We spent all day Friday with the management team reviewing our progress to date. What started out as a two-hour meeting turned into an all day affair as it became obvious that several areas had begun to revert back to their old ways. Once Fred realized what was going on, He told everyone to clear their schedules so we could work on maintaining our new culture.
The message throughout the day was consistent and direct. Fred truly led today. Not once did he demand that any manager do anything. He simply asked the important questions that needed to be asked and didn’t let up until it appeared that managers were back on board. He wasn’t tough or intimidating. Just unrelenting and focused.
Nearly every conversation Fred had with the various managers started the same way. “I can see what you’re measuring and reporting. That’s the easy part. But, we need to have that tough discussion again. Remember we value what we measure and we measure what is important. So… What is important to the company? What makes us successful? How does what you are measuring tie into the things that make us successful?”
Over and over again, Fred led managers through the exercise. After he had discussed it with each manager he felt was off target, he broke out the chart we had been working on. The purpose of the chart is to remind managers from time to time how everything works together. Fred originally wanted the chart to help new managers understand what we are attempting to do. But as he received more and more comments about it from existing managers, the purpose expanded.
The chart below shows how the KPIs of the organization drive everything we measure. Once the KPIs are set, then you start developing key metrics that feed them at each level. Every level of the company sets their metrics so that the key metrics feed the key metrics of the levle above them until you feed them into the KPIs of the company.
Remember, we value what we measure. We measure what is important. It all starts at the top with our KPIs. Going downstream from there, the key metrics at each level must tie into the key metrics at the level above. You don’t need many key metrics at any level; only two, three or maybe even four. It doesn’t mean you won’t measure other things to help the employees know how successful they are on an individual level. It just means that what we report upstream to measure the overall success of the company are limited.
So…… stay focused and remember what the strategy is. If you lose this focus, it is possible that you will drift or slip back into old habits.