Posts Tagged ‘5 star model’

A New Sales Leadership Model

One of my favorite models is the 5 Star Model for Organizational Development.  Jay Galbraith and his colleague created a simple graphic to ensure both alignment between key functions of any business and the desired results. Essentially this model is for leadership as well as sales leadership as it looks determine where the gaps exist between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals.

sales-leadershipThe simple genius of this model was the interconnectedness of these 5 keys areas of:

  1. Strategy
  2. Structure
  3. Processes
  4. Rewards
  5. People

Results were always in the middle. By incorporating this model into executive leadership behaviors worked to avoid misalignment between these 5 areas.

Executive Coaching Tip: Misalignment is usually the real problem especially when execution fails.

Nearly two decades after working with executive and sales coaching clients,  I realized a similar model would be beneficial for those in individual sales leadership roles.  This model could work in tangent with the 5 Star Model for Organizational Development.

What I developed is the 5 Star Sales Leadership Model™. Here the focus is still on results. This model looks to the individual salesperson and where there also may be misalignment impacting results.

sales-leadership

 

  1. Goal Achievement
  2. Sales Process
  3. Self-Leadership
  4. Talents
  5. Sales Skills

What I have observed is many times a singular focus when it comes to the goal to increase sales. For example, there is a flurry of activity on sales training for improved sales skills and yet very rarely is goal achievement included in sales training.

Maybe the SMB is forward thinking and has taken to developing talents. However, that talent development sometimes works against self leadership especially motivation.

Sales results are not just because of one aspect of the salesperson or the SMB.  No, the results are because of interconnected aspects. The 5 Star Sales Leadership Model™ brings clarity to those interconnection points and looks to simplify what might be limiting the salesperson and consequently the SMB from achieving the desired results.

This week, I will review each point of this model to further explain the rationale for each point. I look forward to your feedback.

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A Leadership Truism Reaffirmed

One of my colleagues, Doug Brown, made this statement years ago “People confuse motion with progress and activity with results.” This is truly a leadership truism and applies in sales as well.  Regardless of your role as a leader be it small business owner, sales professional, or C suite executive there is a lot of motion and activity going on with far less progress and results.

leadership-truismI was reminded of this leadership truism when I read a LinkedIn Pulse posting about how employee engagement is over-rated because at the end of the day CEOs want results.  From my perspective as I read this posting, I believe the author is ignoring this one fact:

Employee engagement must be in alignment with the strategy, structure, processes/systems, rewards and people within the organization. (Galbraith 5 Star Model)

This alignment is the responsibility of leadership and so employee engagement is really a reflection of the effectiveness of all involved as leaders within the organization.

When employees are engaged but not delivering the necessary progress and results, then it is the responsibility of leaders to ensure there is alignment between all five elements within the organization. Misalignment in many instances is where disengagement is observed.

At the end of the day, leadership is the driving force in any organization from the single office/home office (SOHO) to the Fortune 100 firms. Possibly this leadership truism from my friend should be asked at the end of every day by all in leadership roles:

How did my behaviors model the necessary progress and results we need at this organization?

* * * * * * * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals in the key areas of strategic growth, people development and process improvement. She speaks and writes specifically to small businesses under 50 employees whose challenges are more unique and resources more limited. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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Enablement Is a Business Strategy; It’s Not Just for Sales Training

sales-trainingSales enablement continues to increase in popularity within the sales training community.  However, enablement should not just be relegated to sales training instead enablement should become a fully integrated business strategy, let me explain.

The word enablement comes from the verb, enable, which means “to make able.”  If you are only making able your sales, this does suggest you are potentially creating or further deepening other gaps within your business regardless if you are a sole proprietor or a mid-size to small business. Also as execution still is a significant barrier, then by “making able” all involved would significantly reduced or eliminate this barrier.

The 5 Star Model

sales-trainingPossibly one of the best guides to better understanding this word enablement is the 5 Star Model as developed by Jay Galbraith and referred to in past postings.  What Galbraith and his team recognized was the importance of alignment.  Without interconnecting alignment between strategy, structure, processes/systems, rewards and people, companies face critical gaps. These gaps prevent results and therefore drain profits.

