Components of Strategy: An Exercise in Execution

Components of Strategy: An Exercise in Execution

Strategy is only successful if you have the process, the people and the execution to deliver the results that you plan to achieve. The process, its people and the execution all derive from the culture of your organization and are the engines that drive success.

Strategy exists as the overarching framework of what you want to achieve and how you expect to reach your goals. Its achievement is dependent on the context of Why, Who, When and How – the cultural aspects of your business.

Why?

This is the purpose behind (and in front of) your company and your strategy. It is the lens through which all vision is focused and all decisions are based. Whether you exist to provide the best customer service, or you want to make a lasting impact on your community or you are more financially driven, the purpose is the soul of your organization – its ethical and moral calculus.

Who?

The people who inhabit your company are expressions of the purpose and culture of the company. By their hiring, they have been given a mandate to fulfill the promise that is inherent in the mission and vision of the organization. They become the service and development machines of the company and need to be provided regular maintenance in alignment to the goals and calibrated with the purpose.

When?

Success is often measured by the time in which it is achieved. Set deadlines and manage scope to limit undue extensions and delays in execution.

How?

The processes, execution expectations and accountability serve as the blueprint and maintenance schedule to this project called Organizational Strategy. Clarity of expectations, proper training and metrics are necessary to successful achievement of the strategy. Keep them simple, visible and timely to review and to allow for adjustment and re-alignment.

Developing the Strategy:

In developing your strategy, you need the tools and framework to ensure the greatest probability of achievement. Any strategy, regardless of its scope and perceived possibility, has a certain probability of success. Improving that probability is the role of leadership and can be supported by a defined methodology within the planning process. Having a clear and accurate understanding of the current model will allow you to see what resources are available and how they can be deployed. Having, again, clarity of the achievement goal (vision, plan, etc.) will allow you to see what gaps exist between the current state and the desired state.

Your role as a leader is to properly fill those gaps to achieve the success. What resources are missing? What technological or operational needs are not being met? How does the message and brand need to be adjusted? Your strategy becomes the manner in which you fill these gaps – the accountability method to closing the gaps. What are the steps needed to get from point A to point B? It can be helpful to start at Point B to visualize what this truly looks like from a people, process and revenue perspective and work your way backwards. The steps and decisions will begin to materialize, becoming more corporeal, tightening focus and building belief in the possibility and the probability.

The Myth of the Perfect Employee

The Myth of the Perfect Employee

Perfection is an ideal. It is the goal that we aspire to attain. However, it is not truly attainable – only a construct – like, infinity. We must be clear in defining what this ideal should be and how it should express the behaviors, habits and attitudes that we desire in alignment to the company culture.

Defining the ‘perfect’ employee candidate, just like building a targeted customer persona, is a great way to see how multiple candidates stack up against each other and against the fit of the company culture. But we should not sacrifice the ‘really good’ or ‘excellent’ in the pursuit for the ‘perfect’.

Try to understand what success looks like in your company. Look beyond just financial performance to define success. How people interact, how they lead and how they influence others are key attributes to a successful employee. Who are some of the leaders you admire – in business and in life – and why? Who do you NOT admire – and why? These folks can be a barometer to measure the candidates you review.

Who you place in (or remove from) your organization are true measures of your ability to do what is best for your organization – your leadership.

Hiring and Firing are among the more stressful aspects of leadership within an organization. But the personalities, minds and collective energies become the power of your organization and fuel the success (or failure) of the business. Keep focused on the ideal and strive for the perfect, but use your wisdom to know when the good and great can be even better.

Incremental over Disruption: Innovation in your Daily Enterprise

Incremental over Disruption: Innovation in your Daily Enterprise

In a world of emerging technologies and breakthrough performance, we are often overwhelmed with the magnitude of extreme success and left feeling either jealous (that we didn’t think of that great idea) or impotent (that we are unable to make such significant impact). However, every day presents a new canvas of opportunity to make a difference. The difference doesn’t have to be monumental, but it can be important, valuable and can lead to something amazing.

Success requires change – change in behaviors, attitudes and habits – to achieve this new image of your future. It requires a firm and focused belief in where you want to go that will allow you to make the necessary decisions about resource allocation, money, time and energy that will need to be managed. Each of these resources needs to be invested in the achievement of the goal. They are not expenses, but tools to fulfill the realization of the vision.

