Executing Strategy By Playing the Game

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International   11-18-2012

Takeaways:  Communication is critical when executing strategy and getting everyone to play the exemplary customer service game.

E-Myth: Executing Strategy with People GamePrior articles have focused on the Management Game the Venetia hotel (described by Michael Gerber in his book, The E-Myth) established to keep employees engaged in providing exemplary customer service – listening to their customers, anticipating their wants, and delivering on those promises.

In one of these we talked about the Rules of the Game. Now let’s talk about how you Play the Game – how you execute the Strategy.

Communication is the critical component.  If your staff doesn’t understand the purpose behind the behavior you want them to perform, they aren’t going to behave as you want. This needs to be communicated both in writing and in person.

Communication and Consistency

To encourage your people to do what you want, you need to create an environment that will make it possible. One of the best places to start is in the hiring process.  As Jim Collins says in Good to Great, making sure you “get the right people in the right seats on the bus”.

  1. Create a scripted presentation that everyone uses when hiring which describes the business’s values, history and experience in successfully delivering on the idea of “how we work reflects who we are inside.”
  2. Meet with each applicant individually to discuss his reactions to and feelings about this idea, as well as his/her background and experience. This helps you determine if this person is the right “fit” for your organization.
  3. Create a scripted presentation to notify the person by phone of their acceptance for the position.
  4. Create a scripted presentation to notify unsuccessful candidates why they weren’t chosen, signed by the interviewer(s).
  5. On the first day of training include the following activities:
  • Review the Boss’s idea (the company values and work philosophy)
  • Summarize the management system through which everyone brings this idea / work philosophy into reality
  • Take the new employee on a tour of the facilities, pointing out both people at work and the systems at work to show the relationship between people and systems
  • Answer the employee’s questions clearly and fully
  • Issue the employee his Operations Manual and uniform or badge, if applicable
  • Review the Operations Manual , including the Strategic Objective, Organizational Strategy, and Position Description of the employee’s position
  • Complete the employee’s employment papers

Beyond Hiring Strategy

Playing the game goes beyond your Hiring Strategy. You need to systematize every aspect possible of your business – all around the idea of delivering on the values and making sure your people understand why that’s important and how they contribute to that success.  The system is the solution to whether your business is just good or really great.

Think about each area of your business and write down on paper how each area contributes to the Game you’ve devised. What are the actions each person needs to execute in each area of the business in order to deliver the values and the behavior you expect? And how can you ensure that anyone in the company can perform those?

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