The question I am most asked when telling people that I was the performance partner at Swisse Wellness at the time of their sale to Hong Kong listed Biostime in 2015 for $1.6 billion is – what was the secret to their success?
The answer is – there were many contributing factors. A great product. Smart, enthusiastic people. Inspirational leaders. Perfect timing. And, importantly, a clear and actionable strategy.
When I first joined in 2013, that last point was their missing piece.
Our CEO – Radek Sali – was an exceptional strategist and clear communicator. He would think of an idea and communicate that idea through executive meetings and town hall sessions. Each executive would then take what they heard and translate
Sali’s ideas into their strategic plan for their part of the business.
The challenge was that each exec would implement their version of his story. His truth was reinterpreted through their truth, and so multiple variations of the truth were executed. Unintentionally, misalignment occurred, and at times teams would work in siloed ways in competition with each other for attention and resources. The outcome – wasted effort and slower growth.
When I joined in 2013, we quickly recognised this and started working on our one-page plan – a document we called, unsurprisingly, The Business Plan. We also placed equal importance on another document that sat alongside the business plan – The Culture Plan. Together, these two documents became the templates from which all team and individual goals cascaded through team workshops and regular performance conversations.
It’s not enough to just have a highly engaged, positive culture filled with smart, capable people. To harness the collective potential of your people, a business plan on a page provides a single source of the truth and is the base from which all other
A one-page business plan that is communicated well and embedded at a team and individual level is a proven method to create alignment and improve your team’s success.
The method has been evolving over the last 40 years. In 1996, Robert Kaplan and David Norton introduced the concept of the balanced scorecard in the Harvard Business Review. The balanced scorecard takes a balanced approach by setting goals, measures, targets across 4 pillars – Customer, Financial, Internal Business Process, and Learning & Growth.
Verne Harnish, founder of Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) and author of Scaling Up, took this thinking a step further and showed us how to take this balanced view concept and put it on a page, with the goal of keeping your strategic plan easy to
communicate, and clearly actionable.
Like birds flying in formation, a one-page plan enables your people to migrate from where you are now to where you need to be. If your sights are set on growth, your challenge is to align your whole team around your vision for what is possible; and help them map a path that is clear, straight-forward and compelling.
Contact me to find out if my Strategy on a Page program can help fuel your growth this year.
Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System” Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 1996, 76.
Verne Harnish. “Scaling Up: How a few companies make it, and why the rest don’t (Rockerfeller Habits 2.0)”. 2014, Gazelles, Inc.