Perhaps when you started your business you were able to sustain a simplistic approach to your business, a well-oiled efficient machine; able to achieve your objectives and stay focused. Now, you’ve grown, you hired employees, opened multiple offices and now offer more products and/or services than ever– are you still maintaining a homeostatic balance? The good news is you’re not alone. All successful entrepreneurs, startups and companies carry this same inevitable burden, regular maintenance and upkeep.
In an ever-changing economy and world of constant innovation, organizing and reviewing your business is considered crucial to advancement and growth, in any industry. Although this process may initially seem tedious and overwhelming, with the proper tools and tactics, a full evaluation is a lot simpler than it may seem.
Before diving into the analysis process, it is important to understand the benefits, including identifying the strengths and weaknesses, client service, employee engagement and retention. Although assessments are not considered to be mandatory, we recommend utilizing the tool to organize your overall strategy to scale your business. The deep-dive is step one of the strategic-decision making process. It is important to be honest with yourself and to be organized. The scorecard and questions were designed to show entrepreneurs, startups and businesses their blind spots and provide instant, actionable steps on how to improve.
A business habits checklist is considered to be the best framework to execute your company’s strategy. The scorecard originated over 100 years ago, when John D. Rockefeller implemented this process as part of his business strategy. However, the process remains the same. The assessment is broken down into 10 habits to evaluate the health of your business. With the focus on team and leadership alignment, communication, accountability, core values, transparency and more; the condensed review will allow you to see where your business currently stands, and what is necessary for growth.
Culture to Cash’s Business Habits Checklist
The executive team is healthy & aligned.
- Team members understand each other‘s differences, priorities, and styles.
- The team meets frequently (weekly is best) for strategic thinking.
- The team participates in ongoing executive education (monthly recommended).
- The team is able to engage in constructive debates and all members feel comfortable participating.
Everyone is aligned with the #1 thing that needs to be accomplished this quarter to move the company forward.
- The Critical Number is identified to move the company ahead this quarter.
- 3-5 Priorities (Rocks) that support the Critical Number are identified and ranked for the quarter.
- A Quarterly Theme and Celebration/Reward are announced to all employees that bring the Critical Number to life.
- Quarterly Theme/Critical Number posted throughout the company and employees are aware of the progress each week.
Communication rhythm is established and information moves through organization accurately and quickly.
- All employees are in a daily huddle that lasts less than 15 minutes.
- All teams have a weekly meeting.
- The executive and middle managers meet for a day of learning, resolving big issues, and DNA transfer each month.
- Quarterly and annually, the executive and middle managers meet offsite to work on the 4 Decisions.
Every face of the organization has a person assigned with accountability for ensuring goals are met.
- The Function Accountability Chart (FACe) is completed (right people, doing the right things, right).
- Financial statements have a person assigned to each line item.
- Each of the 4-9 processes on the Process Accountability Chart (PACe) has someone that is accountable for them.
- Each 3-5 year Key Thrust/Capability has a corresponding expert on the Advisory Board if internal expertise doesn’t exist.
Ongoing employee input is collected to identify obstacles and opportunities.
- All executives (and middle managers) have a Start/Stop/Keep conversation with at least one employee weekly.
- The insights from employee conversations are shared at the weekly executive team meeting.
- Employee input about obstacles and opportunities is being collected weekly.
- A mid-management team is responsible for the process of closing the loop on all obstacles and opportunities.
Reporting and analysis of customer feedback data is frequent and accurate as financial data.
- All executives (and middle managers) have a 4Q conversation with at least one end user weekly.
- The insights from customer conversations are shared at the weekly executive team meeting.
- All employees are involved in collecting customer data.
- A mid-management team is responsible for the process of closing the loop on all customer feedback.
Core Values and Purposes are ‘alive’ in the organization.
- Core Values are discovered, Purpose is articulated, and both are known by all employees.
- All executives and middle managers refer back to the Core Values and Purpose when giving praise or reprimands.
- HR processes and activities align with the Core Values and Purpose (hiring, orientation, appraisal, recognition, etc.).
- Actions are identified and implemented each quarter to strengthen the Core Values and Purpose in the organization.
Employees can articulate the following key components of the company’s strategy accurately.
- Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) – Progress is tracked and visible.
- Core Customer(s) – Their profile in 25 words or less.
- 3 Brand Promises – And the corresponding Brand Promise KPIs reported weekly.
- Elevator Pitch – A compelling response to the question “What does your company do?”
All employees can answer quantitatively whether they had a good day or week.
- 1 or 2 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are reported weekly for each role/person.
- Each employee has 1 Critical Number that aligns with the company’s Critical Number for the quarter (clear line of sight).
- Each individual/team has 3-5 Quarterly Priorities/Rocks that align with those of the company.
- All executives and middle managers have a coach (or peer coach) holding them accountable to behavior changes.
The company’s plan and performance are visible to everyone.
- A “situation room” is established for weekly meetings (physical or virtual).
- Core Values, Purpose and Priorities are posted throughout the company.
- Scoreboards are up everywhere displaying current progress on KPIs and Critical Numbers.
- There is a system in place for tracking and managing the cascading Priorities and KPIs.
Matt Blanton, Nick Scarabosio and Corwin Smith are cofounders of Culture to Cash, a top-tier business coaching and consulting firm that provides expert guidance to clients across multiple industries.