Simply speaking, misalignment is absence of enablement.

An Enablement Culture

Zappos made news in late 2013 with the announcement of having a Holacratic organizational structure.  No bosses would enable employees to do what they need to do. Not all organizations are ready for this restructuring because it requires an evolving process.

To begin this process of an enable culture starts with assessing the current organization.  One of the better organizational assessments I have had worked with is D.I.AL.O.G. This proven organizational assessment examines the organization through the  seven Baldrige criteria and presents the executive leadership team with comprehensive analysis from all perspectives within the business.

Leadership The Lynchpin

sales-trainingFor true enablement to happen does demand leadership be leading in a consistent, forward thinking and highly ethical manner. Poor leadership is the reason for dis-enablement. The authors of Fail-Safe Leadership did not discuss enablement directly. However, their book looks at what is keeping an organization from”making so” what it needs to do.

If you are looking at sales enablement, great. Yet imagine what would happen if you embraced enablement as a business strategy and not just for sales training?

Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S.,  is an executive coach and talent management specialist who takes an heuristic approach to personal, professional and organizational growth. Her task is to support you in bridging the gap between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals. She can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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Want a Fail-Safe Small Business? Then Start with Fail-Safe Leadership

With the fairly consistent  and high small business failure rate, maybe it is time to begin embracing what the authors of Fail-Safe Leadership discussed in their book. Their premise was not only simplistic, but ahead of its time as more and more noted business experts and organizational consultants are returning to the leadership as being the lynchpin for sustainable small business growth.

fail-safe-leadershipYes having a great niche idea for your small business is essential.  Knowing your business has enough cash flow to survive six to 12 months is also critical. However without fail-safe leadership, sustainable business growth will continue to allude you.

Fail-Safe Leadership Temperature Check

In the beginning of the book, the authors do a quick temperature check and ask if your organization is facing some these issues among others:

  • Lack of personal accountability?
  • Unacceptable results?
  • Can’t do attitudes?

This checklist is a great way to start constructing a positive and high performance culture from day one.  Each issue can be re-framed into a proactive question such as:

  • How do I develop personal accountability at all levels of my small business?
  • How do I ensure acceptable results for all employees including myself?
  • How do I encourage can do attitudes within my small business?

Note:  If your small business is well established and yet you are facing these issues, then you may wish to consider a more detailed organizational assessment such as D.I.AL.O.G. This proven assessment is nearly 20 years old and is based on Baldrige criteria.

Misalignment Is a Real Barrier

fail-safe-leadershipAnother key point in this great, truly ahead of its time book is the concept of alignment. Fail-safe leadership is all about creating alignment and avoiding misalignment.  The authors tell a simple story about how a CEO wants to increase sales and then how his C-Suite executives all take different actions to achieved the goal. This is a classic case of organizational misalignment through poor leadership communication.

The 5 Star Model Works with Fail-Safe Leadership

By aligning people, systems and strategy from the very beginning works to avoid later organizational misalignment between strategy, structure, processes/systems, rewards and people. Jay Galbraith and his team developed the 5 Star Model for Organizational Development and this model works very well with Fail-Safe Leadership as the executive leadership is responsible for not only strategy, people and systems, but also rewards and structure.

fail-safe-leadershipHaving a Fail-Safe Leadership is fairly simple.  The barrier becomes beginning with the right elements in place and that starts with leadership.  So grab a copy of Fail-Safe Leadership and work through each chapter.  And to start that process, please download this Leadership-Audit that will support you to better understand you are not a bad leader but your small business may have leadership challenges.

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Do You Really Have Bad Business Strategy?

Are you one of those business executives desperately seeking a new business strategy because this year’s results were pardon the expression “all wet?

business-strategyIs seeking a new business strategy a fairly common end of the year or quarter business behavior?

Are you reaching for some quick fix instead of truly assessing the real problems and not the usual symptoms?

