Happy New Year! I wish you all the very best for the year ahead.
In this first newsletter for 2024, I don’t want to talk about the importance of establishing personal and business goals. Not that it’s not important, however, social media is saturated with enough guidance on those topics. Instead, I want to share practical tips that will help you gain more traction with your goals.
Try to focus on the:
Activity not Results – you may have come across KAIs (Key Activity Indicators) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) previously. Many businesses that I know, tend to monitor a plethora of KPIs (sales targets, output targets, delivery performance etc.) in various huddle meetings.
What I don’t see enough of are the KAIs. These can be number of daily huddle meetings held per week, meeting attendance rate, number of times the leader is on the floor coaching, rate of actions being completed on time etc. It monitors the health of the process itself, as opposed to how good the result is.
Here’s an example – if you are determined to improve your health and decided that you want to exercise 4 times per week, then the KAI would be to monitor the number of times exercised per week. The KPI can be weight, BMI, Cholesterol levels etc. KAIs are generally lead indicators and KPIs are your lag indicators.
The reason why I consider KAIs to be important than KPIs is because I firmly believe that if you focus on the process, the results will follow.
Problem not Solutions – whether it is a simple problem or a complex problem, sharpen the focus on the problem definition itself, rather than on solutions. Use data to validate your thinking and separate what the problem is and what it is not.
As you do that, a few things to remember- absence of proof is not proof of absence, correlation is not causation, symptoms are further from the real issue and don’t stop at first probable cause as there could be multiple causes or contributing factors.
Let the data guide you and use what you have. If you haven’t got reliable data, just ask the employees involved in that process. Once you know the real issues, identifying solutions is relatively straightforward, most of the time.
Floor not Stage – be on the floor to check the vibe of the business. Reinforce your beliefs and plans for the business, to provide clarity and confidence to your teams and individuals. Coach when you see behaviours that are contradicting the values of business. Ask for feedback and their concerns.
Meeting team members at their workplace and caring for them is far better than townhall presentations and grand unveiling of the next best thing.
The above three paradigm shifts will help you, no matter where you are in your journey to excellence. The best of the best companies sticks to these timeless fundamentals. That’s how you can scale up with excellence.