Building new business is a strategy execution challenge. The starting point is execution models designed for optimizing an existing business. You need a complement for executing the new where most is unclear to progress under great uncertainty.
Established businesses today use operational models with a large number of metrics as the norm. Many measures support management for increased efficiencies. Sometimes these measures can make you lose track of the overarching goals. They are not optimized for driving new business.
The 4DX model help you driving strategy execution in new businesses around a vital few cornerstones:
1. Select your Wildly Important Goals (WIG), the 1-3 success factors defining program destiny.
2. Adoption of lead measures, for tracking of incremental progress in small steps towards the WIGs.
3. Personal accountability for all team members. Inspect what you expect, and you will get results.
4. Keep a players scoreboard – All teams perform between in front of an audience and when scores count.
I would like to encourage you to think like a tennis player on this subject. The wildly important goal is to win one set more than your opponent. Games are your lead measure telling you about how you are progressing. Finding and articulating the games in your strategic execution project is crucial. Plan your play for two games at a time. Focus your game on winning your serve and challenge your opponent for every two games you play. The equal in business life is to follow-up every initiative fifteen minutes per week (2 games) rather than 1 hour per month (1 set). Every game counts. Get back on track when you have lost your serve. Keep a visible score board. Tennis players play a lot better when you keep score and when there is a crowd watching. Teams executing strategy execution projects behave in the same way.
A few things can give you 4DX project higher odds of succeeding. Dare to stick to no more than 2 wildly important goals. Don’t start lead measure design from a blank sheet of paper. Use prepared areas the team can pick and tune from. Pick a six graded scale on measuring progress toward lead measures. Just three levels make the leaps too big to enable weekly progress. Replace mail status updates with visible scoreboards. Everybody in the company should have visibility of how the new business initiatives are going. It is crucial for commitment and competition between initiatives is healthy.
As a leader for driving new business initiatives you might want to penetrate the following questions
- · Which framework is the best for our strategy execution projects? – Without a proven framework your initiative leaders carry a complex extra burden.
- · Do we have a clear picture of what the “games” are for the key challenges? – Consider articulating them for all teams to take advantage of best practices on the subject.
- · Are you committed to dedicate 15 minutes per week together with the team for follow-ups? – 15 minutes per week is worth more than 1 hour per month. If you cannot spare this amount of time the project has too low priority.
- · How do we capture the relevant customer insights during the project required to tune our business model? – The 4DX model enable iterative learning and capturing of key business insights. Consider integrating the Brutal Truths & Key Insights (BT&KI) and Business Canvas tools in your work.
For additional insights in this area the following is good reading:
- The goal, a process on ongoing improvement [BOOK] – By Eliyahu M Goldrath
- Got a new strategy, don’t forget the strategy execution part [ARTICLE] – by Lawrence G Hrebiniak at Wharton
- The 4 disciplines of execution, achieving your wildly important goals [BOOK] – by Chris McChesney and Sean Covey
- The tracking tool for the 4DX Methodology [WEBTOOL] – by Covey
With this visualization I hope you are ready to embrace a strategy execution framework you can implement in your organization.