Have you ever considered your business strategy might be OK to even good?  Maybe the problem is something else?

Do you feel right now that I am pointing my finger at you?  Are you feeling a little uncomfortable?

Well, you should because before you hire that next business strategist, small business coach, executive coach or high price consulting firm possibly you may wish consider the following reasons why today’s results will not get you to tomorrow’s goals.

 

Assessment

Some business executives believe they know how to assess their business operations and immediately jump into their profit and loss statements. This is one way, but not the only way and such an organizational assessment will miss many other limitations and opportunities.

Imagine for a moment going to the doctor with a headache and your doctor immediately schedules you for brain surgery without ordering any diagnostics or assessments.  Would you have confidence in his or her recommendation?

business-strategySo if your current business strategy is giving you a headache, why are you considering brain surgery before you assess what is really going on?

Additionally, if your current business strategies are not working and new ones are sought year after year because today’s results are not realizing tomorrow’s goals, then investing the time to assess the organization is the first step.  This organizational assessment can be informal to formal. However, employing  a more formal organizational assessment every 3 to 5 years based upon specific criteria such as Baldrige can uncover critical gaps.

One such assessment I recommend is D.I.AL.O.G which looks at an organization from 5 to 10 employees to hundreds of employees through these seven criteria:

  1. Leadership
  2. Strategic Planning
  3. Customer and Market Focus
  4. Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management
  5. Human Resource Focus
  6. Process Management
  7. Business Results

As an instructional designer what is so great about this particular assessment is its affordability and speed of delivery. Much larger consulting firms will construct a tailored organizational assessment that will cost your business an arm and a leg.  This Internet driven assessment is affordable; provides relatively quick insight and has the capacity to deliver additional insight through the 20 minute one on one conversations with a selected sample of the employee population.

business-strategy-5-star-model

Business Misalignment

Jay Galbraith developed a simple graphic to illustrate why gaps exist in organizations.  Gaps prevent results from happening. His 5 Star Model for organizational development or what I prefer to call organizational excellence is where I begin with all clients.  I listen for gaps between:

  • Strategy
  • Structure (Organizational and physical)
  • Process/Systems (Operations)
  • Rewards
  • People

Of course many do not know if business misalignment actually exists until a formal assessment is undertaken.

business-strategy

Communication

Usually because business misalignment exists, this creates another barrier to effective execution of business strategy. Many organizations fail to consistently communicate their strategies in ways for their people to understand.

Much of this failure is because of the lack of trust in employees or the “We can’t tell them that!” attitude. Unless employees have crystal clear clarity regarding the business strategy from their perspective results will continue to limp along.

In today’s world where so much can be discovered via the Internet, keeping secrets from employees or believing them to be mindless robots is illogical and simply ridiculous. No, you do not need to give them the proprietary, financial information, but you can communicate to them with purpose and illustrate why this or that business strategy is critical to the organization’s success.

Leadership

business-strategyUltimately the buck stops here or at the door of leadership. The authors of Fail-Safe Leadership were ahead of their times when they published this short read on organizational excellence.

  • Organizations are comprised of people.
  • People lead and manage other people.
  • People are responsible for misdirected results or poor business results.

Unfortunately, the people at the top because of their failure to assess; misalignment and poor communication tend to blame everyone else.  Leadership more often than not is the real enemy for a business strategy not working. And yet leadership continues to blame the customesr, the employees, the competition or the economy.

Captain Wing It and the 4 Letter Dirty Word

Years ago a colleague shared a story about Captain Wing It. To condense that story is there are a lot of business executives who spray their actions (think strategies and tactics) all over the place and then pray something will stick. These folks are the Captain Wing Its.

Also the Captain Wing Its believe the word plan has all the connotation of a four letter dirty word.  I can say with 100% complete confidence that at least 80% of all businesses from 100 employees or less do not have a well thought out written, goal driven strategic plan that is actively revisited on a weekly basis.  Leadership leads with the ever present excuse of “I or we don’t have time.”

