How Does a Leader Create and Keep an Execution Scorecard?

People play to win when somebody is keeping score. This mentality is true in nearly every aspect of life. By incorporating this logic into your company culture, you can unlock a competitive drive across your organization that generates productivity and helps take your business to the next level.

The idea behind an execution scorecard is simple. When it comes time to transform your business strategy into action, you must have the right framework in place to relentlessly track progress towards your objective. By making that framework accessible and transparent to teams, you can foster a sense of internal competition that can help to fuel motivation.

Keeping score not only allows you to track progress towards your objective, but also drive the healthy internal competition necessary to produce results. Most importantly, it’s an effective way to set clear expectations on what success looks like and who is contributing to it. 

Looking for new ways to drive business outcomes? Creating an execution scorecard is an excellent leadership development opportunity. Here is how to create one in four steps:

Narrow The Scope Of Execution

As business consultants, we often see ambitious leaders attempt to take on more than they can actually achieve. They draft a robust roadmap and fill it with an overwhelming amount of goals and objectives. In reality, the more we try to achieve, the less we actually accomplish. As humans, we’re only capable of focusing on a limited number of items at the same time.

This principle all comes back to Warren Buffet’s “5 Step Process For True Success” As part of the process, Buffet encourages entrepreneurs to jot down 25 goals or objectives, and then choose 5. As a business leader, taking this same approach can help you truly narrow down the scope of what you want to achieve.

By only selecting 5 primary objectives, it forces you to really map out what is going to have the most significant impact. It also helps you become more focused and enables you to prioritize the projects that will drive your organization’s success. As a result, your teams will be able to devote more time and energy toward the top objectives that will ultimately move the needle.

Draw Up The Scoreboard

One of the most important aspects of creating an execution scoreboard is actually figuring out how to keep score. Deciding what to track is important for keeping your company on the path toward success. If your goal or mission is project-based, you may want to break your project into smaller goals or milestones. However, it’s also important to establish key performance indicators that measure successful business outcomes. 

When choosing your key performance indicators, make sure to consider common success categories like financial performance, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and internal improvements (ie: culture, talent). Whatever you choose, make sure the metrics and expectations are challenging, yet reasonable. If the metrics on your scorecard are not attainable, employees will quickly lose steam.

Set Expectations

Once your scorecard is in place, it’s time to begin socializing it with the rest of the organization. When aligning with your teams, give them the opportunity to provide feedback and challenge the scorecard and expectations. Make sure to actively listen to feedback and make adjustments as needed.

Remember, once finalized, an execution scorecard should always be visible to all players at all times, so everybody in your organization is clear on whether the collective team is winning or losing.

Once it has been communicated, we advise against changing the scorecard. As a leader, you don’t want to keep moving the goalposts. Define success upfront and celebrate when you achieve it.

Analyze The Results

Understanding whether you’re winning or losing based on your scorecard’s metrics isn’t enough. Everyone needs to understand the “why” behind the numbers. Regular check-ins or all-hands meetings are a great time to review the scorecard and do a deep dive analysis of the stats. If your scorecard suggests your business is lagging in a certain area, you’ll need to take the time to dig into the underlying drivers, both independently and as a group. If there is an issue with your execution, it should be clearly visible on your scorecard and you should be quick to make adjustments.

An execution scorecard is a great way to connect your teams to your overall strategic priorities while driving increased productivity. For help developing the right scorecard for your business, contact us at Lilly Consulting Group today. We help companies of all sizes overcome business hurdles and reach new levels of growth.

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