Ask your leadership team and those that report into this team the following question:
“In your eyes, what’s our executive agenda?”
You will be surprised by the range of responses that you get.
Many leaders think the executive agenda is their organization’s strategic plan.
Others think that it is a series of events in the life of an executive.
And still others think it’s the actual agenda at an executive meeting.
This isn’t the executive agenda.
The executive agenda is not a plan. It is the collective output of your leadership team, as experienced by your key stakeholders. These stakeholders include shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and yes, even competitors.
Executive teams that only talk about business targets, growing faster than the market and being a leading innovator are often disappointed that these messages don’t gain traction and create results in their organization.
During deeper, confidential discussions, they share the following with me:
“We don’t have a common goal or vision of what our group can do. We are not good at prioritizing, everything is important. We are not moving at the right pace-there is little sense of urgency.”
“Our strategy is numbers driven – we don’t really engage with what we want our business to look like in two or three years. Our strategy is tactical and we have our nose very close to the round. If we continue to work in the future as we do today, our business is at risk.”
“There are hidden agendas in my team. Everyone seems friendly on the outside but there are unspoken issues under the surface.”
These statements are symptomatic of an underdeveloped or misaligned executive agenda.
Creating and delivering on a compelling executive agenda starts inside the team and works outward. The basis for an effective executive agenda starts with questions such as:
What is the true purpose of our executive team?
Who are the stakeholder groups that we serve and how do they experience our collective output as an executive team?
What is our unique contribution? What is it that only we can deliver to our organization and business?
What are the best practices, team rules or standards of excellence that hold us accountable to each other and our organization?
Real executive teamwork on these questions creates aligned understanding and a strong foundation on which you can build your executive agenda.
Start by asking your executive team and those that report into this senior leadership team, “what’s our executive agenda?”
Photo: Dan Norenberg_Executive Agenda_Adobe 14625121