Make inter-meeting times longer to see progress.
Strategic and Operations topics that separate strategic meetings always compete for executive attention. When everyday (operational) issues appear on the agenda of the board along with long-term (strategic) issues, the chairman, if possible, does day-to-day work to accomplish something else. Priority is given. All managers I know admit this issue without hesitation.
One solution is to create two meeting schedules to carry out the strategy. One is for company audits and the other is for strategic reviews.
Bains Michael Mankins proposes to hold an operational meeting once a week and a strategy review meeting once a month. Executive meetings can occur more frequently as the implementation cascade continues within the organization. Pacific has chosen a monthly schedule for executive performance reviews.
Two other customers are splitting the meeting. One is a public insurance company and the other is a private shipping company. The insurer’s COO reports that “this turned out to be the only way (at individual meetings) to continue the strategy.” Shipping companies hold monthly executive meetings at the corporate level. The general manager of the freight sector reports that these meetings are “strategic oriented.” Her department holds bi-weekly “management meetings” with an operational focus and, as a continuation of the cascade, holds weekly meetings to plan “production for the week.”
Everyone knows the saying that “what is measured is done”. Well, that’s not entirely true. The numbers are important, but no doubt. They certainly help get people’s attention and should be used in any review. But what we really care about is the attention of others. Especially if the attention comes from your boss. The organizational hierarchy determines this.
This can be seen in the organization. For example, if managers stop asking about the results of “quality improvement” and employees haven’t heard about it recently, they rely on other topics they like, such as “output.” As this lack of attention spreads, “improving quality” will be included in everyone’s priority list. This is an important step in resolving this issue, assigning someone who has the authority to hold the account owner accountable by regularly checking the progress of the run. In the case of Pacific, the role of overseer rested on the shoulders of the COO (Chief Operating Officer), who held the monthly strategic meetings.