March 25, 2021 Blog, Market Discipline

Uncertainty Is Not An Excuse

There is no other way to say this: for many companies, execution will be at risk in 2021.

We recently became a Line-of-Sight SM Certified Partner to help our clients execute better. Line-of-SightSM looks beyond talent to help you assess the 5 Key Success factors for Execution (let’s call them KSEs): Strategic Understanding, Leadership, Balanced Metrics, Activities & Structure, and Human Capital.

Uncertainty Is Not An Excuse

There is no other way to say this: for many companies, execution will be at risk in 2021. This assessment comes from the data we are seeing in our client work on execution excellence:

  • First, most of our clients have pivoted their strategy to adapt to unprecedented market conditions. They are representative of the broader business community: 86% of CEOs changed their strategy to some extent in 2020, according to The Predictive Index’s latest CEO Benchmarking Report.
  • That pivot happened at a time when work organization was disrupted, with many employees working from home and away from the usual formal and informal communication channels (such as posted placards in the office, lunch time chats, and watercooler encounters).
  • We know from our Line-of-SightSM data that the pandemic has magnified or created new issues, like irrelevant metrics and disconnect between new job demands and employees’ competencies.

In this perfect storm, executives are challenged to follow a clear strategic path: should they continue to contain cost at the expense of new products? Should they pivot to address new demand, without knowing if it will evaporate when things return to normal?  How can they move in-person customer service excellence online?

Early data from our Line-of-SightSM clients show that leaders stepped up in the crisis and did a good job communicating their intentions, many of which were tactical moves designed to ensure survival in the short-term.

As we head into the post-pandemic phase, we expect our client work in 2021 to focus heavily on realigning all the elements of execution excellence around a simple, clear market positioning:

  • Communicate the new strategy to employees as they fully come back to work
  • Continue to apply the good aspects of crisis management, including greater self-awareness as leaders and greater awareness of their employees needs
  • Simplify and redefine their metrics to have the right data to make decisions
  • Refocus their employees on the activities that are critical to their market positioning, and ruthlessly eliminate everything else
  • Redefine their organization structure if has lagged behind their strategic pivot
  • Finally, train or retrain their employees to give them the competencies required to adapt to their evolving jobs

We expect 2021 to be a “reset” year from an execution perspective: our early client data show that most organizations will need to run a comprehensive “damage report” since the pandemic has had such a far-reaching impact on their operations.

Yet analytics should be used to simplify and focus the executives’ job: The health assessment we run to baseline every new client allows us to focus on the most vulnerable execution factors, which so far this year, appear to be Balanced Metrics and Human Capital.

What do you think are yours?

To learn more about enhancing your own execution, please reach and we will initiate an assessment of your execution capabilities. Learn more here: Line-of-Site

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