The Savant Business Management System harmonizes the 5 most critical areas of your business – Foundation, People, Strategy, Execution, and Control. With all companies, the last four areas must sit atop a foundation and that foundation is comprised of your company’s leadership team alignment, meeting effectiveness, leadership mindset, and your company’s purpose, values, and culture which we addressed in the first two postings. In our last four posts we discussed People, and more specifically the Employee Experience, Organizational Health, Functional and Process Accountability. We also discussed Strategy and its Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning components. We will now begin the Execution area of your business with a look at the importance of Measurables, Key Processes, and Meetings (Leadership Team, 1:1s, and Career Development).

Measurables

Measurables and alignment refers to the process of ensuring that the goals and objectives of an individual employee align with the overall goals and objectives of the company. This is a crucial aspect of Savant. When individual goals are in harmony with company goals, it leads to increased productivity, employee engagement, and ultimately, accelerated business results.

Within Savant – here’s how alignment of company and individual goals works:

Defining Company Goals: The first step in aligning individual goals with company goals is for the organization to establish clear and measurable objectives. These goals should be aligned with the company’s Vision (intermediate and long-term strategy). Company goals often include financial targets, market share objectives, customer satisfaction goals, and other performance measurements applicable to the business.

Cascade Goals Downwards: Once the company goals are set, they need to be cascaded down to different levels of the organization. This involves breaking down the high-level objectives into smaller, actionable targets that various departments and teams can work towards achieving.

Department and Team Goals: Each department or team within the company should then set their own specific goals that align with the broader company goals. These goals should contribute to the overall success of the company and help fulfill its strategic objectives.

Quarterly Individual Goal Setting: At the individual level, employees work with their managers to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that directly relate to their respective department or team goals. Individual goals should be designed to support the accomplishment of departmental and, by extension, company goals. These individual goals can be broken down and managed as quarterly objectives.

Regular Check-ins and Feedback: Regular check-ins between employees and their managers are essential to monitor progress and provide feedback. These discussions help employees stay on track with their goals, identify any challenges, and adjust as needed. Managers can also offer support and resources to help their team members achieve their objectives.

Performance Evaluation and Rewards: At the end of the performance period, individual performance is evaluated based on how well employees achieved their goals and contributed to the company’s overall success. Employees who effectively aligned their efforts with company goals and performed exceptionally well are rewarded, which can include bonuses, promotions, or other recognition.

Benefits of Aligning Company and Individual Goals:

Increased Focus: Alignment helps employees understand their role in the bigger picture and prioritize tasks that contribute most to the company’s success.

Motivation and Engagement: When employees see the impact of their efforts on the company’s success, they are more motivated and engaged in their work.

Improved Communication: Aligning goals fosters better communication and collaboration between teams and departments, leading to a more cohesive and efficient work environment.

Better Decision-making: Company-wide alignment ensures that decisions made at all levels are in line with the overall direction of the organization.

Adaptability to Change: When individual and company goals are aligned, employees are more receptive to change and willing to adapt to new strategies or challenges.

Aligning company and individual goals is a critical aspect of organizational success. When employees understand how their contributions directly relate to the company’s achievements, they are more motivated, engaged, and productive, which ultimately accelerates desired business desires. Next, we look at the key processes that run your business and putting in place a system for continuous improvement.

Key Processes

Within Savant, when it comes to process improvement, we apply the 80/20 rule. This rule implies that a significant majority of the problems, inefficiencies, or opportunities for improvement are concentrated in a small portion of the processes. By identifying and focusing on these critical areas, your company can achieve significant improvements without having to address every aspect of the target process.

Here’s how the 80/20 rule applies to process improvement:

Identifying the Vital Few: Determine the 5-7 key processes that are responsible for running your business. Within these processes, there are certain steps, tasks, or factors that have a disproportionate impact on the overall outcome. These are the “Vital Few” or the 20% that account for 80% of the problems or results. By identifying these key areas, organizations can prioritize their improvement efforts to achieve the most significant impact.

Prioritizing Improvements: Not all aspects of a process contribute equally to its effectiveness or efficiency. By focusing on the 20% of activities that drive the most significant outcomes, organizations can allocate resources and efforts more efficiently. This leads to quicker and more impactful improvements.

Root Cause Analysis: When analyzing process issues or inefficiencies, the 80/20 rule helps to direct attention to the most likely root causes. Instead of attempting to fix every minor issue, teams can concentrate on the critical few factors that are causing most of the problems.

Resource Optimization: The 80/20 rule aids in resource allocation by ensuring that resources are directed towards the areas with the highest potential for improvement. This prevents wasting resources on less impactful aspects of the process.

Continuous Improvement: The 80/20 rule supports the philosophy of continuous improvement. Once the most critical areas have been addressed and improved, the focus can shift to the next set of vital few elements, leading to a cycle of ongoing enhancements.

To apply the 80/20 rule effectively, organizations need to thoroughly analyze the key processes that run their businesses, collect relevant data, and identify the critical few factors that have the most significant impact on the desired outcomes. This targeted and continuous approach to process improvement can lead to more focused, efficient, and successful improvement

Meetings

Meetings get a bad wrap and for good reason. They are frequently seen as the place where the most time is wasted when the opposite should be true. Here we will focus on three types of meetings that are of vital importance to your company – Leader Team, 1:1s, and Career Development.

