The challenge of business implementation in our increasingly hectic world
Are you a business leader questioning, how are the proposed tactics from across the team going to deliver your growth targets this year? Or as a business owner, you might be frustrated that your ideal customers are not showing up or engaging with you. As a capability and training lead, how often have you been disappointed when the learning in your workshops have been immediately forgotten as everyone goes back to the day job?
These situations are pretty common and a symptom of the challenge we have every day within our increasingly busy world, where ideas, plans and new initiatives are neatly filed away after agreement and finding the time to think and check back on whether our deliverables, today, yesterday or tomorrow are directly helping us to achieve our growth goals falls to the bottom of the to do list. While we focus on the every-day delivery of departments, functions and roles; excellence in implementation can often be over-looked as you keep those plates spinning and tasks ticked off the list.
So what do we mean by a red thread?
The red thread is that clear link between your business priorities and cross-functional team activities in place to achieve your goals.
Imagine a consistent and clear red thread of activities and capabilities running horizontally and vertically through your organisation and directly linked back to your business priorities. When you achieve this visible red thread, that is when you hit the collaboration sweet spot, the point at which everyone understands why and how their role and actions can deliver your business objectives. The collaboration sweet spot achieves synergistic action, prioritisation, accountability and excellence in implementation.
Building sustainable capabilities within increasingly competitive environments
In a recent article from McKinsey & Company, they hi-lighted four key areas of focus for sustainable long-term performance, focussing on embedding business performance and health at both an organisation and individual level. Their suggestion for building sustainable long-term performance is to embed a new red thread way of working across all layers of the organisation and help employees develop knowledge, skills, and behaviours in the four critical areas of:
- How we make money
- How we operate
- How I add value
- How we behave
While building performance across all layers is a tall order even for the most experienced business leader or business owner, within our increasingly competitive environment it is no longer sufficient to train your people on job-level skills only.
Red Thread Strategies
At Red Thread Strategies, we partner with Business Leaders who have identified the need to build and embed future-thinking sales & marketing capabilities to achieve their company goals and are open to objective expertise to help them achieve their red thread for sustainable commercial capability building and sustainable growth. Through our 4 steps to sustainable sales & marketing capability building, we help you identify your red thread and commercial capability building needs across all layers, establishing the culture, strategies, skills and behaviours that will have the greatest impact on achieving your growth goals.
What is your business red thread?
Whether it is building your new marketing strategy or implementing key account management or rolling out a new team development programme - there are 4 key questions to ask and check if you have a clear red thread to achieve your sweet spot for sustainable sales & marketing capability building and sustainable growth.
- Are your leaders and teams aligned with joint objectives?
- Do your customer communications have the same underlying message regardless of team?
- Are your capability building programmes appropriately cross-functional to deliver your business priorities?
- Does your red thread resonate with the company vision and mission and your people?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, then now is the time to review your approach. If your teams are not aligned, your objectives and customer communications become diluted and focused implementation becomes your challenge.
Take a new marketing campaign for instance. Your customer will receive messages about your brand from multiple sources and departments – whether that be directly from physical marketing materials, online content, field-team calls, company communications, customer services, supply chain and the list goes on. At every stage of these interactions, you have the opportunity to rinse and repeat and reinforce your core messages. When all teams are on board and have your red thread front of mind in everything they do, you have the strongest voice.
When consulting with you, our question in every exploration call is what is your red thread? When we are clear about what you want to achieve and how it links back to your business objectives, that is when we can help you with making the magic happen and build sustainable and meaningful sales & marketing capabilities to achieve your required business growth.
Marie Gardner - Red Thread Strategies