President Dwight Eisenhower said “Plans are worthless,planning is everything.”  This is even more true today.  Time must be invested to plan for tomorrow’s goals and to ensure today’s results are being achieved.

business-strategy

 

Your Next Step

If your business strategy is not working, then before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, consider re-reading this blog. Personally I do not like pointing fingers at people especially my readers, but enough is enough!

Now is the time to take intentional and purposeful action that will stop this yearly insanity of seeking that next quick fix business strategy to cure what ails today’s business results.

My final questions to you are these:

How many opportunities have you lost?

How much have you already invested in solutions that are not sustainable?

Can you afford another year of bad business results?

 

 

 

 

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The Never Ceasing Quest for a New Business Strategy

Yesterday, a dear friend and colleague, Dan Waldschmidt, shared that Internet searches for “business strategy” had increased 17% during the last month.  It would appear there are a lot of small business owners to Fortune 1000 executives in a quest to discover a new way of “deceiving their competition.”  In case you are curious, the word strategy comes from the Greek and means for a general to deceive his enemies.

Just like people interchangeably use the words wants and needs in sales respect to business growth, the terms strategy and tactics (strategy execution) are also equally exchanged. Unfortunately, these terms are quite different and possibly this is way so many are seeking a better solution to business growth in the forthcoming New Year.

Simply speaking strategy is a thinking process.  Tactics or strategy execution is a doing process.

With so many business executives so busy working IN their businesses, they fail to realize working ON their businesses does require time to think. The common excuse of “I don’t have time to think less alone plan” is probably one of the key reasons so many businesses fail within the first few years.

Failed Business Strategy Execution

Back in 2010, a Conference Board survey  revealed 60% of all strategies failed successful strategic execution.  Today, I am quite sure that percentage has not changed all that much.

The failure began because effective strategy execution requires identifying these five (5) elements (Galbraith’s 5 Star Model):

business-strategy-5-Star--Model

  1. Strategy*
  2. Structure
  3. Processes/Systems (Operations)*
  4. Rewards
  5. People*

Strategy, processes and people as noted with the asterisks are the key elements with structure and rewards often ignored and yet can create significant barriers to business strategy.

business-strategy

Crystal Clear Clarity Required

Another reason for failed business strategy is the absence of crystal clear clarity. Imagine an ice cube that you can see through on any six sides.  This is called crystal clear clarity.

Your business strategy should resemble an ice cube in that everyone can see your thought process and consequently your plan with crystal clear clarity.

No Unified, Written Strategic Plan

Strategic planning is still a “dirty phrase” for many in business.  Excuses of “strategic plans don’t work” to the “I don’t have time” still float in the air. Even if there is a written strategic plan, this plan is in many instances not unified with other departments and fails to recognize all elements as noted in the 5 Star Model.

business-strategy

Keeping the Plan Secret

Beyond the other failed reason for not having an executable business strategy, the existing or new strategy is not communicated to the people.  They are given only what is needed and hence cannot see the big picture or how one small miss step can create a cascade effect.  If you as the small business owner or top executive do not trust your people, then therein lies a huge barrier to having successful execution.

The Osmosis Factor

Successful execution of all business strategies requires consistent goal setting and goal achievement. Unfortunately, most people do not successfully achieve their own personal goals less alone business ones.

Goal setting and goal achievement though part of the business world is not taught within the K-16 educational process.  Instead there is a belief that through osmosis (standing next to those who are successful in consistently setting and achieving their goals) employees will learn how to consistently and successfully plan, set, execute and achieve goals.

Consistent goal setting and successful goal achievement is a step by step process embedded within business strategy.  Possibly before embarking on any strategic planning process or hunting for that next best business strategy, maybe it may make sense to adopt a proven goal setting process and then invest the dollars to educate and train all of your employees.  This investment is probably one of the best investments any small business to super large company can make.

Time for Honesty

Ask yourself with crystal clear honesty the following questions:

Why are you in this quest for a new business strategy? 

You may have the right  business strategy but the barriers just mentioned prevent that strategy from being consistently and successfully executed.

Are you seeking the quick fix?

