Published on March 3, 2014
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution Paul Docherty- i-nexus Patrick Pecorilli – Virtual Process [Introduction] Paul: Patrick, it’s my pleasure. So I’m just sharing my screen now. Hopefully the participants can see this when they’re viewing their screens. So first of all, let me say welcome to everybody who’s joined and to everybody who’ll download and listen to this webinar later. Again, just by way of introduction, my name is Paul Docherty. As Patrick said, I’m the founder of a business that fundamentally helps organizations to execute their strategic plans most effectively. What I’m going to do today is give you an insight into some of the lessons that I’ve learned working with over a hundred different large organizations in terms of how do you actually get things done. How do you turn your aspirations into reality? And what are some of the best practices that organizations use to make that happen? The agenda for today, I’m going to focus on why is execution such an important priority? I’m going to explain a little bit of the perspective that leaders in organizations have run it and I’m going to try and unpack for you why it’s difficult and what are some of the challenges that organizations face as they try to execute their plan. And hopefully I’ll be able to then share three key ideas, three concepts if you like, or three secrets that if you can apply them successfully in your organization, you will see a significant improvement in execution follow-through with the percentage of the outcomes that you’re aiming to achieve that actually get done. And then finally I’m going to pull it all together and hopefully make a link to Patrick’s business as well in terms of how you can make the improvements that you deliver or the results that you deliver sustainable. So let’s get started. So I think it’s fair to say—and I’m sure many of you will recognize this—that if you ask a leader what’s harder, is it easier to come up with a strategy or is it easier to execute it, they’ll probably say execution is where their challenge is. In fact, that’s not really a surprise. If you think about all the guys that go to business school, what do they learn about? They learn about how to craft strategy, all the different strategic models. They don’t learn a lot about how to drive the execution of strategy. I think the critical thing that I’ve taken away from all of my experiences is that you can have the best strategy in the world but if you can’t execute that strategy well, you’ll be outperformed by businesses with a lot less effective strategies but doing them very much better, you know companies that execute well. And what I’d like to sort of share some thoughts with is some data—this is not a surprise to many people in this side I’m sure that execution is challenging. It is quite amazing how poor we generally are at execution. 1
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution I think one of the reports that was very fascinating to me was that people analysis done by Kaplan and Norton, the originators of the balanced scorecard. And they looked at over thousands of organizations and they looked at the aspirations, the goals that they stated publicly about the goals of the next three to five years. And then came back to those organizations, three to five years later and said what proportion of those organization were clearly achieved even the majority of their objectives. And the answer to that question is very few, in fact less than 10%. So it’s kind of amazing to me that if this is the reality, why isn’t this sort of problem more easily solved? Well I think if we’re going to look at it a little more deeply, let’s take a view from the perspective of the senior leaders in organizations. And I guess if you ask the question to CEOs and said,“What do you care about?” you’d kind of expect the answer to be about the growth or profit or increasing the revenue of the business or increase the satisfaction of the customers. When in fact, when you ask the question—andthis is a very well-used survey— in fact it’s a very popular one undertaken by The Conference Board. They survey the top 500 of the top 5000 global CEOs and they ask them every year what are your top 10 challenges, what are the things you’re thinking about everyday. And for the last 10 years in a row, the number one challenge has been execution or excellence in execution. In fact in 2010 for example, it wasn’t just the top challenge it was also the second top challenge as well. And that’s not really a surprise to me. If you think about everything that happens, all of the outcomes that they need to achieve you know the reality is most CEOs are making promises. They’re making promises to analysts, to their customers, to shareholders. They’re making promises everyday about what outcomes that they need to deliver. And a piece of information that I only recently learned was the average tenure of a global 1000 CEO has dropped by three years in the last five years. That’s incredible. It means that I think it’s now something like three and a half years where it was over six. So that’s basically an indication that if you’re not performing and delivering what you promise, there’s not a lot of room to maneuver as a senior leader of organization. So they’re not a surprise if this is a priority for them. But if you ask them what it is that they consider to be the challenges, if you try to pack that little bit that make execution more difficult they