The CEO role is critical. We have yet to see a successful SME / SMB Business Excellence implementation led by other than the CEO. The CEO must become the ‘Excellence Leader’ and drive, not merely participate in, the implementation.
CEO Role in Business Excellence Implementation – What not to do!
Nothing kills an implementation faster than a CEO that accepts nomination at the inaugural strategic planning workshop to be an Objective Owner and / or a Process Manager of a key process, and then not do their part in specifying the KPIs necessary to monitor ongoing business performance. Similarly, the impact on others is devastating if the CEO fails to undertake their own scheduled Actions for delivery in full of their assigned strategic objective(s).
Monthly reviews of business performance
The CEO of course should also chair the Management Team’s monthly reviews of progress.
These reviews should refer to an available ‘Dashboard’ of KPIs of two types: 1) KPIs that measure the health of the organisation’s Key Processes – i.e. how well the business is being RUN on a day to day basis 2) KPIs that measure the progressive achievement of the organisation’s agreed Strategic Objectives – i.e. how well the business will CHANGE for the better over the next 1-3 years. All KPIs fit into one or other of these 2 categories. This sure beats the traditional ‘ad hoc’ approach to formulating KPIs.
CEO role in facilitating key workshops?
Few CEOs, however, are equipped to facilitate intense 1- or 2-day workshops for either Strategic Planning or for Business Process Reengineering (BPR). Indeed, there is a strong case for them NOT to attempt to facilitate these workshops. Instead, they should be active participants – unfettered by the need to keep each workshop on track with what needs to be achieved in the limited time available.
So, who facilitates the workshops? More on this critical aspect in the next Post.