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ACCELERATE GROWTH BY ALIGNING STRATEGY, VISION & VALUES
EMPOWERING MID-SIZE SERVICE FIRMS TO ACHIEVE THEIR MOST IMPORTANT GOALS
What Is This Service?
Our Goal Achievement service empowers mid-sized service firms to actually achieve their most important goals so they keep on growing. After more than 20 years of serving mid-sized firms, those with 25-100 employees and 10-50 million in revenue, we’ve noticed a trend. Most leadership teams at these types of firms engage in annual strategic planning exercises. But year after year, very few of the top goals they’ve identified actually get achieved. This is quite frustrating for stakeholders. Why does this happen?
You’ve likely heard the old saying: “when all is said and done, more will be said than done.” This is a fitting and apt description of the annual strategic planning process. There’s lots of talk but little action. In fact, at The Shattuck Group, we’ve pretty much lost faith in annual strategic planning for these reasons:
- It only happens once a year. Most mid-sized service firms need to reassess priorities at least twice a year in our experience.
- Way too many priorities make the list, so efforts are hopelessly diluted.
- People get distracted from the goals because of their day-job.
- Pet projects often vie for the same status as initiatives that could really impact the company.
The end result is that leadership teams come together the next year and say things like: “well we didn’t get everything done that we had hoped last year, but we certainly learned a lot that will help us this year.” But year after year, little changes. The process itself is broken. Why doesn’t traditional strategic planning work for most mid-sized service firms?
- Satisfaction with the status quo. In our experience, this is the number one root cause. Most stakeholders at mid-sized service firms have a reasonably comfortable work-life balance and quality of life. The perception is often that breaking through to the next level would require sacrifices that many stakeholders don’t want to make, especially if they impact family life.
- An absence of gut-level alignment between leadership team members. This is also a huge problem. If leaders cannot achieve gut-level alignment about what they’re trying to accomplish and why it’s important, then most initiatives will falter.
- Too few people taking on too much. Most strategic planning exercises result in a single person spearheading a specific initiative. If the initiative is complex and time consuming, the owner gets overwhelmed. In some instances, a single initiative could require as much effort as a full-time job. Is it reasonable to ask a single stakeholder to take on essentially two jobs?
- Leadership team members not working together. Most important initiatives are complex enough that they shouldn’t be worked on alone. The “one initiative equals one owner” mindset hurts progress. If leadership team members actually worked together on a single initiative, they would get so much more done.
- Shifting priorities. What was a priority at the beginning of the year may no longer be a priority mid-way through the year. Annual strategic planning is not flexible enough to account for the need to shift priorities.
- Unrealistic plans. One of the biggest culprits we’ve seen, for why organizations don’t achieve their goals, is because their plans are unrealistic. These plans are often lacking in detail and specificity, unbalanced in distribution of responsibilities and are not targeted toward a specific completion date.
Leadership teams at mid-sized service firms that lack a track record of accomplishing their most important goals put themselves at far more risk than they might realize. Staff in these firms are constantly, albeit often silently, evaluating the efficacy of their leaders. When leaders publicize goals but then don’t achieve them, or don’t talk about the status of the goals, team members begin to lose confidence in the company and in the leadership team. This means they are consistently a flight risk. Service firms that cannot retain their staff or inspire the greatest performance from staff are not likely to grow.
WHY YOU NEED THIS SERVICE:
LEADERSHIP TEAMS THAT LACK A TRACK RECORD OF ACHIEVING THEIR MOST IMPORTANT GOALS EVENTUALLY LOSE THE CONFIDENCE OF EMPLOYEES WHO BECOME FLIGHT RISKS.
This service addresses all of these issues by empowering firm leaders to:
- Gain alignment about what they’re trying to achieve and why it’s important.
- Identify those initiatives that will be game-changing for the business overall.
- Limit their focus to high-impact goals that will stimulate growth.
- Work together on one initiative at a time, which greatly increases the likelihood of achieving it.
- Pace their work-plans so they are more realistic and so sustained effort, not sporadic and disruptive spurts of activity, allow them to make real progress.
- Balance their day-job with strategic initiatives so their quality of life and family life in particular are not negatively impacted.
- Build realistic plans that everyone believes in.
- Execute the plans on defined time schedules.
- Develop swagger as a team, because the team actually achieves the goals they identify.
To learn more about how we do this, please click on Our Approach above.
Who Needs This Service?
Professional service firms who:
- Have relied on annual strategic planning processes in the past and have become frustrated with the results.
- Recognize that they could be doing so much better if they actually achieved the goals they’ve identified as essential.
- Have assigned initiatives to individual people in the past. When the initiatives didn’t get achieved, an awkward situation ensued.
- Have struggled to gain alignment about what’s most important to achieve.
- Have publicized goals with their staff in the past but then those goals were not achieved.
- Desire to adopt an approach to strategic planning that actually works, year after year.
- Are weary of the status quo and are eager to reignite growth.