tend to point to the following things: poorly communicated strategy, unclear accountability, roles and responsibilities not being defined and specifically not having a follow-up process in place. And I think that’s a pretty good diagnosis of some of the sort of top-level challenges. For over a decade or so we’ve been looking into this problem at the sort of next level of detail. What is it that organizations need to be able to do very well to execute? When we started to go through it a bit more detail, it started to become a bit more clear what the real challenge is. So let’s think about all this. So if you’re filling in the shoes of a CEO and you ask yourself this question, how am I going to execute my objectives and the most of it is there aren’t many CEOs that you point to and say,“Hey is your strategy bad?” Most senior leaders would say,“I’ve got a good strategy. My challenge is disseminating that strategy.” And in fact, if you look at every organization and not just very large ones but also the small ones as well, there are really fundamentally two processes in those organizations. There’s a process by which you cascade objectives in the organization and then the process by which you report 2
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution and understand how you’re getting on in executing those. And just to give you a little bit of personal experience. Before I started i-nexus, I used to work for a large telecom supplier. And out of a pretty large organization that I had the responsibility for delivering results from several hundred million of revenue that has delivered on an annual basis, sorry. And what I felt was my challenge was how do I take my goals and how do I make the rest of the organization, how do I line them up behind my goals? What I had at my disposal was this sort of objective process that some people use. So I would sit in a room with my direct reports and I would set objectives for them and they would then do appraisals, the performance reviews of their own team. We would cascade the goals out and one of the things that pretty quickly became apparent to me was that the people at the ground level, if you like, really didn’t have much understanding when you’re going through that process what my goals were. In fact, we found that a very small proportion of people actually understood what was going on. And similarly, when I was reviewing the performance, fundamentally the information I was getting was really information about the past, what already happened. I was looking at the, if you like, the financial results of my operation but I had no idea—no in fact I didn’t really know if some things that I’ve instigated as a change or an action, I didn’t really know if it happened until I didn’t see it in the result which is no way to run a business, if you like. If you think about it, the challenge we’ve got is that the goals that we cascade into actions that create the projects that drive the execution of outcomes, those tend to not be connected. So that it’s very difficult for me to understand what’s happening in terms of when those projects will be delivered and ultimately when they’ll move the dials. Remember the dials that I’m being held accountable for moving. And we would really diagnose three core problems. We call them firstly, the 10% Problem. The reality that such a small proportion of the organization can actually articulate not just what the goals of the organization are but how their goals fit to the seniorlevel, senior executive’s results. I think this is a very worrying thing. It fundamentally means that a large proportion of the energy of the organization is not being directed towards the outcomes that you, as leaders or senior management want to achieve. The other problem which we’ll go into more detail about is what I would call urgent versus important problem. Fundamentally, when we’re in day-to-day, we know we need to do certain things because the report, so when we look at what’s all around us what sometimes what people call the whirlwind, we get distracted by getting things out the door. And we’re always trying to say to ourselves, I just made some time doing that but we find ourselves constantly pulled into things that have to be done today just to turn the handle of the business. And finally the problem we observe is what we call the Rearview Mirror Problem. It’s this problem is a really only being able to look backwards not forwards. It’s very difficult to understand in any organization because we don’t close the loop. What is it that we have in front of us? What’s the impact of all of our in-flight projects when we deliver the changes we need to deliver the results that we’ve 3
