Friday, February 10, 2012

Koliso Perspective: Think Priorities

We are delighted to be starting off a new year with exciting clients and projects. We see that business is starting to turn around and our network is generally experiencing an uptick in activity and optimism.

Here are the big priorities our leaders are thinking about as their new year starts.


We helped three executive teams this year with strategic planning for their businesses as they begin 2012. In each case we used a strategic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis. Unlike a traditional SWOT, we focused on how they could exploit the opportunities in their environment using their strengths and adapt to take advantage of opportunities where they had weaknesses. In taking a focused approach they were able to build smart, flexible financing, staffing and marketing plans that took account of possible changes in their markets.

We also helped them build Principled Business Scorecards. These covered metrics and initiatives across the four key business areas of customer needs, operational outcomes, people requirements and finance. By creating smart goals in each of these areas they have set their teams up to manage what gets measured. The focus keeps everyone aligned, thinking of the big picture and out of his or her functional silos.

The right objectives and strategies tap into what really motivates people at work—meaningful progress toward worthwhile goals.


The most compelling growth issues for most organizations are stakeholder engagement and employee development. Two recent projects have involved building stakeholder maps showing the key people necessary to achieving growth and success for the group, and establishing what’s in it for them when the group grows and succeeds.

We have also built coaching skills around what we call the world’s simplest coaching model. It really is simple. Staff respond to it because it’s concentrated on shaping work to be inherently motivating and focused on paying attention when they do well.


We have set up accountability programs with almost all of our recent clients. These have included helping them do briefing meetings and give clear directions for projects and position responsibilities, after-action-reviews for key milestones and setting up processes and skill building for taking corrective action when performance falls short.

Finally, we put a huge emphasis on recognition. Although most employees claim they do not want to be called out for their good work, it’s an overarching truth that catching people doing something right is powerfully motivating.

Thinking about how we can help clients with these three key priorities—focus, growth and relationships—has kept both of us concentrated on what matters most for their business and ours.

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