Tactical board activity is like the head chef doing the washing up.
Board strategy, vision or something that might relate to the business focus for the year can be unsophisticated. There might be some financial goals and perhaps some other lofty goals but for the most part if there is anything, it looks like:
- A percentage of new clients
- Retain the ones we have
- Get the team engaged aka better culture
- Meet sales targets (or in some cases no targets have been set) and everyone doing what they were employed to do.
A practice board typically spend its time making tactical decisions as it is made up of the practitioners. There is no application of tasks in any strategic manner. It is on an as required basis for example, deciding on what the marketing spend should be for corporate collateral or discussing individual employee challenges.
The problem with this approach is that the important stuff gets missed. It gets missed because we don’t have the ability to figure out how to correct the plan to get the results we want. More importantly, we don’t really know what we want to achieve when immersed in the day to day running of the practice.
In order to SHIFT performance across the practice, the board needs to do the following :
1. Start with a PLAN
This does not need to be a 50 page beautifully written document that takes 10 versions and 6 months to write. The day it’s written it’s already out of date. It needs to be interactive BUT strategic. It needs to step out the focus required for the year. The best way to achieve this is to have an external facilitator take the day/s session and drive home the fresh thinking – providing the board or governing body with a new perspective.
2. Work out the structure that supports the plan
This is critical and involves thinking outside of the day to day roles. The structure needs to support the business plan because it will drive the behaviours required to implement the changes. This also includes HOW measurement of this plan will unfold.
A business cannot keep regenerating year on year with little correction to the performance issues across the board. In the end, this creates toxicity within teams, individuals and in turn, clients.
In order to correct the changes this has to be implemented at Board level – there has to be buy-in, time and energy into correcting the changes. It’s not okay to leave these changes to a practice manager or general manager to implement in isolation. It needs to be done across the management and partnership.
Behaviours have to be corrected and any changes to the structure have to be monitored and reviewed weekly so the plan can be adapted as and when corrected.
If performance is the key driver to ensure financial longevity, then why wouldn’t the governing body in a practice focus on implementing the required changes from partner level down and focus on correcting behaviours across the firm?
Have the courage to step into making the right decisions.
Operating each week in a tactical decision way is like the head chef who cooks all the meals and spends even longer doing the washing up. That’s not leaving time to think about the positioning of the restaurant and setting menus accordingly.
So how does your board operate? Are they doing the washing up as well?
Love to hear your thoughts.
Until next week,