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution promised to our shareholders or to analysts etcetera? So if you think about it, the fundamental things that we’ve got to deal with when we execute is making sure that we achieve alignment and accountability. We translate the goals into something meaningful and we know who’s going to be responsible for delivering those goals. Being able to keep the focus, keep the alignment and the focus while we’re in that whirlwind and being able to look forward not just backwards. To actually understand if what we have in play is going to get us where we want to be. So if we think about it, there’s a lot of evidence. I showed you some of the evidence about challenges with execution. Some of these other evidence is showing that this is definitely the case. I mean a very small proportion of employees even see the company’s strategic plan. Never mind understanding what are the relationship of their goals to the organization’s goals. Is it any wonder then that organizations struggle to execute? So if you think about this, I think that that’s part of the problem. Another part of the problem is how organizations actually do this process and how they allocate resources. This is a little bit of a hundred thousand foot view of the same process such as discussed. Every organization that I’ve ever worked with the senior leadership take time out, contemplate an angle and think about the goals of their organization should be, the strategy etcetera, and that typically results in a set of PowerPoint decks and other kind of things that are documenting this. But it’s very poorly-defined. It’s not crisply articulated. And then you get into that process as I’ve described before this ad hoc cascades where they sort of perform goal-setting process typically administered by the HR organization. Out of which, initiatives fall at all levels of the organization. And that’s kind of setting one set of priorities for the organization. On the other side, you get what I call the Budget Dance which is a sort of annual cycle in which the organization goes through a sort of a process of deciding how resources should be allocated to the execution of initiatives and projects and other such. And it’s an amazing process which sometimes makes me fascinated in terms of how game theory works in each organization. I’m sure you get exposed to it at some point in your career which is you get this process of the top management says give me your numbers and then as it’s cascaded through the organization, everybody’s building in a bit of contingency because they know how it’s going to go. And then that’s all rolled up and when you look at the aggregate view, it’s just way more than people would want to spend. And the numbers don’t make sense. So then as a kind of really go hard at it and break this down and try to pit that and get down to a more meaningful number but everybody’s thinking well what if I don’t include this, I’ll lose it next year. So it all then rolls back up and this process takes months to happen. And ultimately, in my experience, it’s disconnected from the process of setting goals. There’s only some sort of loose alignment through the knowledge of the people at the senior level about the objectives of the organization. But the initiative allocation in this whole process is highly disorganized. And what results is almost an impossible challenge for the people trying to execute which is that they may or may not have projects 4
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution that are aligned to the goals of the organization. And more importantly, the resources they need to execute those are much likely misaligned, as well. Now, clearly this is a kind of painting a pretty negative picture of why organizations struggle with execution. It isn’t necessarily the case that organizations have to be like this. In fact, in my experience, there are some approaches that you can take and are increasingly being adopted across predominantly western organizations, increasingly some of the eastern organizations as well which have the opportunity to be a game-changer here. To really sort these issues that organizations have, really fundamental and not being able to close the loop and to ensure that that’s what cascaded down is driven to be executed ultimately rolled up to move dials. I want to give an example of the organization that is a little known but a very, very successful organization. I think in fact it’s been often coined as one of, if not, one of the most profitable organizations in the world. And that’s a company called Danaher. The reason I picked out Danaher is that they’re an example of an organization that’s performed countless acquisitions and has been able to drive a significant amount of growth and not just in the business itself from hundreds of millions to multiple billions, in fact tens of billions of revenue but it’s been able to drive an increase in value that’s outperformed all of its peers. For example this is showing you the effects of investing a hundred dollars in Danaher stocks in 1990, what it would have been worth in 2011. In fact, it went up again in 2012 as well. And you can see this blue line on top represents Danaher. And they have simply not just outperformed all of their peers in Standard and Poorbut also that the index itself. And the fundamental impression when people see something like this is how the hell are they doing this. And the answer that… People once called him the CEO of Danaher points to is firstly it’s about execution and secondly it’s about the way in which they have developed what they call the Danaher business system. And this Danaher Business System is a codification of some of the lessons I intend to share with you today. And I think it’s fair to say that the ideas behind this—there’s no monopoly of good ideas here—but the ideas behind this are wellunderstood but they’re not necessarily widely understood. And I think that’s the key. Some of the concepts I’m going to share with you have been around for a long time. It’s just that the way you can put them together and the way ultimately that you can make that, you can leverage technology to help you achieve what Danaher’s achieved, it’s amazing what other possibility is. So let me first start by sort of