When I was a boy who dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot, I tried to learn everything I could about jet planes. That's when I heard about flameout for the first time. A flameout is "the failure of a jet engine caused by the extinction of the flame in the combustion chamber." I've never seen a jet engine flame out, but I've seen a lot of flameouts in business. You probably have as well.
We've worked with several clients who started out all fired up about their BHAG, their quarterly Strategic Projects and their KPIs. But when we checked back with them, all that energy was gone and not much had happened. They flamed out. Just like a jet engine, those companies lost thrust. They stopped moving forward toward that BHAG, toward achieving RESULTS. Over the years, I've learned that there are two main reasons why companies flame out. Some companies flame out because they lose focus. They start "chasing squirrels" and spreading their energy over many less important things than the Strategic Projects they've agreed on. Other companies just get tired or try to take on too much, and as a result they fail to do anything well. Achieving your BHAG isn't easy, or everyone would do it. It takes hard work, and sometimes that wears people out. This kind of flameout doesn't happen all at once. First, someone decides that "just for this week" he or she won't work on their Strategic Projects or update their KPIs in their dashboard. They are too busy fighting fires and doing busywork. Then it happens again. Soon, that individual (or that company) isn't moving things forward at all. There are also situations in which a person is “in the red” on a KPI week after week, month after month, and nobody does anything about it. That sends the message that good performance isn't important and, after a while, performance slacks off.
The answer? Meetings!
Many people think they are being effective managers are shocked to learn their actions are stifling growth and creativity. The cause? Not realizing they’re the dreaded micromanager.
One of the keys to effectively manage and coach your people is to make everyone’s performance visible. The Harvard Business School calls this management approach “radical transparency” and it has been found to deliver superior results.
Guest blog post by Zane Safrit, @ZaneSafrit
An article in Forbes stated that only half of the companies surveyed thought their organizations adapted well to the introduction of new technologies.
Why KPIs matter:Any successful business owner will tell you that the key to success isn’t just about setting goals; it’s about understanding what goals your business should aim for and how to properly measure and pursue those goals.
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, allow business owners to set quantifiable goals that can be evaluated and measured. They provide a standard for grading your business success to help you create realistic business strategies to improve work. Most importantly, KPIs take the mystery out of management and help you hone in on what’s most important.
Over the last decade I've seen many small businesses that have stopped growing, and are slowly getting worn down by their Herculean efforts to break through to the next level.
Many companies use Dashboarding software to be more effective at tracking and managing their Key Performance Indicators, Projects and Tasks. However, research published in the Harvard Business Review showed that most companies still do a poor job of tracking and managing how we invest the most important resource of all; our time.
The majority of managers believe that their companies lack a winning strategy. They struggle to set a clear and differentiating strategy, struggle to ensure that their day-to-day activities are aligned to executing their strategy, and they struggle to allocate resources in a way that supports the strategy - according to a Booz & Co survey of more than 1,800 managers.
With the increasing pace of change in terms of technology disruption. globalization, and the changing nature of work itself, what should companies do to ensure they continue to survive and thrive? This article is my take on recent research published in Strategy+Business.
Since implementing the RESULTS.com software, communication between staff members regarding reaching targets and goals has improved ten-fold. (There is also healthy competition with the new “gamificiation” feature!)
Tania Young – Director – BRAVEday
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