The Pace of Your Success
The four elements central in your HME business's performance.
- By Jonathan Walters
- Sep 01, 2019
According to Harvard Business Review, the number one reason
CEOs, business owners, and executives fail is a lack of strategic execution.
Managing a business can feel like a whirlwind of leading people, managing
process, and providing products and services to customers. We have targets,
goals, and big ideas about what we want to do and how we want to do it. However,
every time we begin to make progress, the daily grind conspires against
us, and we find ourselves off-track, frustrated by a lack of forward momentum,
and ending the day no closer to the finish line — day after day after day.
Has your business hit a growth ceiling and it seems difficult to achieve sales
the way you used to? Are your teams more focused on individual or departmental
accomplishment than overall company growth? Do your customers
find your processes difficult to understand and engage with? These are
common challenges that all HME, DME, and CRT businesses face that lead to
stagnant performance and can be detrimental for the business.
As you consider the demands and growth opportunities for your business,
you must be prepared for sustained execution that will stretch beyond the strategic
planning process. The organization must embrace a business “operating
system” that will create a consistent cadence of strategic thinking, systematic
planning, and intentional and executable actions that grow the business,
improve team engagement, and separate your company from the competition.
Here are four key “rhythms” that will provide systematic and sustainable
results to move you, your team, and your business forward.
The quintessential quote often credited to Benjamin Franklin still holds true
today, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” None of us want to fail, but
so often we don’t actually create a plan for reaching goals and then become
frustrated when our hopes and dreams do not become a reality.
If you want to have a successful year, you must have a successful quarter.
And the only way that can happen is by having 13 successful weeks in a row.
A great annual plan will provide a structured “road map” with three to five
key initiatives for the year, supported by quarterly priorities and weekly action
items that move the organization towards its goals — every single day.
Do this: Get out your calendar right now and schedule your annual planning
session for your executive management team. Move this meeting off-site
to limit any distractions, and plan a minimum of one day to give your leadership
time to discuss, debate, and agree on what truly matters for your business.
Best practices in this would also include using an outside facilitator to
enable equal participation and engagement from all team members.
Find tools that can help ensure each participant is prepared to have candid
conversations think strategically for the coming year. These include exercises
such as Start, Stop, Keep; Opportunities and Threats; Building Your Brand
Promise; Discovering Core Values, Destination Postcards, and Measuring
Winning Moves. Each can provide valuable insight into further defining your
business, your core customer, and how true success can be achieved.
You’ve just completed an amazing off-site meeting with your leadership and built
a year-long strategy with key initiatives, quarterly priorities, and weekly action
items. How do you get everyone in the organization as engaged and excited as
you are? You cannot just send an email and expect everyone to “get it!”
It is very common to see strategic plans fail due to never being able to
overcome the communication gap of connecting the strategic plan to the daily
work of every team member. As the leader, it is your responsibility to consistently
and creatively share the vision for the year with your teams, departments,
and even individuals. Also, you must do so in a way that bridges the
gap between the work of today and your vision for tomorrow.
Shoot a video, build a slide deck, hold a town hall, set one-on-one meetings,
attend departmental meetings you don’t always attend — but make sure you
engage leaders and managers so that they understand their place in the plan
and what they can do every day to move towards your vision for the company.
3. Key Performance Indicators
One of the best ways to let your team know what is important is by consistently
measuring what matters. The development of both leading and results based
KPI’s can have an immediate and lasting impact on driving your business
forward. These numbers will tell the story of where you have been (sales revenue,
net profit, delivery times), as well as where you are going (new referrals
connections, daily sales calls, and critical conversations.).
Measuring results indicators against a target will not only tell you how you
are performing, but leading indicators can also identify levers of influence to
establish areas that can be replicated to drive growth as well as areas of weakness
that may need to be realigned or potentially eliminated. Start measuring
one leading indicator — something you can influence to move you toward
your target — and one results or lagging indicator — something that tells
everyone how you’ve done. Second, share this information with the team, get
their feedback, ask them how or why this matters to them or their department,
let them speak into what is getting measured so that it truly will matter and
they can become an active part of improving your organization’s health.
Equally as important as measuring the performance of your numbers, is
measuring the performance of your people. One of the best ways to do this
is by creating a culture of accountability that starts at the executive level and
cascades to every department.
To begin this transformation, you must first clarify expectations. When a
strategic plan has been properly designed and communicated, it will provide a
clear pathway forward, with defined roles and responsibilities for each participant.
Setting weekly status meetings for each person to provide their own
feedback via “red,” “yellow,” and “green” criteria enables open conversations to
take place and rather than condemning poor performance, it allows collaborative
efforts to take effect and establishes a healthy, honest team dynamic. It is
imperative that each person knows and understands not only what they are
responsible for achieving — but also knows how to measure their own performance
for both failure and success.
This article originally appeared in the Aug/Sep 2019 issue of HME Business.
About the Author
Jonathan Walters, ATP/SMS, CEAC, is vice president of leadership development and a complex rehab technology coach for HME management coaching and consulting firm Team@Work, which can be found online at www.teamatworkcoaching.com or contacted via phone at (260) 627-8938.