The quick fix mentality is still alive and unfortunately starves everyone and everything including profits.

Are you one of the few and not one of the many?

Staying on top of any strategy less along a unified, written and well communicated strategic plan is time consuming.  The few who make such a commitment and stick with it are successful and they leave the many far behind.

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How Many of Our Choices Return to Same Place Different Time?

The end of the year is quickly coming to an end. Now once again small business owners including many sales professionals are scrambling because their results from their past choices are not where they want them to be. And there is a plethora of sales experts and business consultants writing articles to giving radio interviews to capture all of those individuals who are now seeking the “quick fix.”

choices

Credit: www.gratisography

Einstein had identified these behaviors as insanity “doing the same things over and over again hoping for different results.”

We, as small business owners, are the sum total of all of our choices.  There is very little in life that happens outside of our decision making process.

So does this leave your head scratching why you are in the same place, a year later?

Part of the reason for a lot of motion and little progress is because small business owners lack crystal clarity.  They are so enmeshed in their day to day operations they have failed to make the choice to see the big picture.

Clarity only happens after taking stock of everything that is happening. This assessment is critical from both an organizational and individual perspective.  Additionally, the assessment should be directed to these five areas (5 Star Model):

  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • Process/Systems
  • Rewards
  • People

Another reason for being in the same place a year later is because there is no consistent goal setting/goal achievement process.  Just writing the goal down and then identifying the action steps short changes the goal setting process and ultimately the results.

What would happen if the goal was:

  • WAY SMART?
  • Emotionalized?
  • Resource driven?
  • Talent focused?
  • Forward thinking regarding potential obstacles?

A tremendous disservice has been heaped upon small business owners through past educational experiences.  They were expected to learn consistent goal setting through some osmosis process instead of being “trained” in how to successfully set and then achieve their goals.

Finally, so many of the choices small business owners make focus on what is beyond their control.  This type of behavior only increases stress while reducing results. When time is invested to ask these 3 questions, choices do change:

  • Is this event beyond my control?
  • Is this event something I can influence?
  • Is this event something I can control?

What I know to be true after working with hundreds of individuals as well as myself, we as human beings tend to expend a super majority of our time on things beyond our control. Things outside of our control reduce our ability to secure our desired results. When we become focused with crystal clarity and have a written WAY SMART goal driven action plan, we devote our time to what we can control and that makes all the difference.

If right now you are not where you want to be and this is pretty much where you were last year, then you must decide to make a new choice, one that may make you very uncomfortable.  By taking this action, next year will indeed be quite different as long as you remember to focus on what you can control, yourself and no one else.

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Work Life Integration vs Balance, There Is a Difference

With so many businesses being directed by sole proprietors (78.2% by US Census Bureau) , there is a lot of work life tension happening 24/7.  Week nights to weekends are jammed with those daily business activities that do not require immediate attention within the 9 to 5 weekday routine.

work-life-integrationWhat I am noticing is there is becoming a distinct difference between work life integration and work life balance.  Balance suggests that everything is weighted equally. Yet for me my mental development, learning more, reading more, in many instances is much more about my professional life than personal life and is part of my marketing, sales and innovation aspects of my business.

Years ago I constructed two sets of wheels, one for my personal life and another for my professional life. Then in developing some tools for clients, I developed separate wheels for executive leadership, management, team leadership or supervision, leadership, sales, customer loyalty, innovation,  marketing and small business.

work-life-integration

For me, I no longer have just two wheels, but rather I have numerous wheels working together, integrated. These wheels remind me of the gears (wheels) found in the old fashioned, hand wound clocks. When one is working harder than another, the clock moves faster and the opposite happens when one wheel is moving slower than the other.

5-Star-ModelThis work life integration goes beyond balance because sometimes due to the demands of work life being out of balance intentionally happens. Yes imbalance impacts productivity. Yet, if the work life integration is still in alignment with strategy, structure, processes,rewards and people, the negative impact is considerably lessened. (5 Star Model)

And there is the other element present of alignment.  All wheels require alignment along with the balance and integration. Alignment returns me to my personal growth action plan as well as my small business action plans.