introducing you to what I consider to be the sort of three key secrets to successful execution. The first secret which is surprisingly very unsurprising is staying focused. I mean, one of the things that I’m sure is increasingly clear to people when they start working in an organization is people are always busy. There’s fundamentally more stuff to do than you ever have resources to do. And part of the challenge is that we have this natural temptation to identify more objectives than we have the ability to execute. And part of being focused is actually deciding what not to do rather than necessarily deciding what to do. And it’s a natural temptation to identify lots of key goals because they’re all worthy goals which if you think about it, if you take 10 goals at the seniorexecutive level and then you were to cascade those four or five through the organization, a large 5
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution organization, that’s when literally many thousands of goals that they know and actually another things get created from that. In our experience, the real key is to pick a few key things to do. Whether you call them breakthrough goals, three to five year breakthroughs or widely important goals, it’s really important that you identify a small number of things to do and then make clear what the finish line looks like. I think if many people particularly those listening from the US will remember in the fifties and sixties, NASA had a worthy goal. I think it was to be the leader in space exploration or something like that. Some worthy goal, your vision of things. The only time was when it was really galvanized was when obviously when the President made a very clear statement, “By the end of this decade, we’re going to put a man on the moon and bring him successfully back.” This example is well-known. But that’s the kind of goal that makes your finish line crystal clear and it also defines what success means in such a way that everybody understands what winning means. So if you think about this, staying focused is really one of the keys to a successful execution. The second, which has probable come out in the early analysis I shared with you, is closing the loop. So it’s not just knowing exactly what it is you’re going to do but being able to do understand if you’re heading in the right direction or whether you need to turn the super tanker. A great analogy that I often use to talk to people about organizations and strategy is if you’re the captain of a large ship and that large ship is clearly heading to the rocks, you can’t really make a lot of difference to that if you find out very late. You’re about to hit the rocks. The only time you can make a difference is when you can turn the wheel effectively right at the offset, as soon as you know you have a problem and the time it takes to reel in the ship is significant. So what’s really important is you’ve got to be able to view planning and execution as an integrated process to be able to understand effectively how those things when you execute all those projects, how they play together to move the dials. And then finally, one of the things that’s combating this urgent and important is having a way of driving relentless follow-up. And I would say that the organizations that are the most successful in strategy execution are the ones not just that focus and close the loop but the ones that put a heartbeat into the organization and ensure that there is a regular review of execution progress. And that it’s something that takes the attention of the senior leaders of the organization. In my experience, unless that’s in place and unless there’s a way of taking the heavy lifting out of that, it’s very quickly. Strategy and initiatives they don’t die because somebody decides it’s not important. They die from a death of a thousand cuts. Everyday some just doesn’t do a little bit more. It doesn’t get more attention. Eventually, the greater strategies don’t happen. And it’s really about keeping the top on mind and making sure that you’ll be following up relentlessly. So let’s talk a little bit about this first problem, staying focused. I mentioned earlier that there are two conflicting forces: The whirlwind and the goals that we’re trying to drive, the whirlwind of the day job. In my experience, the whirlwind of the day job will always win. Unless you make the judicious choices about what you’re going to focus on. And one of the things it’s very interesting to me is a lot of research done by the Franklin Covey Institute around the urgent and important and how much 6
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution time people spent on goals and what percentage of goals they actually achieve. One of the interesting things is if you aim at doing one to three goals, you’re likely to achieve one to three goals. If you aim at doing 10+ goals, you’re likely to achieve no goals. And that’s what’s interesting. So it fundamentally says, if you focus on a few things, you’re more likely to win. But when that demand is a crucial conversation within the leadership and within the organization as to what’s important to us. Which in turn, demands that we should crisply articulate our strategy in such a way that we understand what the big wind spurs would be. In my experience this is difficult. This is difficult for senior leaders because even back in the days when I used to work, I used to work for a company called Marconi. They were bought by Ericsson after the collapse of the