Axivest believes that optimum corporate results can only be achieved when the following are developed and aligned:
1. A long term strategic business plan with a clear and appropriate vision, mission, clear statement of values, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
2. Clearly stated roles and goals for each component of the business coupled with specific and measurable objectives as benchmarks for success.
3. Identification of the critical success factors, barriers to success, and development of strategies on how to achieve each critical success factor and overcome the barriers.
4. Annual plans with tactics and action plans focused on achieving the critical success factors and overcoming the barriers.
5. A results-oriented incentive compensation system.
6. An annual performance and goal setting mechanism that supports achievement of the critical success factors and that takes into account the dependencies among various functions or departments of the company.
7. A hiring process that assures the highest level of competence and achievement of corporate goals.
The challenge is not just that all of these be developed and clearly communicated to all stakeholders, but also that they be aligned. Since competition and market needs are constantly changing, corporate strategies should be dynamic. This requires that all supporting components of the plan be modified over time to assure that they remain consistent with current goals and objectives. Axivest can assist in developing these components of setting and achieving key corporate goals. More importantly, Univest can help assure that these components of corporate success are aligned in a way that optimizes both resource utilization and results.
The Planning Process
The chart below depicts the interrelationships of the key components of the planning process used by Axivest.
Axivest is willing to assist our clients either in developing any and all of these components or in modifying existing ones. In either case, the desired end result is that all components are aligned.
More About The Components
1. Vision: The vision statement answers the question, “What do we see that we want to accomplish?” or “What do we want to become?” It is aspirational in nature and drives everything else in the planning process. It is the “where” or “what” of the plan. As the saying goes, “If you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there”. You must be clear on the aspiration and direction of your organization before any of the other planning components are addressed. It is critical to achieving focus.
2. Mission: The mission statement describes the way the vision will be accomplished. It is the “how” of the plan.
3. Grasps: G=Grounded in Values, R=Roles or Product lines of the Corporation or Individuals, A=Unique Abilities (Corporate application is special expertise), S=Spiritual and Physical Gifts (corporate connotation is special positioning), P= Passions, S=SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In order to set the proper foundation on which to build the plan, it is important to identify and clearly state:
a. The values that your organization wants to “live by”. This sets forth the desired behaviors and attitudes that all associates are to follow. The values you promote and insist on will determine the culture you create.
b. The abilities and passions as well as the spiritual and natural gifts that are considered critical to individual and corporate success.
c. An honest assessment of the strengths of the organization-what you do well or how you are different/better than your competitors.
d. A complete and honest assessment of your weaknesses, both internal and external.
4. Roles and Responsibilities: The roles and responsibilities of each functional area or division of your company must be clearly stated and communicated. This is key to getting “all moving parts working together.”
5. Goals: Goals must be set in a way that those responsible for achieving them “buy in” and understand how they will help achieve the corporate goals. This can best be achieved by taking into account the degree to which one individual or area depends on another for their success, in which case “shared goals” must be developed. The goals should also be developed in a way that achievement of all individual goals assures achievement of the corporate goals. This is what we mean by “alignment”. When goals are not aligned, some individuals can succeed at the expense of others and at the expense of the corporation.
6. Objectives: Objectives need to be specific and measurable in order to adequately measure progress toward achieving the associated goals. Many objectives are often thought to be difficult, if not impossible, to measure. Using analytical and actuarial techniques, it is almost always possible to develop criteria that allows for objective measurement of progress towards individual objectives or the associated goals.
7. Critical Success Factors: It is extremely important to clearly identify the Critical Success Factors that must be achieved in order to meet a particular objective. The question is, “what must happen in order to achieve a given
objective”? Clearly understanding the Critical Success Factors can greatly enhance corporate focus as well as resource and time utilization.
8. Barriers: Barriers are those things that must be overcome in order to achieve a given objective. Accurately identifying these in advance and developing strategies and plans to overcome these barriers greatly increases the odds of success and minimizes wasted time and resources.
9. A Results-Oriented Incentive Compensation System: Most organizations of any size have some kind of incentive compensation system. The problem is that many of them are designed in a way that allows individuals or areas of the company to increase their compensation even when the corporate goals are not met. Even worse, many systems can be “gamed” because of the way they are structured. It is important to be sure the structure, the goals, the measurements are properly aligned to assure that individuals or areas of the company only “win” if the company “wins”. This can only happen if the annual performance review and goal setting processes are (a) based upon the Critical Success Factors, and (b) take into account the key dependencies among individuals or areas of the company. Axivest has a proprietary system that assures alignment of these elements.
10. A Hiring Process That Assures Acquisition of The Highest Level of Competency: A hiring process that does not produce the highest level of competency in areas of critical success can waste precious time and resources. Axivest has a process to maximize the value and competency of new hires. We refer to this process as “The Three 3’s”. It is a methodical process that minimizes wasted time on unnecessary interviews and premature turnover, and maximizes the odds of meeting or exceeding the high expectations for newly acquired talent.
11. Once the Purpose, Vision, Values, and Mission is clearly define and agreed upon by all stakeholders and goals, objectives, critical success factors and barriers are determined then a strategic plan can be prepared addressing each of the areas specifically. Specific action plans are put in place that addresses who, what, where, and how. These specific action plans include individuals responsible and to be held accountable as well as specific time lines. The objective is to take the conceptual which is difficult to process and organize by the human mind and to reduce it to component tasks that are clear and manageable which when accomplished result in the achievement of the success of the whole of the envisioned plan producing the desired end results. If you need assistance in any of these areas, or if you are concerned that your existing plan components are not properly aligned, Axivest has experienced professionals who can assist you in developing or modifying your plans and processes.