Help your team to see, understand and believe in the vision. Their internal acceptance of the goal will improve their decision making and keep them working towards accomplishment in a consistent and collaborative way.

The road to sustainable success is often a circuitous one, but the belief in that success is a key component to achievement. Having a focused and clear vision of your success allows you to recalibrate when you are forced off the original path. Lack of clarity and disciplined approach to the goal can keep you off the pathway and struggling to find the correct decisions to realign. Keeping your actions and behaviors consistent with the goal(s) leads you to proper decision making that moves you forward.

Nothing of value comes easily. There are, at times, difficult decisions to be made that affect the people around you. However, those decisions become clear within the context of the goal. If you (and the people within your enterprise) are truly committed to the goal, the decisions do become easier to make.

Diligence to the process and the goal require (and support) daily affirmation of the vision – one more phone call to the customer to provide visibility and peace of mind – one more capacity option for a new client’s pressing need – one more contact to the A/P department to reconcile that old invoice. Each additional effort ties success to the person making the effort and increases their ownership of the results, the vision and the goal(s).

Each new action, effort or idea is the embryo for an amazing innovative approach to your business success. Foster the energy, talent and mindshare of each team member to express growth in themselves and in their work to build an accretive, sustainable outcome of accomplishment.

Selling Selflessly

Selling Selflessly

As a sales professional (and we are all in sales), each interaction is an opportunity to influence the decision of another. Whether you are trying to close an enterprise deal, enlisting the support of colleagues for a project or, even, getting your child to eat their vegetables. It’s not just about what you want or the outcome that you desire, but a mutually significant and beneficial outcome for everyone involved. It will involve some time, some energy, some negotiation and a lot of listening.

Ultimately, it’s not about you, it’s about them. You are looking to satisfy their needs in conjunction with your own. If you focus on providing the best solutions and outcomes for them, you create deeper relationship equity and positioning for the satisfaction for your needs as well.

Understand your audience and spend time to learn more. Ask questions and listen. The only way to know what they want is to understand their position – from a market perspective to a pain alleviation perspective to a short and long term goals perspective. Clarify their agenda and be empathetic to their struggles to achieve.

Contribute, then sell. The old adage of ‘it is far better to give than to receive’ fits into this methodology. You have much value (in knowledge, expertise and information) that you can share with others to create more value for them. By sharing, you create a deeper step in the relationship that will allow you (both) to find the best solutions.

Get feedback. By learning from the process and eliciting information from the experience, you can improve your approaches in the future – whether with the same person or with others.

Perspective is key to finding success in sale and influence. If you focus only on your own, you will lose out on many opportunities.

The Epiphany of a Business Leader

The Epiphany of a Business Leader

As you build your company from the initial cocktail napkin idea to the thriving business that impacts hundreds and thousands of people throughout your community and the industry, there are moments of hesitation and reflection.

There are moments of doubt and uncertainty that creep into your psyche and keep you awake at night: Do I have the right people? Am I making the right decision? Are we moving in the right direction?
These moments, while challenging and difficult, are a natural progression in the development of your company. They are the moments that mark the bellwether of change for your business – the transformation from WHAT IS into WHAT CAN BE.

While possible, rarely do businesses reach the level of intended success without significant help along the way. Having the right partnerships is critical to emerging from these moments properly prepared for the opportunities. Both internal and external resources can provide you with insight and pragmatic approaches to managing the changes to come. Be sure that you have a strong network of folks that understand and are capable of the honest feedback necessary to navigate through the uncertainty.

TranStrategy Partners provides the experience of hundreds of brokerage company transformations. This contextual and experiential approach to business strategy and cultural development allows business leaders to draw on a wealth of successful best practices to overcome the obstacles of today and accelerate their organizational growth performance for tomorrow.

Contact us to learn more about our programs to help you build the company you envision.

Treat Your People Well

Treat Your People Well

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” -Richard Branson

“Treat your people well….feed them on your dreams…” -Crosby, Stills and Welch (Jack)

How you treat your employees has a profound impact on the success of your company. Historically, pensions and benefits kept employees at a company for years (in spite of poor leadership), but the economies of today’s small business do not allow for these long-term carrots to balance the sticks of poor leadership. As such, employee turnover can be a harsh reality for businesses that do not have an open and developmental culture.

