scorecard

A Great Week = A Great Scorecard

Several of my clients recently asked for help in putting together company or departmental scorecards. For many organizations and leaders, finding the right set of 5 to 15 leading indicators that provide an absolute pulse on the business (or the department) is a difficult challenge. Often it takes several months or longer to truly fall in love with your scorecard.

Like most worthwhile journeys, strengthening the Data Component™ starts with a single step. I’d like to challenge you to take that step today by dividing a blank legal pad page into two columns. At the top of one column, write the title “Great Week.” At the top of the other column, write “Lousy Week.”

Four Steps to Creating a Great Scorecard

  1. Define a Great Week for Your Company. Make a list of everything that might happen in a great week for your company (or your department). Maybe you got a bunch of new leads, took a few big orders, got positive customer or employee feedback, permanently lowered production or operating costs, collected on some past-due receivables, improved your liquidity – you get the drill. Just make your list.
  2. Define a Lousy Week for Your Company. Now make another list of all the things that happen during a lousy week. Some of the items on the list are just going to be the opposite of what you’ve already recorded, but some stuff will be new. Just wrack your brain and make the list.
  3. Identify Weekly Measurables. Lastly, ask yourself if any of the things on either list can be measured weekly. Can you measure “number of leads” on a weekly basis? Will it provide valuable insight into the potential for your sales team to hit future revenue goals? Can you measure “big orders” or “total dollars ordered”? Better yet, are there any leading indicators that will give you the same information earlier in the sales process? What if you measured “total dollars proposed”?
  4. Prioritize Measurables and Set Goals. Once you’ve compiled a list of all the things you could measure, pick the 5 to 15 most important measurables and start there. Set goals, review the scorecard weekly, and wait until you’re looking at a full quarter’s worth of data (or more) before you make a decision about whether or not you’re measuring the right stuff.

At the end of this journey to strengthen your company’s Data Component, I promise you’ll have far more great weeks than you will lousy weeks, but only if you have the courage to take the first step.

Written by Mike Paton on April 05, 2018

Several hands all holding a growing plant in soil

BOOST ACCOUNTABILITY, DRIVE PERFORMANCE!

Poor accountability could be the single greatest threat to your company’s future – creating a culture of excuses, confusion, and inefficiencies – ultimately resulting in poor performance.

According to Gallup, only 30% of employees are “engaged,” 50% are disengaged (just going through the motions) – and an incredible 20% are actively disengaged, or working against you every single day – all of which directly impacts a culture of accountability.

The Gallup survey uncovers a secret – employee engagement significantly boosts accountability leading to organizational performance. Why? Because engaged employees have an emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. They don’t just work for a paycheck. They care about their work and their company.

So why let poor accountability become an obstacle in the path to achieving better engagement and results?

10 Tips to Boost Accountability

Take action today to change the company’s DNA by creating a new culture of performance by embracing more accountability! Here are 10 ways good leaders foster accountability to grow great teams and strong cultures:

  1. Clarify your people’s roles – Employees who don’t understand the roles they play in the company’s success are more likely to become disengaged. Take the time to create the right structure for your organization, clarifying roles and responsibilities, so you have the right people in the right seats. Remember the rule of thumb: When 2 or more people are accountable for a position, nobody is accountable!
  2. Set great goals – Employees want to see how their work contributes to larger company objectives. Setting smart quarterly goals aligns everyone around what’s most important. In EOS® language, we call 90-day goals, “Rocks” – 3-7 top priorities that align everyone around what’s most important. Because “if everything is important, nothing is important!”
  3. Walk the talk – You and your leadership team have to be role models of accountability – because as you go, so does the rest of the organization. Never play the “blame game,” which is usually a ploy to control others or hand off responsibility. Accept the fact that all the company’s problems were created by you and your leadership team. But you must believe that the same team that created all the problems together can solve all of the problems together. That’s demonstrating 100% responsibility. That’s what inspires others to do the same.
  4. Communicate continuously – Make sure your expectations are clear and consistent. Remember the “Rule of 7” says people need to hear something 7 times before it sinks in. Eliminate the “I didn’t understand” excuse by using both verbal and written communications.
  5. Measure objectively – Accountability must be based on facts, not distorted by opinions, politics, and desire for power. Make sure to create a Scorecard, Dashboard or key Measurables to ensure your goals and objectives are creating the right impact. Remember, what gets measured, gets done!
  6. Give control before expecting accountability – If several levels of approvals are needed for a specific decision, no one will feel accountable, and no one can be held accountable. If more than one person is ultimately accountable, nobody is accountable.
  7. Align functional groups with business goals – If key functions aren’t under the control of the proper team, accountability will suffer. For example, if your sales group is measured on profitability, but is required to process leads from outside sources paid by volume, you have a conflict where everyone loses.
  8. Provide timely feedback on performance – High performers need regular quarterly coaching on how to improve, as well as annual full reviews. Help your people look in the mirror and see reality. Coach them to greatness!
  9. Use a process to solve your issues – Your ability to be successful and grow is directly proportionate to your ability to solve your issues. Getting to the root and solving problems should never be a “name and shame” game. Leaders need to provide a safe haven where difficult issues can be discussed and solved without assigning blame. The goal should always be to solve problems, not hurl accusations. (At EOS, we use an Issues Solving Track™ called IDS: Identify, Discuss, Solve – to knock down issues and make them go away forever).
  10. Improve trust – While accountability tools that measure data and results are important, you must also trust the people. Absolute dependence on tools leads to the abdication of personal responsibility. Build trust through strong and consistent leadership and management – all of which improves accountability!

