Your Business Execution Checklist

November 26, 2020
# min read
Howard Litwak
Star

A successful organization is one where all the parts are working together (are in alignment). These organizations are innovative, customer responsive, and prevent fires - they're not spending their time putting out fires. The Star Model above provides a model for alignment.

Organizations of all sizes that have taken the time to master alignment will maximize the short and long term payout both from a financial and emotional perspective. This alignment is what creates a company which is "World Class", "Remarkable", and "Best." (Fill in your own descriptive term)

Notice that nothing in this model stands alone. Everything touches everything else. All of the points of the star are foundational to the fundamentals of business: getting customer's and best serving customers in order to retain them. I've broken down the specifics of each point of the star below.

STRATEGY

  • Compelling Vision is established and well communicated
  • Core Values are established and alive throughout the organization
  • Yearly objectives are identified
  • Target markets are clearly defined with demographics and psychographics
  • Unique selling proposition is created for each market
  • Additional resources needed to achieve yearly objectives are identified
  • Additional skills and knowledge needed to obtain objectives are identified.

STRUCTURE

  • Organizational chart is created showing accountabilities of roles
  • Position descriptions are completed for each role including responsibilities, results expected, standards, and key performance indicators
  • All identified systems are documented in writing using checklists where ever possible to create an operations manual
  • Ensure that roles and responsibilities are aligned with team member's strengths

PROCESS

  • All organizational systems are identified
  • "Done Right" for each process is clearly defined
  • All processes are regularly evaluated for continuous improvement

REWARDS

  • Performance is measured against desired results and core values
  • Recognition programs encourage behaviors which lead to desired results

PEOPLE

  • Ensure that success oriented habits and attitudes are developed and reinforced
  • Make sure that team members understand each other's strengths, weakness, and behavioral styles
  • Succession plans are in place for key roles

CUSTOMER LOYALTY and RESULTS

  • All departments have goals established which support overall objectives
  • All points of connection with customers are identified.
  • Areas of opportunity to improve points of connection to deliver remarkable service are identified and best practices established
  • Indicators of company's financial health are identified and tracked in order to know whether the business is on track to producing the desired results or not

LEADERSHIP

  • Company culture revolves around:
  1. Always provide the best service to the customer,
  2. Always do the best job possible
  3. The workplace should be where one constantly learns, grows, and improves
  • Up to 5 quarterly priorities are identified which support yearly objectives. A #1 priority is clearly defined
  • Tracking system for Key Performance Indicators is implemented
  • Necessary information flows daily and weekly through a meeting rhythm
  • Goals are established to obtain needed resources

Here are some questions you can use to evaluate where your business stands now on each of the points of the star:

Strategy

  • Are employees aware of your objectives, do they agree, are they in alignment?
  • How are your current efforts securing your pre-determined business objectives?
  • Can you tie your business decisions and actions back to your core values?
  • Do you have a picture of the future that you believe you will realize?
  • What are your top priorities?

Structure

  • Do you have the right people on the rights seats of the bus, and are resources allocated correctly? How do you know?
  • Do you spend a lot of time putting out fires?
  • How do departments know what other departments are doing?

Process

  • When was the last time you improved your core processes (i.e.: take out waste, inefficiencies, and extensive costs?
  • Are you meeting process deadlines?
  • What does "done right" look like and how long does it take?
  • How well are you meeting speed and quality delivery?
  • How are you challenging everyone to seek innovative and improved methods of doing business and growing the company?
  • Do you ask your people to analyze processes which interfere with their performance and the performance of the organization?

Rewards & Recognition

  • How do you currently measure performance?
  • What do you reward and why?
  • When things aren't going well, what do you reward?
  • How often do you review employees?
  • Is there a recognition program that shows your people you appreciate your efforts and that their accomplishments are recognized?

People

  • What is the biggest issue you have in managing your people?
  • Do you feel your people have the skills necessary to implement your plan?
  • How do you gauge your people's productivity?
  • How do you measure morale of your employees?
  • Do you have people ready to fill succession plans?
  • How do you make people feel that they are an important part of the organizational whole?
  • How well do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? Your people's strengths and weaknesses?
  • Does each person in the organization have a detailed development plan with short and long term goals and action steps?

Leadership

  • How do you develop leaders?
  • How would you differentiate the difference between a leader and a manager and what is more important to the success of your organization?
  • Do day to day operations reflect a "How can we make things better" philosophy?
  • What qualities do you need to develop to be a better leader?
  • What qualities do your people need to develop to be better self-leaders?
  • Is everyone in the organization committed and focused on achieving organizational success?
  • Is the culture one which encourages people to be their best and perform their best?

Results

  • How do you measure success?
  • How do you know if you're moving in the right direction?
  • How satisfied are you with your current business results?
  • How do you measure your customers' satisfaction?
  • How are you maintaining consistent growth and improvement?
  • Are you focusing on results rather than activities?
  • What is standing in the way of achieving your goals?

This is your road map to an organization which is proactive and innovative. One which develops loyal customers, not just satisfied customers. These are your keys to a high performance organization. If you focus on aligning the points of the star in your organization, you will be rewarded with higher profits, better standing in the marketplace, and less stress!

Read the next article in the series:
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