sort of the telecoms bubble-bursting in the late 90s, early 2000s and in that time, way before then, I did a lot of the work of senior leadership team of that organization. I asked a question,“How much of your time are you spending on tasks that you would consider to be urgent and tasks that you would consider to be important?” Urgent was defined as day job tasks versus changing the business path which were important. And what was fascinating to me was this is a top management of a multi-billion dollar company. And even the top, top leadership team of a multi-billion dollar company was spending a majority of their time in what I would call the urgent not important trap which is fascinating. So there has to be a way to try to focus the organization. You have to have a mechanism because if there’s no structure, if you’ve got a lot of goals and people are trying to focus on some of those but they’re in the whirlwind, this is the result. So the question is what can I do about that? What are the options open to me? Well I’m not here fundamentally to go into the detail of this but I would offer that there’s a spectrum of different approaches that organizations use. And with these approaches they can really help. My personal favorite, if you like, is Hoshin Kanri largely because I think when you do it, it’s a sharp relief, the focus that you have to have and it drives the discussions in the organization which ultimately arrives in an achievable plan through a process called Catch-ball planning. We’ll come back later to that in this presentation. Whether you embrace an approach which is kind of less structured or approach which is more structured, fundamentally, I recommend strongly that you implement a framework to help your organization drive a discussion about what the vital goals that you’re trying to achieve are. Whether the largely important goals or the Franklin Covey 4 disciplines of execution approach or whether they’re sort of the key strategy map objectives of sort of the balanced scorecard approach or whether they’re the Hoshin Kanri concept of breakthrough objectives and being able to break that down either to planning tables or the X-matrix concept, ultimately, the key is that you create clarity and focus by building a picture of the goals that everybody can understand and being able to then cascade systematically that through the organization. So I would venture that that’s probably the most important thing you can take away from this session about staying focused in terms of that. Let me move forward to closing the loop. In closing the loop, what we’re talking about here is making 7
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution the process of goal definition, translation, execution embedding that into the business operation, effectively change the business and run the business, linking those two things together. And in this area, I think that the thing that I would argue is really important is what are we actually trying to do. And here, I think the key question is how do we bring together things that are typically discreet and fragmented in organizations? For example, in an organization today, we define a set of goals and we drive a set of initiatives and we have a set of indicators that tell us how we’re performing against that. And the real question is how can we bring it together so that we have a closed loop system to driving the questions related to not just what are the goals but what are the actions and who’s responsible for those? What’s the impact of those initiatives? Back to the example I gave where I was responsible for operation. I had no idea what the impact of the projects were because I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see that whether those dials were turning or could turn the dials that I care. So the initiatives were turning or could have turned the indicators that I care about. And ultimately, are we moving the dials? Are we really understanding whether our assumptions built into the plan makes sense? And on this area, I will say that the question is not just are we on track. And if we’re not on track, what are we doing about it which we tend to look at tools that tell us about to achieve that. But critically the question we need to be able to answer is in aggregate, will the actions that are underway get us where we want to go? What I would suggest here is that if you haven’t spent any time on this before, I would strongly suggest that you take the time to look at Hoshin Planning. I would say that there have been a few key aha moments in my life when I thought,“Well that’s really interesting when I first learned about, for example, my post graduate degree analysis or when I first learned about Six Sigma as a concept or when I first learned about Hoshin planning as a concept. It’s all those things that went, “Why didn’t somebody tell me about this 20 years ago?” And what I realized when I understood Hoshin planning is Hoshin planning provides a systematic way of effectively taking your goals and then understanding what we’re going to try to achieve this year and then deploying that into the organization. Such that on an on-going basis, on a sort of monthly review basis, you can actually understand whether you’re moving the dials. And I would say that one of the key concepts behind Hoshin is bringing the concepts of plan-docheck-act, that sort of continual review and learning process to the concept of have I moved the dial when I’m at it. So instead of saying once a year, what’s my target then coming back at the end of the year and finding out if I have or haven’t it hastened it, therefore, my super tanker’s just hit the rocks. It’s all about coming earlier in the process, setting a glide path for your targets that you’re trying to achieve and then checking to see whether your actions that you’ve opened and implemented, whether they are moving you towards the target. And if they’re not, implementing actions to get yourself back on track. In my experience, if you can put in place a goal cascade through the Hoshin process, if you can make sure that the Catch-ball process which is a concept of ensuring that the team feedback on each idea and each goal to make sure that it’s realistic as you cascade the process and if you can put in place a 8
