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The VerseGoal Blog is used to bring you helpful insights about our solutions as well as to provide access to outstanding thought leadership resources from a variety of sources.

Setting OKR Goals, the Google way.

Rick Klau’s impressive workshop on how Google sets goals and creates strategic alignment among all its employees. Could not have said it better our selves.

Making effective use of a CEO’s time

Execute

Recently one of the team here at VerseGoal found an article about how CEO’s spend their time. The article was based on the recent study of CEO’s time by a team of scholars from London School of Economics and Harvard Business School, who investigated the schedules of more than 500 CEOs to find out how their habits impacted the performance of their firms.

The findings are interesting, but not all that surprising. What the study found was that, the more direct reports a CEO the more time/money was dedicated to internal meetings, no news there; however what was interesting was that performance gains can be had from holding less formal meetings and spending more time on frequent focused checkup, and that CEO’s whom are internally focused generally see better productivity from their organizations. This runs counter to the common belief that CEO should focus heavily on strategy and external influence over tactical involvement and internal focus.

Fast and effective touch points backed by real-time outcome data are two of the fundamental concepts encapsulated in VerseGoal’s agile business execution methodology. Our system helps executives more effectively focus their time on coaching the team instead of collecting status updates. This allows them to focus internally and create a results oriented work environment without sacrificing their ability to think and act strategically.

Value of a Business Execution Methodology

Execute

VerseGoal’s STARR business execution methodology solves some of the most critical business execution challenges by applying a simple and intuitive process which is supported by a software framework to make business execution a repeatable process which returns many benefits to the organization.

Share:
Lack of clarity and/or communication are two of the most controllable reasons given for failure to meet goals. By sharing goals in a simple, meaningful and uniform format your team will better understand the ‘Big Picture’ and how their role and key responsibilities fit in. Sharing goals leads to better productivity, deeper stakeholder engagement, and builds loyalty within the organization.|

Track:
In many organizations management reporting is a hap-hazard affair without a meaningful way to compare the relative performance of teams, individuals, or even the organization itself on a time trended basis. By tracking your outcomes in a quick, timely, and easily digested format more time can be spend working toward goals and less time is required for the management process. Effectively tracking outcomes is a path to increased organizational efficiency and keeps stakeholders focused on achieving successful outcomes.

Analyze:
Intuition is a great tool for certain situations but effective strategy and personnel decisions require factual non-biased, information to validate critical business decisions. By Analyzing the business intelligence collected in the tracking reports more effective decisions can be made by the management team. Analyzing tracked outcomes over time result in a stronger strategy, better accountability, and validation of difficult resource allocation decisions.

Reevaluate:
Too often plans are changed as a reaction to short-term pain, but to truly understand where you should be going you must know where you have been. By creating a structured goal reevaluation program you are creating an ecosystem where goals evolve by reacting to strategic pressure over time rather than sort term pain. Meaningful reevaluation leads to more efficient adaption to change and a stronger planning process

Repeat:
Too often sharing, tracking and analysis are done then forgotten or rendered meaningless by constant revision; in general goals should be long-term in nature with regular check-ins and revision prompted only by necessity. By repeating the sharing, tracking and analysis process on a predictable basis stakeholders will gain valuable insight into the on-going execution of a business plan and gain meaningful performance trending. Repeating the process will act a magnifier for the benefits of sharing, tracking and analyzing by turning the STAR process and goal achievement into habit

This simple methodology is a step in the right direction, but to fully maximize your results any business execution methodology should be supported by a simple and powerful software framework to make successful plan execution a repeatable process. VerseGoal’s Agile Business Execution platform can help you turn your vision into reality.

Turn your vision into reality

Plan

VerseGoal was created to Revolutionize how businesses are managed through the application of Agile principles and Web 2.0 technologies to executive challenges. By providing tools that help organize information to clarify vision, empower stronger decisions, and align resources to a strategic plan.

VerseGoal is an Agile business Execution platform with applicability to all types of businesses. VerseGoal created the Agile Business Execution concept to help close the gap between planning and doing, by putting information into the hands of your team to empower better decisions and clarify ownership. Based on concepts pioneered in the software industry, Agile is a highly successful management methodology easily adapted to broader management challenges.

The company is able to do this by offering a repeatable framework for:
• Metric tracking
• Goal progression
• Management reporting
• Organizational communication
• Performance assessments
• Feedback for the strategic planning procedure

VerseGoal software solutions help effectively manage business planning and goals setting challenges.
Many executives are competent at planning and allocating tasks; however, many struggle when it comes to executing the game plan. The Agile business execution software presents a solution to business executives who are facing similar problems in their organization.

5 behaviors to avoid with your strategic plan

VerseGoal

Strategies are hard to get right but they are even harder to execute successfully. For smaller firms with limited resources this can be painfully obvious, but big companies are not immune to strategic blunders: AOL and Time Warner: sure that was a great idea… More often though, the Strategy is sound but the execution is lacking. If the big shots of the industry can fail in their strategic plans you, as a business owner, need to be more careful when expending your limited resources.

