Culinary Creative thrived in an ever-changing business environment. The company overcame issues in process and communication and understood how to plan and execute better. It did it by dissecting each problem at a time and utilized the four pillars of leverage.
Most companies are in the same boat. There’s a lack of communication and clear planning that leads to bottlenecks in the business.
People lack communication skills and clarity in discussions and this happens at all levels of management, including at the leadership level.
But, if you fix the accountability issues in your team, you can overcome these challenges. The four pillars of leverage allow you to leverage your team with accountability. It allows you to reinforce what everyone needs to do for the business to succeed.
It allows you to look objectively at KPIs and make better decisions for your company. That’s in regard to everything from clients, to marketing, to employees, and more.
Pillar #1 – Structuring Your Data
Before you can structure your data, you have to understand it.
Your data contains quantitative metrics such as financial statements and qualitative metrics. These metrics indicate how you operate your business.
You should know that there are two ways to look at it. Let’s start with the first, which is benchmarking.
When you benchmark your data, you’re essentially doing competitive research. You put your financial statements against online reports and industry reports.
Your main goal is to find out what others spend in regard to a percentage of revenue. You have to figure out where you stand with your spending compared to the industry average.
Do you spend more on marketing? Do you pay more for development or operating costs?
This kind of financial data is critical, and you have to go out there and find it. You need to know the facts in your industry to determine where you stand.
The second way to look at your data is by metrics. You can split these metrics into general business metrics or KPIs and unique metrics to your niche.
Of course, some metrics stand out, such as the average customer retention rate. You also have things such as customer acquisition or lifetime value.
You need to know how much value each customer brings. You need to know how much your company spends to bring in new business or to earn the loyalty of recurring customers.
But what makes all this information even more valuable?
Once you have it, everyone in your company can see it. Every employee then understands what to look for. Everyone is on the same page and knows what goals to work towards.
All of this can boost productivity, performance, and can help you grow your business.
Pillar #2 – Assessing Your Team
Assessing your team is all about the organizational structure of your company. To do that, you have to understand how things work.
Your people operate various processes, which in turn run functions. Those functions are what make your business run. It’s a clear and simplified roadmap of how pretty much any business works.
To assess your team, you must create an accountability chart that looks at the core functions or key roles.
If you break down your organizational structure by function, you get a better understanding of how your company works. It lets you know what you have to improve to boost overall performance.
Here are examples of core functions:
When you look at these functions, you also look at the people who perform them. You also look at performance indicators and last, but not least, the outcome.
You need to know what results you can expect from those team members.
For example, salespeople are usually accountable for income. This means that you can assess them based on sales, profit, and loss statements.
The goal here is to take a close look at your core business functions. From there, you identify the people accountable for performing those functions.
You can judge those employees based on a variety of KPIs and metrics relevant to your business.
Another adjustment you might want to make is this – ensure that each core function has one accountable person.
If you have a sales team, you also need a sales manager. If you have more people involved in client acquisition, you need one person who manages them.
This takes a lot off your plate as a business owner as it discourages micromanaging. It also ensures that no one gets overworked performing their duties. Make sure that you don’t have one person in charge of more than one team or overseeing multiple functions.
You don’t want overworked people on your team, because it reduces their performance and efficiency.
Furthermore, do you have any unfilled roles in your company? Are there key areas that no one oversees? Consider either taking up those tasks yourself or giving them to someone else.
Pillar #3 – Objectives and Key Results
Objectives and key results is a management framework prevalent in the big players in the tech field. Its purpose is to improve execution and to measure execution.
What is execution? It means looking at a plan and taking action. It means following through.
A common problem with many businesses is executing new plans or trying new things. They don’t do it well or as often enough as they should.
The reason for this comes from a traditional management style. How it works is business owners tell managers what they want. But they don’t say how they want things done.
There’s a point and tell mentality to it, if you will. In today’s world, this doesn’t work.
For example, you set a goal for implementing a new market strategy with an emphasis on your online presence and sales system. That’s a great goal in today’s world.
But does this sound to you like a well-outlined plan? It doesn’t. There’s no definition of what that great new market strategy is and how it can help the business.
What you need to focus on are behavioral changes. You need to take care of business differently to achieve better results. It would help if you planned more about what you want and how you can meet your objectives.
It’s always beneficial to have a clear strategy and transparent communication. As a business owner, you have to communicate what you want, and why you want it, to your managers.
It’s also crucial that you take feedback and get everyone involved. Lack of clarity, commitment, and staying complacent is why you probably drop many new initiatives.
Just setting new objectives isn’t enough anymore. You need to transmit why you set those goals. You need to develop a timeline and give a qualitative reason behind your thought process.
Pillar #4 – Cadence of Accountability
Lastly, you have your cadence of accountability. This fourth pillar is nothing short of crucial to your business succeeding.
Let’s say you did everything right so far. You’ve structured your data. You did a great assessment of your team and assigned valuable people in niche roles.
You also set and clearly communicated new objectives and your reasoning behind them. You also discussed how to get those key results. What’s left is to make sure everyone does their job so that you can meet your goals.
You can do that with the cadence of accountability. It refers to a straightforward concept of holding regular meetings to discuss how everyone should do things.
You can hold recurring meetings to remind people in key positions about their roles.
You keep track of results to make sure everyone does their job. You want to make sure that no matter what happens, people stay on track with their assignments.
Infrastructure meetings are also highly important. Those are the meetings where you talk about any improvements you can make to reach your objectives faster.
Maybe it’s about new technologies you can add or tools that would make a process easier.
But here’s the secret to maximizing the efficiency of your meetings. You keep them short and don’t mix different issues.
It’s important to separate client-related meetings from strategy meetings. You don’t want to talk about employee issues when discussing marketing or tactics.
Each predetermined meeting should have a precise topic of discussion. That way there’s no confusion as to what’s the takeaway or what you’re keeping score on.
Also, remember to hold some one-on-one meetings with key employees. Do a performance review more often and talk clearly about what are your expectations.
Give your people a chance to grow and improve themselves at the workplace. Please don’t allow them to lose their efficiency or stagnate. Avoid having to fire people because they’re not up to your standards.
In the long run, this can hurt your business. You can end up having to hire and retrain new people, and business slows down.
It All Starts at the Top Level of Management
If there’s one big takeaway from the four pillars model, it’s this. Avoid bottlenecking your business at the leadership level.
You do make the important decisions, but there are other people that your survival depends on. If you’re not clear on what you want, your managers and low-level workers can’t deliver.
Share your goals, your results, and your core values with your team. Get everyone on the same page and motivate them to work towards reaching those objectives. Use the four pillars of accountability to create a reliable infrastructure and growth strategy in your company.
And whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you make you and your team more productive in order to grow your business:
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