here to help.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #6 of 10 Rockefeller Habits.

Feel like the weight of the organization is all on your shoulders?

Working longer hours than ever? Has complexity increased while freedom & fun have diminished? CEOs & management teams: It’s time to distribute the load!

Identifying & assigning accountabilities throughout the organization is critical to lightening your load. Here are a few items found in the Rockefeller Habits Checklist that deal with Habit #4: “Every facet of the organization has a person assigned for ensuring goals are met.”

  1. The Function Accountability Chart (FACe) is completed (right People, doing the right things, right).
  2. Financial statements have a person assigned to each item.
  3.  Each of the 4-9 processes on the Process Accountability Chart (PACe) has someone that is accountable for them.
  4. Each 3-5 year Key Thrust/Capability has a corresponding expert on the Advisory Board if internal expertise doesn’t exist.

Insight CXO helps bring clarity and alignment to people, strategy, execution & cash flow in measurable sprints across the organization — from the management team on down.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #4 of 10 Rockefeller Habits.

Communication is Consistently the Biggest Challenge

The #1 challenge when two or more people are working together is communication (anyone married?)*

So how can we make it less frustrating and more effective?

The key is an effective communication rhythm.

How is yours?

Give yourself a gold star for each of the following meetings that you and your team are consistently implementing:

A) Daily?

B) Weekly?

C) Monthly?

D) Quarterly?

E) Annual?

If you didn’t get a 5-Star meeting rhythm rating, don’t give up. There’s still time to dramatically improve your meeting rhythm, drive greater organizational communication, alignment, and effectiveness. When executed properly, you’ll save you and your team precious time and unnecessary frustration.

Insight CXO helps bring clarity and alignment to people, strategy, execution & cash flow in measurable sprints across the organization – from the management team on down.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #3 of 10 Rockefeller Habits.
Grenade

The Power of Core Values & the Impact of a Hand Grenade

Grenade

My boss welcomed me into her office & shut the door. I had no idea that meeting was about to deliver the impact of a hand grenade.

“Welcome to OUR company. We’re glad you’re here,” she greeted me.

She quickly moved to a topic sacred to her & to the company: Core Values.

She smiled but took on a serious tone. She said, “We stand for 3 things: 1) Do the Right Thing, 2) Teamwork & Trust, 3) Have a Passion for Winning – in that order.”

It wasn’t marketing gibberish. These were expected & rewarded behaviors here. She continued, “My job is to make sure the CEO knows who Gary Frey is. Your job, once you’ve built your team, is to make sure I know who your stars are. Hire your replacement & never be afraid to hire people smarter than yourself.”

Servant Leadership: She didn’t just talk about it. She LIVED it. She led by example.

Her peers & the CEO recognized her for it. She had the most coveted object in our company tucked away on her shelf: a Waterford crystal hand grenade. She never mentioned it. She didn’t have to. It was legendary. A precious few were given by the CEO to associates who had “jumped on the grenade” on behalf of our associates & customers.

She remains the best boss I’ve had. My takeaway: Know your core, lead by example, & when necessary, “jump on the grenade.”

(NOTE: This post launched on LinkedIn on 1/15/2018 to honor my former boss and our former CEO who set the tone as well as gave the coveted “Crystal Hand Grenade” award. By 2/14/2018 it had been viewed by 7.9 million people. Amazing.)
Communication

Improve Efficiency & Effectiveness? Start by Asking These 5 Questions.

Communication

Communication. Is it just me or is it really lacking in the workplace?

The #1 challenge when two or more people are working together is communication (anyone married?)*

So how can we make it less frustrating and more effective?

The key is an effective communication rhythm.

How is yours?

Give yourself a gold star for each of the following meetings that you and your team are consistently implementing:

A) Daily?

B) Weekly?

C) Monthly?

D) Quarterly?

E) Annual?

If you didn’t get a 5-Star meeting rhythm rating, don’t give up. There’s still time to dramatically improve your meeting rhythm, drive greater organizational communication, alignment, and effectiveness. When executed properly, you’ll save you and your team precious time and unnecessary frustration.

Insight CXO helps bring clarity and alignment to people, strategy, execution & cash flow in measurable sprints across the organization – from the management team on down.

*Scaling Up. Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #3 of 10 Rockefeller Habits: “Communication rhythm is established and information moves through the organization accurately and quickly.”
Alignment

Make This Quarter Count. Align.

Alignment

Is everyone aligned with the #1 thing that needs to be accomplished this quarter to move the company forward?* Do they even know what it is?

If not, consider these 3 questions:

1) Have you and your management team identified & prioritized the three most important “rocks” or priorities that must be accomplished in this quarter to hit your one-year goal?

2) How have you communicated these priorities & gained buy-in/ownership throughout your organization?

3) Have you set a “theme” for this quarter’s #1 priority & set up a “scoreboard” to make the metrics top-of-mind & increase engagement?

Insight CXO helps coachable CEOs inspire leadership, accelerate growth, & crush the competition. We bring clarity and alignment to people, strategy, execution & cash flow in measurable sprints across the organization – from the management team on down. Our goal is to help you double your business (or more) in 3-5 years.

*Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. #2 of 10 Rockefeller Habits: “Everyone is aligned with the #1 thing that needs to be accomplished this quarter to move the company forward.”