top of page

Performance drivers to master your goals

Welcome to the third and final installment in our trifecta of posts taking you from strategy to goals. 

This last post is all about those high-value actions, what we call performance drivers, to make your goals happen. This is where things go from big ideas to real-world success. 

Fun, right? 

If you’ve followed along, you’ll remember my housebuilder friend, whose differentiator is an iron-clad commitment to project timelines. I love using this example because his work is so tangible, but this advice applies to any business, from a small, family-owned shop to a large, multinational company. 

Below, I outline four key performance drivers to help you hit your 2024 goals. Think of them as gears – they fit together to transmit energy. As I write about in Get in Gear, my 2020 book about getting from strategy to execution to results, the more aligned they are, the less friction between them, and the smoother your path to success. 

Right, Right, Right. 

You want to start by having the right people with the right capabilities in the right roles at the right time. 

That means finding the proper skill sets but also people with the right attitudes and values to get to your goals. A master technician with a bad attitude and a big mouth will drag the rest of the team down. And don’t miss the talent you’ve already got: how can you engage and develop your existing team?  

Using our home builder example, this means having a team of reliable construction professionals and tradespeople, from framing and finishing carpenters to electricians, plumbers, crack-fillers, and painters, lined up to do the job. He wants workers with great technical skills, a good work ethic, and high reliability. He needs to count on them so the company can honor its commitment to on-time delivery. 

It’s important to remember that you never “solve” Right, Right, Right. It’s an ongoing adaptation, and part of getting it right is to look for people who embrace the opportunity to develop themselves to perform better in their current and future roles. 

Align the Architecture

Having the right people is not enough – you need an architecture, the systems, structures, and  processes that align with your goal. 

This can feel risky. It may mean challenging the way things have always been done. 

Take our builder. 

In an industry that’s been slow to go digital, I’ll bet he’s using software and online tools to create an efficient, transparent, aligned organization. 

Construction is a very choreographed field: timing is essential to bring the right skills, materials, and equipment together, as well as managing administrative elements such as permits and inspections. For our builder, this means project management software that tracks human resources, costs, and timelines. It’s just one of the architectural elements that keep things humming. 

So, when it’s time to dig the foundation, he doesn’t have a crew standing around, leaning on their shovels, waiting for the excavator. 

Visible Scorecards

“What gets measured gets done,” an old management maxim states.  

In every industry, there are key performance indicators that tell the story of how things are going. 

 In construction, schedule fidelity drives everything else – including costs. The farther you fall behind schedule, the higher your costs will go. So, it follows that our builder’s scorecards would track performance related to those key drivers. From a system standpoint, he has both individual project and cumulative scorecards that he looks at weekly, monthly, and quarterly results to stay on top of the day-to-day and spot larger trends or challenges. 

When creating scorecards, start with the premise that people want to do work that matters and will rise to the occasion when given the chance. Scorecards don’t work when they feel punitive. When people have clear targets, they tend to spend less time messing around with stuff that doesn't matter. 

Good scorecards drive performance by clarifying the connection between effort and results and highlighting shortfalls, prompting corrective action or extra effort to close the gap.  

Follow-up, follow through. 

A goal without a plan is just words. 

Consistent follow-up, follow-through ensure we honor the commitments that we've made. This is communication to drive accountability. It keeps the goal active and in sight. 

This communications cascade must flow down through the entire organization. That doesn’t mean everyone needs to be in every meeting – that would actually be a really inefficient way of communicating. But it does need to reach the team members responsible for executing the work that will help you hit your goal. 

For our builder, I’ll bet he is in contact with his site superintendent or construction manager daily for a status report on each house. The construction manager is, in turn, following through with their team, suppliers, inspectors – anyone who’s essential to keeping the project on track to reach their goals. 

Follow-up, follow-through should have its own architecture, a clear, repeatable process, so everyone knows what to expect. 

And there you have it, our round-up of the four most important performance drivers you need to be aligned. With that, our three-part series on getting from strategy to goals is complete. 

We love to hear from you. What is the status of your goals for 2024? What struggles are you having? What has most helped you and your team hit your goals? Share in the comments below.

36 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

Recent Posts

bottom of page