Consensus-building is tricky. Ask any CEO who’s trying to get agreement from a bunch of successful executives with strong opinions and healthy egos. Nonetheless, the entire team has to be heading in the same direction to grow revenue faster than your industry and your competitors.
Problem is, everyone has different ideas about the best way to allocate capital for growth. The product leader lobbies for R&D investments because he believes great products sell themselves. The marketing leader sees branding and content as a priority. The sales leader calls for more feet on the street. HR believes leadership development is the highest-impact strategic initiative. Meanwhile, the CEO wants better execution of the corporate strategy across product, marketing, sales, and HR functions.
They may all be right. But investments in disparate activities do not yield the desired results. Worse yet, lack of consensus across functional teams maintains the status quo. Or if change does take place, it occurs in silos. It’s extremely difficult to effect constructive change without clear interlocks across functions.
How do the top CEOs do it? By focusing on the common interests of the executive team. They understand each leader’s mental model, and appreciate the motivation and goals of each function. They also recognize individual strengths. Then they create shared goals and incentives to unify the team.
Next, they ensure these goals and incentives are tracked accurately and cascade down to everyone. Individual employees know clearly how their job contributes to the functional strategy. They are held accountable by their boss and by their peers, with visual dashboard reports.
Siloed decision-making stops positive change and stalls revenue growth. Achieve consensus by aligning your executive team to a united vision.
For an example, see how John Suh, CEO at LegalZoom, interlocks the corporate strategy with sales.
Would you like help aligning your executive team? For your next offsite, bring your team to come see us in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting 3 months of work done in 3 days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan.