Driving Accountability with One Simple Strategy

I recently re-read this book, American Icon by Bryce Hoffman. And it’s the story of Alan Mulally, the former Boeing executive, and how he turned Ford Motor Company around in the mid-2000s, when they were losing billions and about to go out of business.  He helped turn that around in the space of about four years.

There’s one particular strategy that I think is just brilliant that he used and it’s directly applicable for your growing business as well.

Well, it’s a very simple strategy for running effective meetings and taking action.

When Mulally came to Ford, he ran a “Weekly BPR” or Business Process Review.

In the BPR, everyone in the leadership team had to report on the KPIs for their areas of responsibility.

But not only report on the numbers – it was data-driven, which was good – but they also had to report on their status based on a scorecard.

And the scorecard was red, yellow, or green.

A green status meant: we’re on track or ahead of schedule.
Yellow: we have a problem, but we have a resolution which we’re implementing.
Red: we have a problem, no resolution to it, and we need some help.

So as simple as this sounds, it’s brilliant because it allowed the leadership team to hone in on the problem areas and allocate the time, money, energy, resources to get those issues resolved.  And then they’re getting reported back on the next week again, they don’t go away.  They get reported on every single week.

This clarity got everyone taking action to solve their issues, and problems no longer lingered.

I think this is very relatable to businesses of your size.  If you’re in a growth mode of your business you’ve got more team, you have more processes, more moving parts than you did a few years ago.

And if you don’t have good reporting, it’s a little more difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on.

So I encourage you to run your meetings based on the numbers, have your team present you with key performance indicators, and use a scorecard system. “Are we red, yellow, or green?”  It helps keep the meetings really quick.

It also gets rid of all the anecdotes and explanations of what’s happening, and get right to the point.  You can have effective meetings, and allocate the resources that you need to get your issues resolved.

I encourage you to grab a copy of the book, check it out for yourself.  It’s a real page turner: American Icon by Bryce Hoffman.  Keep learning and continue on your path for growth.

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