Boost Engagement with Accountability

Can you imagine having employees who are “engaged?” Who are fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and take positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests?

If you and your leadership team are willing to be the best, you’ll realize that accountability makes it all happen. You’ll have more control over your business, build a strong, engaged and accountable culture – ultimately increasing the value of your business AND your peace of mind!

Written by Chris Naylor on October 5, 2017

Five professional people smiling both male and female

WHY MILLENNIALS WILL LOVE EOS® – PART 2

In Why Millennials Will Love EOS® – Part 1 we said that millennials, who were raised in a different time than we Boomers and Gen-Xers, think differently. They have very specific expectations for information and for their work environments. TheVision/Traction Organizer™ and the Accountability Chart provide the vision, big picture, and culture that millennials need to understand and to be engaged.

In Part 2 I want to share specific EOS Tools that will help you lead, manage, and hold millennials accountable, as well as the rest of your team.

Quarterly Rocks

Millennials need to see progress, completion, and evidence that they are building new skills. Setting priorities for the few most important things that must get done each quarter at the company level, by department, and for individuals creates clear alignment that everyone is rowing in the same direction. This quarterly rhythm shows completion of tasks more often, develops job skills and can provide a variety of work. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to lead without changing positions.

Weekly Level 10 Meetings™

Maintaining human connectivity is critical for digitally native millennials. The weekly pulse of reporting, holding each other accountable, and problem-solving is frankly the lifeblood of any healthy team regardless of the ages of its members. For millennials, using the IDS and the Issues Solving Track™ during this weekly problem-solving session gives the team opportunities to be creative, share, and be exposed to new ideas

Scorecards

A powerful currency for millennials is flexibility — when, where, and how to get the work done, as long as it gets done. Working remotely and flextime don’t work for everything, but they can work for certain roles. The key is how to hold people accountable. A weekly scorecard of activity-based metrics that track specific job responsibilities will provide the tool for many to self-manage their results and keep their boss and teammates plugged in.

Process

Documenting your handful of Core Processes brings consistency and scalability to how the work gets done. When followed by everyone on the team a consistent process also gives additional autonomy.

In addition to these tools, you need to master the Five Management Practices™ that speaks directly to the kind of feedback and direction millennials need to get.

  • Practice 1. Keeping expectations clear – yours and theirs
  • Practice 2. Communicating well – more listening than talking
  • Practice 3. Maintaining the right Meeting Pulse™
  • Practice 4. Having Quarterly Conversations – 1:1 meetings to talk about what’s working and what’s not
  • Practice 5. Rewarding and Recognizing – within 24 hours, open and honest, be their boss, not their buddy

Written by Clark Neuhoff on August 14, 2017

car driving down a road next to the verge

LISTENING TO YOUR RUMBLE STRIPS

It has almost certainly happened to each of us – you’re driving down the road on cruise control. You’re not doing anything reckless, but your mind is on a million things besides the stretch of road you’re on. You’re thinking about your destination, how long it will take to get there, whether you have enough gas, what’s for lunch, and why no one seems to know how to use a turn signal anymore.

The next thing you know, you’re literally shaken back into focus by the rumble strip just on the other side of the white line. You’ve drifted a bit, so you make a slight course correction to straighten things out and continue on your way with a more focused direction.

No big deal, right? Right. But things could have gotten really dicey if it weren’t for that rumble strip.

The rumble strip was there to serve a purpose: it let you know that you were off course before you barreled into the ditch. It nudged you into making a small adjustment so you could avoid disaster.

There are rumble strips available to your business. Are you using them? 

Those rumble strips are called Scorecards.

Scorecards provide weekly, leading-edge, activity-based metrics that predict the financial future of your business. Your Scorecard is a tool that lets you know if you’re on track, or if you might be drifting off course. If you are drifting off course, reviewing a Scorecard weekly lets you make small adjustments to get things back on track.

Hitting a rumble strip doesn’t mean you’re in trouble. It means you will be in trouble if you keep going the way you’re going. The same goes for uncovering an issue via your weekly Scorecard.

Without a weekly Scorecard alerting you to potential problems, you lose the ability to make a small course correction as you go along.  Many companies don’t stop to evaluate the course they’re on until the end of the month or end of the quarter. Unfortunately, by that point, it’s often too late to make a small course correction, and instead, they’re stuck calling a tow truck. (Or, worse, an ambulance.)

All too often, business owners who avoid weekly Scorecards are surprised when they end up in the ditch. They ask, “What happened?! It’s not like we had a scandal. No one embezzled anything. We didn’t have a recall or a PR crisis or a massive inventory shortage or a termite infestation. How could things have gone so wrong?”

You don’t need a giant crisis to end up in the ditch. Some people land in the ditch by swerving to avoid hitting a deer, and in that case, it’s pretty obvious what happened. But for most of us, it’s not about a crisis. It’s about drifting off, ever so slightly, in the wrong direction … and not noticing it until it’s too late.

Long story short: Scorecards help you stay out of the ditch and on course. Better yet, they can help you make small adjustments that’ll put you on an even faster, smoother course. And who doesn’t want to get to their destination easier and sooner?

Written by Joel Swanson on September 16, 2019