Tag Archives: Planning

It’s That Time of Year…STRATEGY

Sun_Oracle_logoWhether you were busy building a budget or strategy in the fourth quarter last year or you put it off until the first quarter of this year, one thing is for certain…this is the time of year to “execute” that strategy!

When I ran a consulting practice at Arthur Andersen in the late ‘90s one thing was for certain. Those that used us to help build AND execute their strategy accomplished considerably more than those who just had us help them build their strategy. Why? Because when you have a million things going on in your business…and we all do…there isn’t a lot of time to execute the strategy you built. Everyone wants to but not many get around to it…sound familiar to anyone?

Mark Hurd, the President of Oracle Corporation, wrote a post on LinkedIn called, “Five Leadership Qualities Great Executives Must Have.” Here are the five…

  1. Getting the Strategy right
  2. Executing that Strategy
  3. Putting the right people in the right places
  4. Managing dual priorities that others see as conflicting
  5. Keeping everyone focused on what matters

However, he went on to take this list of 5 down to a list of 3 items in a commentary he gave to Business Insider, “The Only 3 Skills that Great Leaders Need.” This was even better since we all know it is easier to remember 3 things than 5. Here is his distilled list of three…

  1. Getting the Strategy right
  2. Executing that Strategy
  3. Putting the right people in the right places

So there you have it…strategy and people and you can’t go too far off course. But the people only work if the strategy is right and it is being executed. So this time of year, reflect with your management team about your strategy. If you don’t have one, get one. Get a strategy that means something, not that just sits in a binder gathering dust. Get an “executable strategy” as I used to call it, one that your people can rally around and be passionate about. Because if they don’t, even having the right people in the right seats won’t help.

 What are your thoughts on strategy? Do you and your company have one? Is it easily executable? Share your stories about creating a strategy that works…

Andy Cates from Moss Adams talks Taxes

Yesterday at the CEOtoCEO Breakfast event, we had the privilege of having Andy Cates from Moss Adams speaking to a group of CEOs, Business Owners, and other professionals about both some key Tax Issues that were critical to be aware of in 2012 and some planning.

Andy covered a lot of areas for us – you can listen to him briefly describe the agenda of the meeting in the video.  We will be sharing more videos of him talking about certain areas that will be important to virtually any business owner and individual.  It was very timely to have Andy as part of our speakers group since a number of the opportunities (if there is such a thing when someone talks about taxes) he discussed would be “closing” the end of 2012 and we wanted to share this with our leadership audience.  There was incredibly strong interest in learning more about these opportunities from the leaders in the room and from the feedback, most will be changing what they are doing to take advantage of some of these.

He also got to spend some time on the “planning” side of taxes for a business.  The great part about Andy is that he is not just a “tax dweeb” but he is a “tax business guy” that understands how these issues pertain directly to a business and the best way to take advantage of these opportunities through proper planning.  As he reminded all of us in the room, these were known in 2010 and this is when planning should have begun (I know, he told us so).  But like most of us, it didn’t happen and now we are down to the final months and hours to incorporate some of this into our planning for the rest of the years.

Thanks Andy, very insightful, helpful, and in a language we could all understand.  We will share more on this in some later posts on specifically the areas to be aware of and his planning ideas.  Stay tuned…and don’t forget to join our CEO Discussion Group on LinkedIn where some of these questions will be posted as well.  If you aren’t a member, it’s free and it’s a completely private place to have a discussion with ONLY your peers, other CEOs and Business Owners.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Erik Knutson, CEO of Design Labs

I had a interesting lunch at John Howies restaurant with Bill Gates and Erik Knutson CEO of Design Laboratory recently.  Bill was there, just not at our table and missed a great conversation

Erik’s company helps its clients achieve organizational alignment, manage complexity, and implement goals and changes.    I was interested in Erik’s thoughts on why some CEO’s have great visions and plans for their business but fail to inspire their team to consistently execute the strategies required for success?

In trying to capture Erik’s thoughts to share with you I coincidentally received this video Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action that captures the gist of our conversation.  This is a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers …

Well worth watching and sharing with others.  Let me know what you think.

CEO’s and Health Insurance cost management

When I decided to schedule David Hansen, CEO of United Healthcare, to be a speaker at the CEOtoCEO breakfast in November I knew we would get a lot of questions from CEOs about better ways to manage health insurance costs. We weren’t disappointed.

This has been a topic I hear about all the time when meeting with CEOs and so we decided to hit it head on in our breakfast series. In the beginning, I was concerned that David might get barraged by all kinds of politically charged questions – especially with all the talk about Obama’s Health Care Reform campaign. To my surprise, this wasn’t the hot topic.

The hot topic was about what a CEO can do to better manage health care costs. Having the right questions is essential to determining the right answers. David posed five questions that leaders should answer which will lead to better-cost management strategies.

  1. Who makes decisions in choosing your benefits and communication strategy and are they asking the right questions?
  2. Do I have the best broker and are they asking how we can actively manage healthcare costs?
  3. Do I have a 3 – 5 year written strategic plan to manage my healthcare costs?
  4. Your company’s historical claims experience is considered in future premium increases in Washington – both self funded and fully insured premiums are impacted!
  5. Do I have an incentive based system that rewards employees and dependent families for choosing the best physicians, leading healthy lifestyles, and managing their/our healthcare costs?