Best of 2023: 3 Levers To Drive Accountability, Why Your Strategy Depends On Your Culture & ‘The Daily Huddle’ & Yearly Themes Done Right
28 January 2024 Newsletter
“Growth for the sale of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell.” Edward Abbey
Hope you’re Thriving!
I hope your New Year is off to a good start.
Over the holiday season, I’ve collected some of my favourite articles and podcasts from the year to share with you. Kind of like a best-of from 2023.
Couple this with my recommended reading list and hopefully, there is something of real interest and value for you each week.
I’m keeping them short and sharp.
Enjoy your holidays and stay safe.
Why Your Strategy Depends On Your Culture
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is the famous quote attributed to the legendary management consultant Peter Drucker.
Of course, the culture proponents are cheering it on, saying it validates their beliefs. In contrast, the strategy proponents say it’s misrepresented and offer their ideas, stating, “What he really meant was…”. Either way, when taken at face value, a team with a dysfunctional culture, the wrong people or a poor vision will struggle to effectively execute a strategy, no matter how brilliant that strategy is.
And here at Evolution Partners, this is our lived experience daily as we scale up mid-market firms. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the strategy we build with the leadership team, unless we have the right people in the right seats, doing the right things the right way within a cohesive team, the strategy will fall over, or at the very least fail to achieve its potential.
So how can we consider how these two critical elements interact?
The culture must be strong enough to support the execution of the strategy.
Suppose your strategy is to take on an established industry with a new offering to create a unique and valuable position for your firm. In that case, your chances of success are minimal if your team is ineffective.
What of breakfast?
Breakfast is the first meal of the day. It’s foundational. The strategy depends on the strength of the culture before it can proceed. They interact to achieve your goals.
Imagine a horizontal line that represents a measurement of your culture’s strength. The longer the line, the stronger your culture.
Next, imagine a vertical line that interacts with your cultural line, which represents a measurement of the strength of your strategy. Again, the longer the line, the better your strategy.
3 Levers To Drive Accountability
When we start working with them, accountability is one of the main concerns and the source of frustration for CEOs and leaders. “We need to keep people more accountable” is a sentence we hear repeatedly.
If this is something you’re currently saying (or thinking), you’re not alone.
While many views address accountability, the simple and proven approach below will give you momentum and a way to measure and evolve.
Mapping your team members in a 2×2 graph, like the example below, will give you a visual aid of your team members’ accountability levels relative to behaviour and productivity.
Most of the leadership teams we work with go through this mapping process, asking themselves the following questions;
Behaviour axis: How consistently is the person behaving in line with our company Core Vales? (None of the time – Almost all the time)
Performance axis: How consistently is the person delivering as per the role expectations? (Below expectations – Exceeds expectations)
In the top right quadrant, we have those who consistently perform based on your expectations and consistently behave in line with your company’s core values. Let’s call them your high performers.
But what should we do about the team members in each of these areas, and how can we develop an action plan to be confident that our actions are, in fact, correct?
Read the full article here: 3 Levers To Drive Accountability
The Daily Huddle’ & Yearly Themes Done Right
Dancer Concrete Design is a 40 person business specialising in polished concrete and epoxy floor coatings based in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
They physically change the design, the feel, and the impact on interior spaces by using concrete as a design element. They are a great example of a business doing the hard work to become a small giant – a business that works to become better not bigger.
One of the things I liked on their website was their yearly themes which lists out all the themes they’ve had as a business since 2011. They celebrate the new theme with handouts, new t-shirts, and signs in our business.
For example in the video below, President Nick Dancer can be seen wearing a T-shirt from their 2019 theme “Trust the process”.
2019 Theme: Trust The Process
The best work is brought to life by meditating on the task; by focusing on the doing. It’s not about the end goal or worrying about the future. To create the best, to be the best, you have to fall in love with the process of creating. It’s then, and only then, that the process is nurtured, valued and appreciated. When we focus on the process, we can ignore the pressures of an outcome. Trusting the Process is an adventure. Trusting the Process is awareness, presence, and understanding. It’s the right here and right now parts of life. When you give yourself to the moment, the creating becomes its own reward.
Here are the daily huddle questions everyone answers each day at Dancer Concrete Design:
- What do you plan to do?
- Where do you plan to get at the end of the day?
- What are your stucks (the things keeping you up at night, that are bugging you)?
And here are three great quotes from the video:
- “The daily huddle is an open book of what everybody’s business day looks like so we can make the best decision”
- “Every minute on the huddle saves ten minutes out on the job site”
- “The big driving force of our company is growing leaders who deliver best work and that means there’s always leadership opportunities.”
Watch the video here: Parkview Connections Podcast: Leading to build culture
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