701: How to Avoid These 3 Strategy Killers w/ Deidre Paknad

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Deidre Paknad, CEO of Workboard.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any be to be company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. This episode is sponsored by Directive Consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. We are here today with Dadre pacnage, is the CEO at Work Board. DDREA, how you doing today? Okay, thank you. I'm excited to chat with you today. That or we're going to be talking about three strategy killers today. We were talking about him offline and I think this is going to be tremendously helpful for listeners. But before we dive into those three strategy killers. I'd love for you to explain to listeners what you and your team are up to at work board. Perfect, Yep. So Work Board helps organizations set, measure and execute their strategic priorities faster, and that's particularly important now as the external world, the market itself, is moving faster and faster, there's more disruption, competition comes from a typical or non traditional places and sources. So we're finding the large organizations and small organizations need to have more agility and how they think about their strategic priorities. They need to evolve those as they learn faster. And, of course, not only do they need to evolve the strategic priorities, they need to engage their people and their teams in achieving them faster, stay competitive and take...

...full advantage of their market opportunities. So you are, you're definitely the person to be talking about strategy and and specifically these three things that we're going to be covering, or things that will kill a strategy. In the first one, just to dive right into it, they d you mentioned that the first strategy killer is that nobody knows what the strategy actually is. Can you elaborate on this? One for us. Yep, that's far and away the single most deadly aspect of strategy and that is that below the leadership level, very few people actually understand what the strategic priorities are, how to apply that to the work they're going to do today, in this week and how to measure what success against that strategy actually looks like. Mt Sloan published some very interesting data in February of this year and it's it's a bit shocking, but the decay rate of understanding from the leadership team to the front line is at the top team, when they walk out of the room where they decided on strategy, fifty one percent of the people walking out of the room at the top team level actually have a real understanding of the strategic priorities. You go down one layer in the organization to senior executives and that understanding drops to twenty two percent. You drop down to mid management or strategy is implemented and turned into execution, it drops to eighteen percent. By the time you get to a front line leader who's a supervisor on the front line, thirteen percent of them actually understand the strategic priorities. That's catastrophic. It means that more than ninety percent of the workforce doesn't really know how their work ties out to a really impacts or moves the needle on the strategic priority. So how do we fix that? What are the what have you seen six organizations that have successfully the...

...move the needle there like a are there particular actions that you can take or how do we fix that problem? Yep. So part of the dynamic is actually what we think of as localizing the strategic priorities. So instead of thinking that about them, is something that the leadership team needs to understand and every bed of the else just does tasks. It's bringing the same thought that you bring into kind of agile development, bringing that into the way the organization thinks about its strategic priorities. So we think of that as clarifying them so that you have not only the strategic priority, the statement of what you intend to accomplish, but also the metrics for success, so that you have radical clarity at the top so no leader walks out of the room without understanding it right. So we define the strategy and how we're going to measure success so everyone's clear, and then localize that to teams downline so that you. I think of this is literally turning it into the nouns, the verbs and the numbers of each team. So the marketing team and the teams below the VP of marketing have translated the strategic priorities into their world, into their domain, so that they actually think through how they'll contribute in the next ninety days to the strategic priorities and what their unique metrics for success are. And so too, and the DEV team and the sales team and the customer success team and so on. So you're actually creating a motion, a process, a habit of aligning on the strategic priorities at the beginning of each quarter, aligning on what the metrics for success are at the beginning of each quarder, so that you spend the entire quarter working towards those strategic outcomes. And if you found dadread that it's been more effective when the the CEO or the senior leader sets those...

