Most companies don’t have a problem setting goals. And many of them have a longer-term vision that their leaders are shooting for. But we do see companies struggling in being able to effectively cascade them throughout the company and get everyone aiming at the same target.
We’ve seen the same company issue a word document to some people to fill in their goals, and then a spreadsheet to others. We see people with different shaped goals that aren’t aligned with the company’s strategic plan. A poorly designed system like that prevents a team from performing at its best. It’s a mess, and it’s immensely frustrating for the company’s leaders.
The good news is it’s easy to find a way to help increase a team’s effectiveness and productivity. It’s the foundation on which we built Reclaro®, and we call it the 1-3-5® performance system.
The purpose of it is to have everyone pulling in the same direction and using the same process and language. Here’s our 8-step plan:
As the leader of the business, you decide on the main big thing you want to achieve in the next 12 months. We call this your Vision. You’ll have just one of these for the business, so choose your top priority carefully!
Then you create three Core Objectives for the business overall. These are based on your Vision and are normally ‘owned’ by the CEO or MD.
In most cases we find these are based around three pillars: Strategy; Operations; and People.
As Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan wrote in Execution: The discipline of getting things done: “The three core processes of execution – people, strategy and operations – remain the building blocks and heart of good execution.”"
Finally, for each of the three Core Objectives, the CEO comes up with five stepping-stone Goals.
And there you have it – that’s how we came up with 1-3-5®.
We’re not done yet, though. It’s all very well for the CEO to have a 1-3-5® plan. But it only adds value to the business when that plan is cascaded through the management structure.
So the CEO then shares his or her three Core Objectives with the rest of the leadership team and also the management team. This is critical so that everyone in a strategically significant position knows the company’s three main objectives for the next 12 months.
Each of your Senior Leadership Team (SLT) then creates a Vision for their areas of responsibility. This Vision is aligned with the CEO’s Vision and Core Objectives. They can then build their own 1-3-5® plan with three Core Objectives and five Goals for each Core Objective.
For example, a Head of Sales might have three Core Objectives around: delivering excellence to existing customers; building a sales engine to reach new customers; and building an excellent sales team.
Once you’ve done this with the SLT, you can repeat the process with the next level of your management team. At each stage, it’s vital to make sure that the person being cascaded to is aligned with the person they report to and everyone is on the same page.
We also find that once the management team is onboard and aligned, some companies cascade out further, to the supervisor team.
Finally, setting up a network of aligned 1-3-5® plans across the management team is only the first step. It’s vital to check-in regularly with people. A schedule of 121 meetings helps them stay on track with their Goals and Objectives – so that they can achieve their Vision.
This is not a one ‘set and forget’ exercise. This is a performance system that allows you to build the discipline of getting things done.
If you want some help on what a good 121 structure looks like, check out this blog.
Building amazing 1-3-5® action plans that align teams and maximise productivity is what we excel at here at Reclaro®. If you’d like help setting up a performance management system that cascades objectives and goals so people produce better results, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: 1 June 2020
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