Magnets and Milestones
To execute on company strategy successfully, leaders need to focus on managing results instead of managing tasks. Yet, many leaders get stuck discussing, measuring, and listening to reports on activities. This absence of results focus is a major factor in strategy execution failures.
Magnets. You must be clear about defining the work you need your team to do. This can be done by creating magnets that, if clear and complete, can guide and pull your team in the right direction. If the team doesn’t have a precise understanding of what they are working towards, it will be very challenging for them to successfully execute on the company strategy. I know you’ve seen work grind to a halt when people aren’t clear about the work to be done.
Milestones. While magnets are there to pull your team in the right direction, milestones are set in place to ensure you are on the right track throughout the process. These milestones are what leaders need to focus on – are we hitting the right markers to achieve our results versus just completing the daily tasks that might get us to our end goal. Ideally, milestones will help you know quickly if you are on track or off track, that way you can adjust accordingly.
Clearly defining the magnets and milestones is essential to informing your team members “what” to do. Once these are defined, let them figure out the “how.” This structure allows you to focus on the progress towards results and your team to focus on innovative ways to reach each milestone.