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution monthly review using the concept for example of the Bowling Chart which is a tool that’s close to the Hoshin process that the idea behind the Bowling Chart is being able to see visually, graphically, in a visual management style way, whether you are tracking towards the targets you set on a month by month basis or not. And the key idea is if you can implement a monthly review in your organization that follows up on the progress towards goals and critically asks the question if we’re not on track and before we walk into that review we understood what it is that we can do to get back on track effectively the countermeasure plan, if we can implement discipline around this that’s visible and understood by senior leaders then you will keep your focus while the whirlwind’s around you. Or at least you have a better chance of doing that. In my experience in the organization that deploy this goal cascade and then have this monthly follow-up process in place, they have a significantly greater achievement in terms of the outcomes that they deliver because if there’s something that isn’t happening they know about it early enough to get involved and intervene and reallocate the resource that will take the action to get that plan back on track. So just to kind of come through this to the last part of the process of the Bowling Chart and the Countermeasure plan, the final pieces. This all sounds great in theory Paul. But I can see that this would be very difficult to achieve in my organization because we’d have to get leaders to put in place, cascade the objectives that sounds like a lot of Excel spreadsheet. Then I’ll have to put in place some kind of structured reporting process and hold everybody to their feet to the fire on that. That sounds like a challenging thing to do. In our experience, it is quite challenging to do. And that’s why we strongly recommend that you have to establish in the organization a time-table. A time-table that effectively becomes the heartbeat of the organization. So you have time-tables of developing the plan. And a time-table there for rolling up and reviewing the plan that explains what happens between the monthly reviews. You put in place a process to update the previous actuals, to add commentaries, to really understand and make sure it’s right before you have the review and instigate the action and then roll that forward. That heartbeat process takes some effort to put in place. In our experience, what makes it really difficult is that what we’re trying to do in that session is bring together the insight that says what are the actions we’re implementing, what progress we’re making with those actions and how are we doing it on the dials that those actions are directly trying to drive. And ultimately, are we seeing the movement not just on the leading indicators but on the lagging indicators, too. One of the things that we observed in organizations is that if you look at the process we use to do this, the process defining goals, cascading them setting objectives, executing the actions and then we overlay the tools we use to do those processes. So for example, the presentation decks, the spreadsheets and documents, the various HR tools, the project management tools, the ERP systems and even the sort of analytical tools or the sort of spreadsheet or whatever you might be using to try to understand that, the chances of being able to bring all that together and understand exactly how we’re progressing on an annual basis or even a monthly basis is extraordinarily high. And that’s why we’ve 9
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution seen the emergence of a new type of tool in organizations. In the same way as ERP emerged to solve the production planning cycle problem and organizations now can’t imagine what it would be like to run a business without an ERP system. What’s happening now in i-nexus is that they give you the forefront of this is the emergence of a new breed particularly of cloud-based software that enables you to link all pieces of the picture together. And ultimately bring together not just the tools that you might use today for setting goals like HR tools but the tools you might use to basically drive projects, the tools you might be using to implement that could measure your performance, the core performance, to putting all these together in a way where they drive execution collectively of a new type of software where you can actually do exactly what I said earlier. You can translate the goals. You can define accountability. You can drive the actions and ultimately, you can gain the insight. And it’s these kind of tools, the strategy execution software