The Best Year Yet® system provides leaders with a powerful set of tools to create alignment around and execute the few actions that are critical to an organization’s success.
Leaders can enhance the leverage and power of Best Year Yet® team and individual plans by providing clarity about what is important and connecting the organizations vision with what is important to employees. Here are three practices that, in my experience, will enhance your Best Year Yet results.
1. Articulate A Compelling Vision And Context
Organizations are constituted to fulfill future promises that can not be accomplished by individuals alone. Leaders that effectively connect their leadership teams and employees with their organization’s key promises and commitments i.e. delivering better healthcare, will produce more powerful response and commitments their colleagues. This holds true for organizations that face major challenges as well as those operating on a strong base for growth and development.
Once the key organizational promise or commitment is clear, leaders can more link commitments or actions required to achieve the key promises with what is important to employees. Which is the more powerful message?
- Delivering better healthcare to my community and keeps my friends and neighbors healthy, my hospital open for business and security for me an my fellow workers, or
- Our investment banker requires a certain return on investment to maintain our credit rating.
Credit ratings are important but do credit ratings motivate the same way a compelling does?
Our Best Year Yet program encourages individual and organizations to set SMART goals with an added “I.” The added “I” stands for inspirational, another way of making connections with what is important to individuals and organizations.
Consider how these kinds of connections will enhance the likelihood that the annual Best Year Yet plan will be the proper focus on what is important
2. Pay Attention To Language And Conversational Format.
We know that action is not prompted by memos and directives. Action takes place in an organizational or social setting because some one makes a request, an offer or a promise. These speech acts have specific structures that when followed provide parties to the conversation clarity about what is to be accomplished, by whom over what period of time with what standards of performance. Which is request is most likely to produce the desired result?
- I’d like a progress report before the board meeting, or
- I’d like you to complete and deliver to me 10 copies of our standard operating report stapled without a cover sheet by 9 AM next Friday
Using these and similar distinctions will enhance an organizations ability to construct clearer goals and ensure staffers understand implementation requirements and standards
3. Master The Conversations That Drive Action
Leaders engage their organizations in conversations about possibilities (planning) and conversations for action (execution) among others. These forms of conversation have specific structures and formats as well.
When producing the Best Year Yet annual plan in the workshop, for example, most of the conservation is about listening to and choosing among possible courses of action. These conversations must be allowed to develop without premature pressure to provide proof or closure.
To be effective, monthly review meetings are conversations about action: what happened, what did not happen, what happens next for the plan to remain on track? Participants should come to meetings with progress and next steps clearly defined.
We are all familiar with status meetings that are filled with stories about why something did or did not happen without getting to the key questions about what is on schedule or what adjustments need to be made to set the plan back on schedule. What is the more powerful status or action report?
- We got distracted by a specific events so that we were unable to follow-up with our vendor to ensure timely installation of the needed equipment, or
- We got distracted and saw that we were in danger of missing an important deadline so we made alternative arrangements with the vendor to ensure the equipment would be install on time. We will incur some overtime expense can will be made up over the next three months from improved productivity.
Being disciplined about matching the type of conversation with outcome desired will produce clearer outcomes, fewer breakdowns and less wasted time.
Incorporating these three practices into your Best Year Yet program will enhance understanding and commitment leading to even more robust results.
About the Author
Edward Hindin is a strategy consultant, executive coach and Best Year Yet Partner specializing in strategy, execution and leadership development for hospital and health systems.
He helps organizations define and execute the few critical actions required for success. Edward has successfully introduced and led Best Year Yet® team and individual programs to hospital and health system clients.
With over 40 years experience, he has assisted healthcare organization anticipate and respond to the difficult challenges faced by the industry. He specializes in helping organization create new futures.