Leadership Team

Weekly Leadership team meetings play a crucial role in the success and effective functioning of an organization. These meetings gather the key decision-makers to discuss, align, and resolve various issues associated with the company’s operation and goals. The importance of leadership team meetings can be understood from several perspectives:

Decision-Making: Many critical decisions are made at leadership team meetings. These decisions can have far-reaching effects on the organization, such as new product launches, market expansion, resource allocation, and major policy changes. Bringing together diverse perspectives from different areas of expertise helps in making well-informed and comprehensive decisions.

Cross-Functional Collaboration: Organizations are made up of various departments and functions that need to work together harmoniously. Leadership team meetings facilitate communication and collaboration among different departments, breaking down silos and fostering a culture of cooperation.

Issue Resolution: Leadership team meetings offer a platform to identify, discuss, and determine an outcome (IDO) around the main issues affecting the organization’s growth or performance.

Company Scorecard Review: Reviewing the performance of the company is essential. Leadership team meetings allow executives to assess progress, identify strengths and weaknesses, and take corrective actions as needed.

Resource Allocation: Allocating resources like budget, personnel, and technology is a critical responsibility of the leadership team. These meetings enable informed discussions about resource allocation based on the organization’s priorities and strategic objectives.

Communication and Transparency: Leadership team meetings serve to communicate important updates, achievements, and challenges to the senior leadership. Transparent communication fosters trust and accountability among executives.

Employee Engagement: Decisions and strategies formulated in leadership team meetings are cascaded down to the rest of the organization. When employees see that their leaders are actively engaged in shaping the company’s future, it can boost morale and engagement at all levels.

Crisis Management: In times of crises, quick and effective decision-making is vital. Leadership team meetings allow leaders to assess the situation, devise an appropriate response, and coordinate actions swiftly to mitigate risks and ensure business continuity.

Leadership team meetings provide a structured forum for top executives to collaborate, resolve issues, make critical decisions, and drive the organization forward. The interactions and discussions in these meetings help create a unified leadership approach that can guide the organization towards its goals while effectively navigating challenges.

1:1s (including career development)

1:1s, short for “one-on-one meetings,” are a crucial aspect of effective communication and collaboration within organizations. These are regular meetings between a manager and their team members, or between colleagues, held on a one-to-one basis. The importance of 1:1s cannot be overstated for several reasons:

Individual Connection: 1:1s provide a dedicated time for managers to connect with their team members on a personal level. These meetings offer an opportunity to discuss both work-related matters and personal development, fostering a sense of belonging and demonstrating that the organization values its employees as individuals.

Feedback and Performance: 1:1s facilitate continuous feedback and performance discussions. Managers can provide constructive feedback, acknowledge accomplishments, and address any concerns. This helps team members understand their strengths and areas for improvement, leading to professional growth and improved performance.

Goal Alignment: Regular 1:1s allow managers and team members to align on goals and priorities. These meetings ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the team’s objectives, projects, and expectations. Any misunderstandings or misalignments can be addressed promptly, leading to greater clarity and better outcomes.

Career Development: 1:1s provide a platform for discussing career aspirations and growth paths. Managers can identify development opportunities, suggest relevant training or projects, and help team members set achievable career goals. This promotes employee engagement and loyalty by showing that the organization is invested in their long-term success.

Problem Solving: During 1:1s, employees can openly discuss challenges they are facing without the pressure of a group setting. Managers can offer guidance, share insights, and collaborate on finding solutions. This approach encourages a proactive approach to problem-solving and prevents issues from escalating.

Employee Well-being: 1:1s offer a safe space for employees to share any concerns about their workload, work-life balance, or well-being. Managers can provide support, offer resources, or make necessary adjustments to ensure employees feel valued and supported.

Building Trust: Regular 1:1s build trust between managers and team members. Consistent interaction fosters an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, opinions, and challenges. This trust is essential for healthy team dynamics and overall organizational success.

Employee Engagement: When employees feel heard and understood through 1:1s, their engagement and morale increase. Engaged employees are more motivated, productive, and enthusiastic about their work, contributing positively to the overall team atmosphere.

Conflict Resolution: In case of any conflicts or interpersonal issues, 1:1s provide a private space to address these matters. Managers can mediate discussions, offer perspective, and work towards resolving conflicts quickly and constructively.

Continuous Improvement: Regular check-ins in the form of 1:1s create an avenue for continuous improvement. Managers can adapt their management style based on individual preferences and needs, optimizing their leadership approach for better outcomes.

1:1s play a pivotal role in nurturing effective communication, fostering professional growth, enhancing team dynamics, and promoting overall organizational success. Too often these meetings are canceled, missed, or disregarded. Leaders must understand that 1:1s are essential and significantly contribute to a culture of open dialogue, mutual respect, and collaboration, which are crucial to accelerate your business results.

Conclusion

So far in this series we have covered the fundamental importance of leadership team alignment, meeting effectiveness, mindset, purpose, values, and culture. We have also completed the People and Strategy areas of your business with our discussion on Employee Experience, Organizational Health, Functional and Process Accountability, Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning, and finally Execution. Next, we will introduce Control, with an emphasis on financial statement analysis and data management.