3HAG WAY: The Strategic Execution System that ensures your strategy is not a Wild-Ass-Guess! by Shannon Byrne Susko
3HAG Way was recommended to me by the CEO at answers IT, as we’ll be transitioning to / supplementing our OPSP with the 3HAG Way.
Having previously read Scaling Up, and being involved in the strategic planning meetings, sometimes our BHAG felt a bit “pie in the sky” and through the ebbs and flows of the business seemed unachievable.
3HAG Way provides the framework to define a 3 year highly achievable goal, a “golden stepping stone” to align the companies path to the BHAG.
Operating a business without an evolving strategy is like driving a bus around the block. You drive up to a stop sign, you flip on your blinker, and you turn right. At the next stop sign, you flip on your blinker and turn right again. At the next stop sign, same thing. Nothing changes. If you don’t have an evolving growth strategy, then you and your team are just driving around the block. You may be doing very well, but you are not going anywhere.
I highly recommend you don’t use numbers, either. We didn’t specify that we wanted Paradata to become a $100 million business, or that we wanted to have 10,000 merchant customers. We did, however, measure our BHAG—this 10-to-30-year goal—by measuring our Profit/X—which, in the case of Paradata, was Profit/Merchant
Talking about Core Purpose, core values, BHAG, and your Profit/X is hard work. It’s even harder than hammering out your strategy. But it’s well worth the effort and time. Do NOT skimp on this section— it is your Foundation for Growth and everything you will do going forward to achieve your goals.
Team Accountability is not “Did you get xyz done?” or “When are you going to complete that assignment?” It’s ensuring the success of the company by being accountable to each other for the team win.
the whole team needs to be inspired and confident to own and drive the Strategic Execution System—not just the CEO and/ or the leadership team. Everyone on the team needs to be aware and contribute in some way to where the company is going and how the team is going to get there.
Strategy describes how a company creates a unique and valuable position through a set of differentiating actions.
The more a company competes to be unique, and not the best, the more likely it is to succeed.
Strategy is how you’re going to avoid competing on the same plane as everyone else; if you lack a strategy, then you will compete on the same plane.
For each key function, identify how long it takes to go from a lead to actually putting money in the bank by listing the number of days for each functional process and adding up all the days for each function listed in your KPFM.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a large or small company; the forces within and beyond your business are never static. The KPFM shows how your internal processes interact in order to keep your team focused on strategic goals. It’s a Strategic Picture that clarifies exactly how you’re going to make money in an ever-changing environment.
The truth is that the more time you spend on strategy with your team (not by yourself!), the better the whole team will execute, because the clearer everyone will be on the day-to-day decisions that drive your 3HAG and BHAG.
You don’t “make up” a strategy; you and your team decide on a strategy that will put your company in a unique and valuable position through 3–5 Differentiating Actions.
strategic execution planning is an iterative process, you get better and sharper each time you convene back in your war room, and everyone feels the power of being confident about the company’s direction.
That’s why you will create a new 3HAG every year, so that you always have a 3HAG that’s three years away. This is a crucial part of achieving your BHAG, your 10-to-30-year goal: You must always have a 3HAG that’s three years out. At the same time, the 3HAG from the year you just finished will become your 2HAG, and your 2HAG will become your 1HAG. I have seen teams with 3HAGs that are only twelve months away; this will not help you reach your BHAG. So you will always have a 3HAG!
In a traditional company setting, team members will often “go with the flow” even if they’re not totally on board with the company’s purpose, core values, and BHAG. Catalytic mechanisms encourage people who don’t share your team’s core values to leave.
The key to success is having the right people with the right mind-set, doing the right thing for the Core Customer. Having the right skill set isn’t enough.
The brand promise with a guarantee helps us to build confidence that we are investing time and resources in the right direction.
Be willing to talk about Secret Sauce at every strategy meeting. The continued discussion and focus will help you discover your Secret Sauce—your tenfold advantage.
Tacking a picture on a wall is easier to do than photocopying a ten-page paper and passing it out, and most probably won’t read it. Strategic Pictures are always there. When someone looks up, they’re looking at your company’s strategy—a physical reminder of your team’s 1 Year and 3 Year Highly Achievable Goals.
The Strategic Pictures are nothing fancy—I recommend that you do not make them fancy; keep them in original form—so it’s easier to evolve them.
To outperform your competitors, you and your team must adopt a hedgehog mentality by devoting your energy, talent, and resources to the one thing you can be best at in the world.
Remember, as long as you’ve got your draft 3HAG, it doesn’t matter if it takes twenty-four hours or twenty-four months to finish it. Commit to spending the time on it together with your team, and you will succeed.
Strategy creation is always in draft mode because the market you’re playing in does not stand still. You will always be checking your position and adjusting.
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Date Finished: 2018-09-20