...localized plans for each functional department. Or is it better for say, the CMO to set that for the marketing department, the CIO to set that for, you know, the the Dev team or the CTEO, I guess, rather setting like what have you found to be most effective in terms of actually setting those localized statements and goals for each functional department. First they should be set all the way to the front line. The most strategies get hung up and don't translate through the Middle Management Layer and some organizations, like Mackenzie and others, will refer to middle management as the frozen middle right. The strategy never permeates the middle management layer and it never reaches the front line. We find phenomenal impact and acceleration on the strategy when it's localized through every team, not stopping at the VP of marketing or the CMO, not stopping there, but continuing down the product marketing branch, the Dominjian Branch, the communications branch and so on. That translation to each team layer, each level in the organization is where authorship and ownership come into play and the I think there's no scenario in the world, and with the information that we have today, there's no scenario where the CEO or the CMO can actually understand what the next best move is three or four layers below them in the organization. So instead of trying to dictate what would be true at the front line or what's the data will tell the people who've got more local expertise, more domain expertise. Instead, the strategic priorities in the metrics at each level become guidelines for the level below to think through. Okay. So, given those guidelines, given those metrics, how would we dial that into what we do in this team,...

...given our expertise, given our domain understanding, given the data we work with day and day out, given our functional skill set? How do we dial it in? And that dialing in into literally the local level. That's where authorship and understanding and digestion of really thinking about. Okay, how do we contribute to the strategic priorities of the organization in the next ninety days? That's Cathartic. That's the breakthrough, and so it's so we bring those to actually figure out for themselves kind of what their plan of attack is to to reaching those strategic projectives. Yep, that's right. And then what you're drying to drive is alignments with authorship. All right. So so daydrea, that that makes perfect it's the second one that you talked about. The strategy killer that you're telling me about offline is that we spend too much time the collecting data instead of spending the bulk of that energy acting on data. Can you elaborate on that for us? So there's again some not very happy data, this one from Harvard Business Review, that executive spend forty percent of their working hours, twenty three hours a week, in meetings that are internal. Those internal meetings are about the status and progress on their strategic priorities. And what is behind that amount of time that they spend in those meetings is four times that effort to compile that data and to prepare the fifty two page power point that's going to be reviewed in the OPS meeting every other week. That is a colossal consumption of time at the sea level, at the VP level, at the director level. That trickles all the way down as people go through this paper chase of compiling data and metrics that are all over the place, compiling...

...them into some kind of status or visibility to move back up line. So he have it enormous effort to get transparency and the problem with that is we spend all our time and our effort in the leaders of time and effort getting the transparency. We don't have as much time as we should to act on the data that we get. So what you'd rather spend that twenty three hours working on is improving decision quality right now, right making better choices about how to reallocate resources or respond to risks or overcome road blocks right or take advantage of new opportunities, because you already have the data about progress on the strategic priorities and you already know this execution status. You know that in real time. Eating twenty something hours back a week to act on the insights right rather than trance gavenging for that insight. There's a data that around those meetings themselves, which is probably the most indicative. Ninety percent of meeting attendees daydream, seventy three percent do other work in the meeting and twenty three percent of the three billion meetings that are had in the United States each year in business are irrelevant meetings. I feel like I was just having this conversation last week with someone who runs a remote team and I know that me running a remote team, I don't feel like we have nearly as much waste because we don't have as many meetings and so when we do have a meeting, I don't know, I feel like everyone in that meeting should be there. Have you found a difference between kind of remote like, do remote teams in general tend to do meetings more effectively than companies that have have everybody under the same roof? No, I I haven't found they tend to do it more effectively. And I I say that with the context of working in a small organization right,...

...and I'm in a startup now. This is my third startup, and I think it, at least in general, I find that startups tend to have fewer meetings than large ener prise IBM, acquired by last company. I was an executive there for three years. I ran a high growth business and the number of meetings in a week was unbelievable. It was far more request for meetings than there were hours in a given week, even in a long week, and those meetings were largely for determining the status of an initiative or the status of a project or the status against a set of numbers or a part of the plan. And all of the employees there were, of course, see an enormous company right. It's four hundred thousand employees. The vast majority of people were not co located. They were remote teams and I think in part it is the complexity of getting a full picture in a large enterprise, because a picture is more nuanced, there's more layer and more detail in the picture and for most organizations there is no place where systematically the strategy and the execution against it come together. So there is no other way to get status against our strategy without calling that meeting and getting everybody to sit around and read to each other right read the power points to each other. I think it's more of a size, scale and complexity than it is remote or colocated teams. Today's growth story is about how a big data platform increase the efficiency of their leaging campaigns in a matter of weeks. Delphis, the company in the story, had hired an agency to manage their Google adds a few years ago, but they weren't seeing the results they wanted to see. Being such a technical be tob solution, they set out to find a team that could take on their challenge. After countless proposals, they found the perfect fit directive consulting...

