Building corporate confidence

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:28 pm

It seems many organizations struggle with getting their teams to follow through on a consistent basis. The lack of consistent follow-through leads to poor execution. Poor execution leads to poor earnings performance. Poor earnings performance leads to low corporate confidence.
So where does this vicious cycle begin and end?
Corporate confidence starts with leadership.
Creating a culture of execution is critical to an organization’s success. Creating a culture of execution requires that the leadership team set a good example. Clearly, leadership can’t expect teams to follow a set of rules that they themselves do not follow. So, first things first, the leadership team needs to take a gut check to determine if they are setting the right example for their team to follow. This is the important first step toward increasing corporate confidence.
Building corporate confidence
Superior execution comes from the successful interplay and interdependency of all departments within an organization. Corporate confidence, however, is greatly diminished in organizations where they struggle with follow-through in execution.
Companies that possess a high degree of corporate confidence have developed the ability to follow-through on their commitments on a department-by-department basis. This is very simply doing what you say you are going to do. When departments struggle with achieving their performance goals, look first to the corporate habits that support a higher level of follow-through and execution.
Create corporate habits (best practices)
As a leader, you need to create corporate habits (best practices) that expose good and bad performance as it relates to follow-through and execution. As simple as it sounds, many companies don’t do the simple things such as documenting the commitments that come out of everyday meetings. This is a very simple habit to employ. Tracking commitments and reviewing performance is a very simple way of ensuring folks stay on track.
We have all heard the saying, "what gets measured gets accomplished." This is a simple concept and a true statement. In fact, as a leader, if you are tracking all the correct performance commitments, providing the education and support necessary to develop your team, and you are still not getting consistent and reliable follow-through and execution, then it’s time to take a deeper dive and re-evaluate the individuals on your team for fit.
Be the coach
There are many good people on corporate teams that struggle with follow-through and execution. Your job as coach is to help your players identify the obstacles that impede consistent follow-through and execution. This is critical dialog important to foster within organizations. It is best to identify and discuss these obstacles as a team, recognizing that the collective success of an organization depends on their ability to openly and honestly discuss departmental performance problems and obstacles as they arise. You’ve got to be able to talk the talk before you walk the walk.
Leaders must explain to their team why reliable and dependable follow-through and execution is absolutely critical to the financial viability and long-term success of the organization and its team members. Once you have team understanding and buy-in, then it’s time to walk the walk.
A big part of execution is "doing the drill." Think about it. Follow-through and execution in most, if not all, of our businesses is simply doing what we said we would do. In Vince Lombardi terms, it is the blocking and tackling of business.
When you are the coach, you will always find people on the team that either do not have the correct skills for the job or they just lack luster when it comes to follow-through and execution. If the proper coaching and team support will not help to raise the individual’s performance to appropriate standards, then the coach needs to either move that individual to a more appropriate position or vote that player off the corporate island. Ouch – did I say that?
To keep "A" players, you’ll need excellent execution
It’s unfortunate, but many times we have the wrong people in critical positions. Some leaders tend to wait too long to take corrective action as it relates to addressing underperformance on the team. These are tough decisions to make. However, they are truly critical decisions that have to be made in order to preserve the long-term health and viability of the organization.
Think about it. Why would any "A" player make a conscience decision to play on a losing team? As a leader, it is important to understand that "A" players do not want to be on "B" and "C" teams where they are consistently poor at execution and at delivering the best results. "A" players understand the connection between superior execution and superior performance. They also understand that consistent execution only occurs when the proper measurements and performance review processes (corporate habits) are in place. Your best performers expect these corporate habits as a minimum level of play.
Get help
when appropriate
Breaking bad corporate habits can be difficult. Sometimes it may be necessary to ask for help from outside the organization. Bringing in a corporate coach may be the quickest way to unseat some of the old habits that have come to feel so comfortable and so right. When follow-through and execution is weak within an organization and the leadership team has struggled making improvements, a corporate coach should be able to assist with the following:
1) Assess the corporate environment helping to identify the obstacles to improved follow-through and execution.
2) Reinforce the message about the direct link between improved execution and long-term corporate viability and prosperity.
3) Stimulate critical dialog regarding the obstacles impeding execution while focusing the discussions on identifying solutions .
4) Introduce best practices (corporate habits) to the organization that support the achievement of greater levels of follow-through, execution and accountability.
Philip Mydlach is owner of Mydlach Management Advisors, a corporate planning and performance improvement consulting practice in New Berlin. He can be reached at 262-785-5552 or
April 30, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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