In the dynamics of logistics, daily deal flow and load movements are essential to cover expenses, but, too often, the urgency of each load (or each load more) overshadows the cultural toxicity of an overly competitive work environment. There needs to be a balance of alignment between the company goals and the individual employee goals.

Be clear, from day one of employment, in the company vision, in the business objectives, in the behaviors that you expect from your company and its employees. Communicate this information and focus regularly. Stay consistent to the message and the belief of what you are doing and what they should be doing. Employees need to feel a part of the vision and a part of reach the goals. Provide them the tools and the environment to be successful and to grow.

Learn and understand what drives your employees and provide them a platform to express these motivations within the context of your business. The energy of these pursuits builds goodwill within the organization and builds brand equity with your clients, suppliers, community and with prospective employees.

A company that meets the needs of its employees (personal and professional, financial and developmental) reduces attrition and creates a consistent approach for customers and carriers that deepens relationships and strengthens the sustainability of the organization.

At TranStrategy Partners, we are a resource to help transportation organizations transform into the companies they envision through experiential and consultative strategy and coaching services.

Why Use TranStrategy?

At TranStrategy Partners, our logistics and freight brokerage clients are very successful people, typically the owners and senior leadership of their businesses. So, why do they choose to work with TranStrategy Partners?

 

Your Business is a Blessing and a Burden

Your Business is a Blessing and a Burden

As a business leader who is responsible for your company’s success and the livelihood of all the people you employ, do you have the right resources to help you make the right decisions and choices for your people and for yourself?

Your business is a family that needs wisdom as well as action. It needs to offer compassion and discipline together to reach the goals set out before it. It is a both a blessing and a burden that can keep you awake at night as you navigate the changes across the industry and your local community. Regulatory obstacles, customer and employee attrition, acquisition challenges and budgetary constraints all threaten your ability to lead your company through the coming years.

Whether cultural (vision, people and communication), organizational (structure and leadership) or financial (growth, compensation and expense management), every decision impacts the overall performance of your business. Fortunately, you are not alone in this journey. You just need the right people and partnerships to drive forward.

An executive coach and mentor can provide an objective viewpoint about your business to help mitigate unnecessary risk and to provide the necessary accountability. Coaches can take on the role of confidant, cheerleader, sounding board, priest and task master to bring about the best outcome for you and your business.

TranStrategy Partners provides the pathway to successful achievement of your goals. Over the last 14 years, we have helped companies achieve their plans for growth with measurable and significant ROI:

Over 15% average revenue growth with over 50% average profitability growth in the first year of engagement. Leaders and employees become more engaged and collaborative in the work that they do with a clearer focus on the goals and expectations – the vision.
Find the right partnership to make your business thrive – for you, for your people and for the future.

TranStrategy Partners’ New Offerings

NEW MONTHLY COACHING GROUPS AND WEEKLY LIVE COURSES

TranStrategy Partners is pleased to launch two new offerings with the monthly BrokerXcel coaching program and weekly live trainings through Brokertrain LIVE.

BrokerXcel

Build your business one month at a time! Join us this July for a new methodology to leadership and organizational development with BrokerXcel. This new program, from TranStrategy Partners, takes a different approach to on demand training for leaders and key employees with interactive knowledge sharing. BrokerXcel is designed to provide the power of knowledge and networking to help build your organization and improve performance. Each month, a new topic will be presented. For only $395, you will be able to take advantage of the month’s offerings. It is not a monthly subscription. You choose the month(s) in which you want to purchase BrokerXcel, allowing you to gain more knowledge on the topics that are most pertinent to your business. 

BrokerXcel Includes:

  • Two videos to dive deeply into the monthly topic (July’s topic is culture)
  • Supporting articles and worksheets
  • A roundtable discussion with a TranStrategy coach and other business leaders to address real world examples of the topic to help provide a network context for growth and development.

Brokertrain LIVE

TranStrategy Partners and Brokertrain LIVE offer weekly live webinars. Develop your skills and continue to grow as a freight brokerage professional in these hour-long webinars. They include a pre-course survey, the live course presentation, participant interaction, and a follow up quiz and activity. Each participant will be given a certificate of completion to go in your professional development file.