which enables you to take the head and lift it out of the process. Tools that actually help you define your cascade whether it’s via X-matrices, the Hoshin concept or simply by a goal cascade in a more sort of traditional way and run the projects and execute and track the initiatives. And ultimately understand if they’re moving the dials. And what this software’s capability allows you to do probably most of all is it allows you to reinforce that heartbeat to put in place a process which essentially ensures that as you drive month for month the execution of the action, then you can understand that those actions are actually happening. In my experience, if you can put in place a process that says to the leaders of the organization, to the project managers, to the sponsors of the initiatives, to the people who all need results this is where we are, this is what’s happening and then, hold that process month by month to the delivery of reporting at each level in the organization, then you can actually ensure that that process can be embedded and fixed. And ultimately, like I said before, relentless follow through is the key to being able to drive execution. So just as a brief sort of summary of what I’ve covered. Clearly, strategy execution is a big problem. CEOs and organizations have been wrestling these problems for many years. The current approach to strategy execution, the misalignment of resources to the fact that the processes are not integrated, the tools are not integrated make strategy execution difficult. But it’s not just a function of having the right tools and processes. It’s also a function of having people with the right behaviors, having the discipline to focus on the important versus the urgent. And to achieve that, our experiences with methodologies and approaches like Hoshin give you a framework to force that clarity, to ensure that everybody understands what they’re doing and to create the accountability. In my experience, if you have that, whilst you can look forward and you can course-correct early without the tools set to basically ensure that it becomes something that you can do without huge amounts of heavy lifting and something to lock it in place, strategy execution software for example makes that a realistic proposition. It becomes hard to keep the follow-up. And in my experience and I think that the people we have spoken to, if you ask them what really matters, it’s all about doing those three things. Staying 10
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution in focus, closing the loop and following up the . . . . That’s the summary of what I wanted to cover. I’m conscious that I aimed it at 45 minutes for this so I wanted to pass the mic back to Patrick and say a couple of things just if there’s any questions. And secondly, if you’d like a copy of the slides or like to learn more about the concepts behind this, then you can reach out to my colleague Richard Valentine who’s specifically going to be focusing on providing people with the copies of the slides. Or if you have any questions about the concept of strategy execution or how it works in practice and you’d like more information about that, I’d be delighted to talk to you personally. I think, Patrick, that’s the main points I wanted to make in today’s webinar. Hopefully the attendees find it useful. And I’ll pass it over to you. Patrick: So thanks a lot, Paul. Really interesting stuff, really appreciate it. We’ll take a few minutes for some questions, a Q&A session. I started getting questions already so I’ll just… Paul, you mind if I ask them on behalf of the participants and if you can answer them, that would be appreciated. Paul: Okay. Patrick: So a lot of stuff on Hoshin Planning it seems like you hit a nerve with some of our participants. So you mentioned Hoshin Planning in your presentation. Can you give us some examples of organizations that are using it? And I’ll put two questions in one. They’re asking if Virtual Process or i-nexus has methodology in Hoshin planning and so on and so maybe if you can answer that one, too. Paul: Yes so I think it’s fair to say that I could speak to a lot of different companies but actually what I’m going to do as part of the… For those people who want feedback, I recently presented in January this year in fact at Operational Excellence Conference this sort of Process Excellence Week in Orlando I think it was. And the question I was asked is how Hoshin planning was evolving. And I put together a slide together that shows the six or seven companies that focus on those, companies like [0:43:12.9Powerline] and HP and Xerox, Danaher, etcetera. But then I did a video to show the number of organizations that we’ve been talking to that have actually started to employ this approach. And rather than 10 or 20 companies, we’re talking literally hundreds. And I’m very happy to include that slide. I’ll add it to the slide there, a little extra if you like for anybody who’s interested in understanding who’s using thosekind of techniques. But what I also wanted to speak to is the question of is this concept uniquely employed in i-nexus? Yes I think firstlyto say, as far as i-nexus, we spent a lot of time and energy building the concept of Hoshin providing support for the form. But I did want to say a little bit about Virtual Process here. One of the slides that I covered was about closing the loop. You translate goals into action and then you implement the action but you then have to sustain the game. And the concept in Hoshin is daily management and being able to run a daily process that ensures that on a day-to-day basis what you’ve defined as a procedure or as a process sticks. And in my experience, one of the biggest challenges in that is being able to give an organization a way of specifying how that process operates and then being able to then use that process specification directly to execute process. And one of the reasons I 11
