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Mar 26 15

Getting Key Results Right

by The Authors
Culture of Accountability

According to our landmark, multi-year Workplace Accountability Study involving over 40,000 participants, only 15% of organizations clearly define and effectively communicate the Key Results they need to achieve to be successful. It is not surprising, then, that the single most difficult obstacle in building greater alignment and accountability in organizations is having Key Results that are not clearly defined, effectively communicated, or properly tracked. Leadership, in the simplest terms, is about defining Key Results.

Key Results are those most important objectives that are prioritized as strategically essential to the organization’s success and which must be achieved. They should be memorable, measureable, and meaningful for everyone in the organization, so that every person can easily connect his or her daily work to the Key Results:

Memorable results can be easily remembered and regularly used to guide daily actions. Everyone should be able to repeat what the Key Results are.
Measureable results can be effectively quantified and frequently checked. If you can’t measure it, you can’t move it.
Meaningful results are prioritized.

Our research shows that people who have a crystal clear understanding of their organization’s Key Results consistently demonstrate higher levels of accountability for achieving those results than do people who do not have a clear understanding of their organization’s Key Results. People hunger for more clarity around the organization’s Key Results because they want to be successful, and they want to take greater accountability for what matters most to their organization.

To learn more about building greater alignment and accountability for your organization’s Key Results, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.partnersinleadership.com, where you can review actual client case studies in detail.

Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars to learn how to define Key Results and help your organization be successful.

Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the respective property of their owners.

Mar 19 15

The Role of Key Results

by The Authors
Set 3-5 Key Results for Success

Every organization has biases and preferences surrounding the planning process. Some organizations plan for everything in great detail in order to maximize control over all the relevant variables; some organizations plan as little as possible in order to maximize agility in responding to rapidly changing environments, and the others approach planning from somewhere in between these two extremes. Regardless of how you and/or your organization approach the annual planning process, we recommend that you identify the three to five Key Results that your organization must deliver—Key Results that must be delivered to sustain the organization’s health, well-being, strength, viability, growth, and success. These Key Results should not only be clearly understood by every employee in the organization; they should also consistently guide every employee’s daily decisions regarding work priorities—what work to stop doing, what work to start doing, and what work to continuously improve.

When we recently communicated this to the senior leadership team of a large organization, we received a lot of push back. Their concern was that boiling down the organization’s strategic vision and operational complexity to three, four, or five Key Results would over-simplify, even trivialize, their leadership challenge and stewardship.

Our response was clear and concise: if you can’t boil down your organization’s “must deliverables” to three, four, or five Key Results, then you will never be able to reach levels of accountability and alignment that are substantially higher than where you are right now. If you’re satisfied with where you are when it comes to accountability and alignment, then don’t worry about boiling things down to a few Key Results. If you’re not satisfied, then use your breadth and depth of understanding about the strategic and operational complexities of your business to capture the fundamental, essential “must deliverables” for your organization. Why? Because it will connect all of your employees to the fundamental and essential nature of your business and open up a new pathway to taking greater accountability and to building greater alignment.

The senior leadership team listened to us and, within a few days, developed four Key Results that have already brought more focus, energy, and transformation to the organization than they imagined possible. Needless to say, they are now believers in the simplicity that resides at the far side of complexity. The sooner you identify the three to five Key Results that your organization must deliver to survive and thrive, the sooner you will put your organization on the path to greater accountability and alignment.

To learn more about aligning your organization around the Key Results, join our Accountability Community at www.partnersinleadership.com to access free resources and more.

Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars to learn how you can use Key Results to help your organization achieve great success.

Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

Mar 12 15

Cultures of Innovation

by The Authors
culture-circle

Here’s what a culture of innovation looks like: Nestlé’s pet food division cut the market introduction of a new packaging innovation by more than a year, which was unprecedented in the industry. Facing multiple obstacles—overcoming cross-functional boundaries, getting everyone on the same page, designing the special lid, installing new handling equipment, meeting an overwhelming volume push, maintaining quality, and integrating everything into the company’s supply system—the division set a powerful example for the rest of the company and was given the prestigious Pillars of Excellence Award by Pat McGinnis, (now former) CEO, Nestlé Purina PetCare for the Americas. One of the division’s leaders described her experience this way: “All of our goals were met, and many were beaten, through the hard work of a team that wouldn’t fail to overcome all obstacles.”

When new product development and speed to market are vital to an organization’s success, people and teams must do three things very well: (1) create a collaborative environment where people stay focused on top priorities, (2) engage everyone’s inventiveness in creatively dealing with obstacles, whenever they arise, and (3) take personal accountability to hit deadlines and budgets, no matter what. Doing so not only drives new product development from concept to launch but also creates a culture capable of consistently turning innovation into commercial success.

New product development and speed to market results are always easier to achieve when the culture of the entire organization is aligned and all business functions are supporting developmental and commercial success. In other words, creating and sustaining a culture that supports all stages of the product development and commercialization process should be an organization-wide priority. To learn more about creating cultures of innovation that can greatly improve new product development and speed to market, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.partnersinleadership.com, where you can review actual client case studies in detail.

Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars to learn how you can use accountability to become an even stronger leader.

Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.