Today’s tight market does not often allow companies to stumble and make a quick recovery. So, let’s take a look as some areas we, as leaders, should avoid:

1. We plan out of habit: Most habits are bad for you, so is this one. Many companies go through the motions of developing a plan just because common wisdom is every organization must have a plan. If you’re going to take the time, it’s worth doing it right.

2. A good plan = good results, right? Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face. Planning teams must understand the need to deliver results. Once in motion, results should be the primary focus.

3. Put it on the shelf (next to last year’s plan). Unlike a fine wine, you plan will not improve with age. If you only focus on your plan in December and January, why even bother? Share you plan with the team, and make it a central focus of your organization.

4. Reach for the stars! Has anyone ever actually successeed in this directive?? Give your team attainable targets to shoot for; SMART goals are the foundation for successful plan execution. If you set realistic and meaningful goals, you will better be able to foster a sense of ownership and accountability.

5. I am committed [sort of]: Don’t be a flip flopper. Management must be fully committed and willing to make hard decisions about people and resources based on the goals and results. You set a good plan and attainable goals, so be tough once the plan is in motion and ensure there are consequences for not delivering expected results.

Let VerseGoal be your guide in strategy execution! Our STARR Agile Business Execution methodology can help you turn your vision into reality.

Effective Strategy Execution

Execute

One of the hot topics in management today is: Strategy execution. By some estimates, less than 10% of the strategies live up to expectations. Infact, A 2010 survey of CEOs, conducted by Conference Board indicated that excellence in execution is a the primary concerns for the majority of CEO’s; these issues were at the top of the list of managerial challenges.

Many managers do not know how to define strategy execution. For instance, when managers were asked how they execute a strategy, many of them replied by saying “It’s successfully putting a strategic plan into action”. While this definition is true, they are vague definitions of what is meant by execution of strategy.

At VerseGoal We help managers successfully implement strategies by utilizing a framework of strategic planning, business executions, and employed engagement to help your people choose the right tactics and achieve the desired results.

Let’s look at some of the steps that can be used for executing strategy.

Visualize the strategy: Go through frameworks such as Success Map by Andy Neely and the Activity Map by Michael Porter to have a better understanding of strategy and how to develop it for your company.

Communicate the strategy: Effective Strategy communication is up to the leaders. Leaders must visualize strategy and communicate to the workforce why things must be done a certain way.

Align goals: Make sure goals and projects are aligned to the company strategy. Invest your time and money only on those projects which influence the strategy directly.

Align roles: One of the factors in motivating the workforce is making some meaningful contribution to the overall goal. Senior leaders should ensure that employees can see and evaluate how their individual roles are leading to results.

Measure the strategy: Develop key goals and performance metrics for your strategy. This will help you determine the progress of strategy toward its completion.

Report on progress: Just like a financial budget, review the strategy and goal achievement periodically to see if it is giving the desired results.
Reward performance: Last of all, reward behavior that put you one step closer to the end result!

VerseGoal’s products encompass all phases of business execution driving ownership of goals and results at all levels of an organization and providing transparency into operations. Whether you are focuses on big picture strategic planning or the details of plan execution or on through to the wrap up and review of results our solutions help your team more effectively deliver on the vision your plan offers.

2.0 launch message

Our new website is up!  This make-over comes directly on the heels of the VerseGoal Version 2.0 release last week. While the improvements have garnered rave reviews from our users, these changes were but the first steps in creating a user experience which incorporates all the promise our brand has to offer.

We expect rapid and radical advancements in all areas of our business, in the coming months.  We will continue to expand our application functionality,work to deliver an online learning experience to rival 1 on 1 class room time, and provide top notch management consulting to support our implementations.

We look forward to building a company which helps our clients succeed and hope you enjoy what is to come.

Sincerely,

Njal Larson
Founder & CEO
VerseGoal, Inc.

Business Strategy: Execution Is the Key

Many managers are comfortable planning, but lag when it comes to actually putting the plan into action. 
Making strategy work is more difficult than the task of strategy making
 This chapter explains why execution is even more important than planning, and how you can put your plan into motion more quickly and efficiently.

The Execution Trap

The idea that execution is distinct from strategy has become firmly ensconced in management thinking over the past decade. So much so, in fact, that if you run a Google search for “A mediocre strategy well executed is better than a great strategy poorly executed,” you will get more than 42,600 references. Where the idea comes from is not certain, but in 2002, in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble, Jamie Dimon, now CEO of JPMorgan Chase, opined, “I’d rather have a first-rate execution and second-rate strategy any time than a brilliant idea and mediocre management.” In the same year, Larry Bossidy, former AlliedSignal CEO, coauthored the best-selling book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, in which the authors declared, “Strategies most often fail because they aren’t well executed.”

Praise

Praise

Let’s face some facts, the modern performance review is a broken institution.  No one has ever made a meaningful, long-term; change based the results of an annual review.   Disagree? Watch this short video…

No only will VerseGoal’s process automation save you time, the Reviews themselves will be more effective. VerseGoal reviews are based on corporate values, accountable results, and long-term potential of an employee: core components already tracked in our Planning and Execution modules. VerseGoal review reports can be used as a standalone Performance Review of as a portion of a deeper review process.

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