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution was really pleased to team up with Patrick and the team was that I think the way that Virtual Process come up with a solution is excellent and it really supports implementing that transition from Hoshin execution of the change into supporting daily management and making sure that the changes are actually executed. That’s my perspective on it, Patrick. Anything that I… Patrick: Oh no, that’s perfectly said. So thanks for the plug in, I appreciate it. Second question, Paul. We’re currently using the balanced scorecard. Can we leverage this as the starting point to help drive execution? Paul: Great question, Patrick. The answer is yes. A number of organizations, I think a number of organizations that have taken on the balanced scorecard probably using Hoshin as a concept. But one of the things that the balanced scorecard does, particularly strategy mapping concept is that it gives you the ability to articulate your goals and understand the logic behind that. I mean the balanced scorecard basically says if I motivate great people and they execute flawlessly on operational processes then we’ll get superior customer satisfaction that ultimately leads to great financial results. And then the reality of that is that that thinking is good. And the identification of objectives is great but the cascading of the objectives is a challenge. And what the balanced scorecard kind of prescribes is you just keep developing sub-scorecard. It doesn’t say how and what we found is take your corporate board balanced scorecard and you distill from it the objectives that really matter it’s a great starting point for then implement that as the breakthroughs you do through you Hoshin process into your annual and ultimately into your action level through the Hoshin process. So I think the two things are complementary and I think the balanced scorecard provides a great starting point. Patrick: Perfect. So, Paul, I’ll ask another question, I think we’re running a bit over so we’ll make this our last one. So John is asking, I’m curious how you sustain the strategic improvements after you’ve made them. Can you share some experience with us or with this? Paul: That’s a great question. I think it goes back to the earlier question about the daily management. I mean one of the things that when people talk about the Hoshin Kanri, they often talk about the Xmatrix and the cascading part of that and they almost completely ignore the fact that managing the operation, the daily management as we call it, is as important to sustain the game. And in fact, what tends to happen is that you almost separate the planning and the cascading, the goals and the KPIs which change the business goals from you run the business goals which is more typically the sort of ongoing quality cost delivery of operational activity. Now what’s important here in my experience is that you have to charter yourself a set of meaningful targets of those. But what’s more important is to implement a sort of process control on that. And to be able to do that, you’ve got to put in place measurement systems in your operation that look at how much variation is there in your entire process and give you the clues into that. And in my experience this is all about not just [0:48:01.6inaudible] concepts but applying that idea across all operations whether they be front-office, back-office, transactional process or whatever. Putting in place that kind of operational control where you have clear definition of what is to happen and you have the 12
The 3 Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution boundaries that you expect the process to perform in. I think this applies in financial services, in other types of industries not just in manufacturing very successfully. Patrick, I’m sure that you have to help organizations with. Patrick: Yeah definitely and what I wanted to also mention Paul to some of our guests and so on is that if anyone is interested in viewing the webinar of our software or contacting Paul and seeing how his company can help any participants, please don’t be shy. That’s what we’re here for. Paul I wanted to thank you very much for the presentation today. I think it was extremely, extremely interesting. And I also would like to tell everyone that a video will be put on YouTube, I’d say within the next couple of hours. We’ll be sending everyone the video link so if anyone wants to look back and view the video, we’ll be showing it with everyone. And if you need any information or a copy of the slides, just contact Paul’s partner, Richard Valentine. Paul: Valentine. Patrick: And he shall send that to you also. So thank you very much everyone. Thank you, Paul. Deeply appreciate it and we shall hopefully speak to some of you in the near future. Take care and have a good day. Paul: Take care. 13
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Virtual Process will be joined by Paul Docherty, Founder and Executive Director of i-nexus - the market leader in strategy execution software. Paul will ...