For today’s small business owner and sales professional understanding work life integration along with balance and alignment can make the difference between happiness and sadness.

These one page business action plans may help you gain greater clarity.

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Surface Solutions Slam Small Business Success

The needs to increase sales and to secure sustainable business growth are two of the constants for small businesses. Sometimes these overworked entrepreneurs seek outside support to help them in one or more of these needs for their own small business success. This support ranges from operational areas of people to actual processes such as lean or sustainability.

small-business-successWhat happens in many instances is one of these two scenarios:

  • Unrealistic expectations by the small business owner respective to the desired results (AKA the quick fix)
  • Hiring of an inexperienced or even experienced  business coach or management consultant who is seeking his or her own quick fix

In either case, the result is usually a surface solution that fails to dig deep enough to find the root cause of the problem or problems. Small Business Coaching Tip:  The number one problem is poor, inconsistent or ineffective leadership.

Surface solutions are like icebergs because one fails to see what is underneath the surface.  And therein lies the problem as the Titanic discovered.

Another reason for the continued growth of these surface solutions is because there is no strategic plan. What is identified as organizational alignment is missing and in many instances ignored.

Failure to have alignment is directly tied to the impact of a solution on other areas of the firm.  Small business success happens when there is total alignment (meaning no performance gaps) between strategy, structure, processes, rewards and people (5 Star Model).

As alluded to earlier, probably the most common reason beyond the need by leaders for the quick fix is the ethical makeup of the business coach or management consultant.  In many instances, there is a small market for the truth.

When cash flow is tight, how many SMB  business coaches or management consultants are willing to speak the truth when they know the truth might cost them some revenue?  After all they are providing the solution the client wants even though it is a surface solution and in the majority of cases not sustainable or not the best solution because of misalignment. Who is willing to walk away from a lucrative contract because they may not have all the skills necessary? Business ethics play a significant role within the spread of surface solutions.

Small business success is a daily effort and for those who achieve it congratulations. For those still seeking it, possibly you may wish to reflect upon your own needs and be truthful.

Ask yourself are you seeking a surface solution (AKA the quick fix) be it by hiring a new salesperson to dramatically increase sales or hiring a business coach or management consultant to eliminate your perceived greatest barrier?

Possibly the words of Pogo might be appropriate right now:

“I met the enemy and he is me.”

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Sometimes in Sales All You Have Is a Loose Gas Cap

Right now, are your sales sucking, not where you want them to be?

salesAre you considering bringing in a sales coach or business consultant to help turnaround your under performing team?

Before you sign on the dotted line, it may make sense to ask yourself do you need a complete engine overhaul or possibly you just have a loose gas cap?

The reason for this question is if you engage in some extensive training, adopt the latest trendy sales approach, you still may not achieve sustainable results if there is something wrong that is not connected to your overhaul.

This disconnect is called 5 Star Model of Alignment t and can be determined through one or several diagnostics if not just a few well directed questions.  For example, your business provides a new solution and yet your sales team continues to sell the older offering.  You are perplexed and decide the team must need more training about this new solution.

In a discussion with an ethical consultant, he asks about the compensation model and discovers selling the old solution is more financially rewarding than selling the new one.  All the sales training in the world would not have corrected this misalignment between strategy and rewards.

Then there is the ever present small business owner who is continually scrambling for sales.  The small business coach listens to her growth problems and determines the problem is executive leadership because the small business owner has allowed certain behaviors to continue without any consequences.  Again all the sales training would not helped this misalignment between strategy, processes (performance appraisals), rewards and people. (5 Star Model)

Great business coaches and management consultants have the capacity to find those loose gas caps.  In many instances, these professionals are far more affordable than the prestigious management consulting firms because they do not have the extensive overheard. Additionally if these professionals are local, they have an inherent greater investment in the local business community.

If you are having some less than positive business growth, hiring someone with a different perspective makes sense.  Just make sure you don’t have a loose gas cap before you invest your profits into something that still may not address the barrier to increase sales.

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