...the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. In just one week after launching directives campaigns, Delphi saw their lead volume double and their costper lead drop by sixty percent. I have a haunch that directive can get these kind of results for you to so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get back to this interview. So Day dreak, is the solved there to have technology G in place that allows you to spend kind of less time doing status updates and more time making decisions on the data that is that is being delivered to you without without requiring a meeting to get that data. Yeah, our world view, right, is that there should be a part, there is a crucial stack for most companies that right now is filled with points in people, and that stack is a strategy, operations intelligence stack, right, which is where is it that we can go see the strategic priorities at the top level in each layer, like where is that transparent? What's our plan? What's our actual right across the business, and how do how does each team come together into the whole? Right, and that, we believe in two thousand and eighteen should not be in fractured, in ten thousand pages of powerpoint sitting on fifty different desktops. Right. It should be something that's digital that's intelligently automated, that's completely transparent, and with that complete transparency, we believe along comes continuous business reviews as a page really where you can see the strategic priorities, the metrics, the execution against them, the current risks, your dependencies and the risks three or...

...four layers below you in the organization. That should be a running business review that's digital, not a monthly business review that is a Garchangel and exercise for your organization in chasing facts and chasing data. All Right, they dree. I want to. I want to dive into this third strategy killer as we wind down the interview today, as we're talking off line. You said that it's really hard to map the things that are happening within an organization to the actual strategy. It seems like that has a lot to do with, you know, what we've been talking about up to this point, just aligning, you know, the execution to the strategy. Could you elaborate on this issue and how organizations can go about solving it for us? Yep, one way to think about aligning the project work and the best actions that people take day to day to the strategy. It's like putting your money where your mouth is. Right if you've got a set of strategic priorities, and most organizations have at the top level three to five, you want to make sure that what you people are doing during the week and during the month is actually aligned to those things that you say you want to achieve. And what gets complicated, right the more layers you have a new organization in and the let's understand and you have about the strategy. It's getting clarity on whether you know the three or four hundred projects that may be going on in the organization at a time, how those really aligned or whether, another example, whether the messaging in the press, the Pew our plan that the marketing team has is really aligned to the new path to market that the strategic priorities are calling out, or that that's really aligned to what product is building one of that's really aligned to what sales is out they're trying to sell. Right. That kind of alignment is a work we're doing really high out to the strategy. Is Very difficult to do without a systematic approach. It I'll call it nearly impossible. And...

...as evidence of nearly impossible, less than twenty percent of organizations actually achieve their strategy and eighty percent of CEO's feel it's an enormous struggle to close the strategy execution gap, and it's it's because we close it with with people and meeting right as opposed to creating a systematic visual linkage of this initiative, this work effort, this team's frinds to these strategic priorities that line all the way up to the organization strategic priority today. Jas, as we close it down here, you've shared a you've shared a ton of value. If there's somebody listening theydre and they want to stay connected with you, they want to learn more about workboard, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? So give me a shout out on twitter. I'm at day dream, so day underscore the are on twitter. Of course, workboardcom we provide an active strategy management solution that literally strategy and operations intelligence, clarifying, cascade the strategic priorities, manage more effectively with digital business reviews and a line and coordinate to execution more intelligently. Bring it together. Mail your plan. They do. This has been fantastic. I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much for hanging out with us. Absolutely. Thank you very much for the opportunity. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed to be growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with like minded people.

Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a be tob growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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