Category Archives: Do & Review

Take action. Review what happens.

How to Run Operating Meetings

A CEO Manage to Lead participant put it this way:

“It’s easy to make great progress when you aren’t doing much in the first place,”

when commenting on the lift in performance experienced after tweaking the approach to running his organization’s weekly Operating Meeting.

The motivation was to stop wasting countless hours discussing philosophical and theoretical matters that had little-to-nothing to do with operations and that kept them from getting important work done in their operating meeting up to that point.

The point of his Haiku-like phrase is that it is not hard to run an organization better…but you do have to work at it.

Every meeting needs to be thought through to get clear why it is being held, what it is to produce, how it will be accomplished, and what outcomes are to be generated (see: How to Run a Great Meeting).

A good approach for Operating Meetings is for the organization’s leader (e.g., CEO, unit leader, initiative leader, project manager, etc.) to have each functional leader (e.g., head of engineering, head of marketing, etc.) present in literally just a few minutes:

How to connect the Top-of-the-House to the FrontLine

When top leaders are informed, thinking critically, and engaged enough to provide guidance and direction, things tend to go pretty well.  That is, things get done better, sooner, and more smoothly when leaders pay attention.  This note describes an efficient way for top leaders to get and stay up-to-speed, see and understand what is going on, ask questions and think critically, develop a point-of-view, and provide advice and guidance on their organization’s most important functions, projects, and initiatives. Continue reading How to connect the Top-of-the-House to the FrontLine

Four Kinds of Help

When it is time to start planning  but the top team is maxed-out just keeping up with operations, outside help may be just the thing. But what kind of help is best to get?

Keep in mind that there are four types of help. Here is a guide you can use to decide which is right for you and your team.

About consultants…what is the difference between them?

Kinds of Outside Help

1. Strategy Consultants

  • WHAT THE LEADER WANTS: Strategy consultants compare organization performance with others in similar and different industries to recommend what is possible in light of advances in technology and trends.
  • THE REALITY: The challenge is for leaders to internalize and adopt new ideas as their own, especially in light of what it will take to implement them. Strategy consultants are known for good ideas and not for helping clients follow their advice.

Continue reading Four Kinds of Help

Better Risk Data: Regulatory Mandate and Strategic Opportunity

Ray's coverBackground

It is well known that firms with inadequate systems for managing risk are liable to suffer serious breakdowns that interrupt operations and cost the companies dearly in terms of fines, remediation efforts, and damage to their reputations. But firms’ risk management systems are only as good as the data fed into them. What of firms that pay attention to the wrong metrics, employ error-prone data-collection practices, or rely on otherwise misleading data to manage their risks?

Approach

Better Risk Data: Regulatory Mandate and Strategic Opportunity, an article written by Promontory Financial Group’s Ray Strecker, Yoko Otani, and Stacy Coleman,  focuses on U.S. and global banking regulators’ increasing expectation that financial firms bolster their risk management by improving how they collect, manage, and assess data. But these best data practices for the financial sector are broadly applicable to firms, in every industry, that need to negotiate complex risks. This article demonstrates that firms should incorporate forward-looking, data-driven risk assessments into their routines of doing business.

Bank regulators like the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Federal Reserve Board, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have suggested that financial firms need to improve how they aggregate and report risk data. Many of these banks are attempting to meet the regulators’ requirements by building a series of one-off processes and systems. That approach can lead to a patchwork of partial capabilities that may leave firms farther adrift from the goal of having the authoritative, consistent information they need.

This article explains why financial and other institutions should aim for a comprehensive approach to managing risk information. Well-designed systems for gathering and assessing risk data will satisfy and surpass regulatory requirements. Continue reading Better Risk Data: Regulatory Mandate and Strategic Opportunity

How to Run a Great Annual Leadership Team Offsite Meeting.

Most leaders find it difficult to adequately prepare— assuming they even know how — to facilitate a high-powered, executive offsite. The truth is that it is nearly impossible for a leader to facilitate and participate in, let alone also lead, their own offsite. A better strategy is to hire experts who use proven approaches, tools, and methods to prepare and facilitate a great annual leadership team offsite meeting.

The ten tips and resource links below will help the thoughtful leader to get out in-front of the planning process and make clear to the board, top team, and employees that the organization is in good hands and well-led.

Gant ChartPlan the Plan

  • Inform the board and the management team that it is time to work on plans for the coming year.
  • The management team can be as small as three to five members or as many as 15 to 20.
  • If there are more than seven, pick three to five to serve as an executive committee.
  • Prepare a time-line of steps, outputs, and review points.
  • Assign a process leader who will manage planning as a project.
  • Schedule offsite session and line up facilities and facilitation support.

  See details on leadership team strategy and planning sessions. 

Continue reading How to Run a Great Annual Leadership Team Offsite Meeting.