During a recent quarterly strategic plan update session, the CFO had an epiphany. We had been discussing what they, as the senior staff, had done to communicate their new vision and mission to all staff. We had also discussed what they would be doing next to work with their teams to help them understand how each team’s efforts should support the new vision. As part of that discussion, I suggested the senior staff ask themselves and their teams this question: How will this (process, initiative, project, etc.,) move our Vision and Mission - and those we serve - forward? As we discussed this question further, the CFO sat back with a somewhat stunned look on his face.
He looked at me and his colleagues around the table and said, “That question will be THE question I’ll be asking myself and my team as we review our current processes, projects, and responsibilities. If what we’re doing isn’t helping us meet our Vision or Mission, or serve our customers, why should we continue to put time and resources into it? That question will make eliminating non-essential work so much easier!”
If what you’re doing isn’t helping you meet your Vision or Mission, or serve your customers, why are you continuing to put time and resources into it?
By having your team members answer that question about their processes, projects, and responsibilities, you’ll cause them to think through the on-going strategic value of them. Here are a few specific questions that may help as you engage in this activity with your teams:
- Does this (process, project, activity) measurably help us drive to our vision, fulfill our mission and help our customers?
- If yes, how do we know? How do we/can we measure its positive strategic value?
- Is that positive impact enough to justify continuing?
- If not, is there a refined version that would continue to add value?
- If yes, how should we change it?
- How would we measure the revised version’s positive value?
- If the current or a revised version do not help us drive to our vision, fulfill our mission, and help our customers, how do we end it or phase out of it with minimal negative impact?
By having to justify the strategic value of continuing a process, project, or responsibility, you’ll cause yourself and your team to think deeper about the true value of the activity, its alignment and value to the vision and mission, and its efficient use of your team’s resources.
How will this (process, initiative, project, etc.,) move your Vision and Mission - and those you serve - forward?
When this question is applied to team processes, projects, and team responsibilities, it becomes an objective, less-emotional gauge to determine what to keep, change, and stop. As you well know, being told (or forced) to stop doing something you’ve done for years so well because it no longer adds value, is hard. It’s especially hard if you were the person who created the process or project. It’s even harder if customers have benefited from your work. However, if what you’ve done is no longer generating the same level of value, is it time to stop?
If what you’ve done is no longer generating the same level of strategic value, is it time to stop?
Copyright MMXX - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!