“It’s time for your Mid-Year Review; Half the year is already over – will you be able to look back with no regrets? Learn the top 3 things you must do NOW to make sure you finish the year strong.”
That was the opening line from Verne Harnish’s weekly newsletter that caught my eye, and whilst he’s better known as The Growth Guy, the greatest lesson he’s taught me since we first met in 2006 is the importance of “rhythm”. I’ve since found that the better you get at finding what works for you and repeating it in certain rhythmic patterns, the greater your likelihood for success.
First some numbers to digest
My friends at 3S provided some interesting statistics from a recent survey they conducted in 305 mid-sized Iberian firms, including international companies with a local presence. Their results didn’t surprise me, since these are the very same trends witnessed in my work with start-up, small, medium & fast-growth companies, as well as the larger Fortune 500 corporations all across the planet.
- 86% of the 305 Sr. Executives agreed that their greatest challenge was to mobilize the entire company toward adapting to the continuous change of their markets
- 41% believed their strategic decisions wouldn’t have an important impact on their company’s success
- Only 23% blamed the current economic climate as the cause which limits their executive capacity
When you delve deeper into the “why” behind these alarming figures, you come to identify the root of the problem as being lacking of engagement from middle management, including the masses who have to buy-into and successfully execute the proposed strategies.
Question; If someone sets you out into the vast open sea without teaching you how to navigate a boat or give you the proper instruments, realtime updated progress data & weather reports.. where do you think you’ll end up?
Worst; If you’re set on a journey but no one can clearly articulates where the finish line is & what it looks like.. where do you think you’ll end up?
That’s why almost 90% of effective strategies on paper, never make it to successful conclusion, they lack S.M.A.R.T.E.R. expected outcomes.
The top 3 things you must do NOW to make sure you finish strong
1. Engage your Middle Management & their (staff) viewpoints into your mid-year review
2. Review the year-to-date
- What’s working? (you’ll want to do more of that)
- What’s NOT working? (you’ll want to do less of or even stop doing that)
- How are we tracking toward our year-end objectives? (what does success look like)
- Are they still realistic, relevant & what are we going to do about that? (pivot now)
- What are the Dangers ahead? (we’ll want to address these by creating opportunities)
- What are the Opportunities ahead? (what’s within our reach to influence our outcome)
- What are our Strengths? (what are we really good at that will accelerate pace toward success)
3. Communicate, update & pulse-check your plan past the finish line
- Think short cycles (days, weeks & months)
- Repeat this exercise quarterly (15th day of the last month of a quarter)
- Lead by example with Vision, a lot of energy (personality & perseverance), passion & courage
- Thirst for learning; learn from every failure to immediately communicate, apply & benefit from it
S.M.A.R.T.E.R. & Transparent Engagement is key
One of the greatest and most consistently identified problem slowing the success of most companies is employee understanding of how their day-to-day activities influence over-all company results. 53% of employees surveyed were unable to explain in depth their company’s strategy!
This is all stuff that’s within your reach! There is no room for excuses, take advantage of your mid-year review and get all of your team on the same page, or die a slow & painful death.