At Intertech, we’ve just completed our annual planning to set our strategies, goals, and projects for the coming year. All planning participants complete an exhaustive survey in advance. Employees not participating in the retreat take part in a half-day working session we call a town hall. They share ideas and provide feedback in a confidential format. We use all this information in a SWOT analysis, which is reviewed, analyzed, and defines next year’s plan. Here’s the SWOT template we use at our retreat.
Here are the top posts and briefs from 2020. My thanks to all of you for your feedback and insights:
- The downloads page for my book was the top accessed page for 2020. It has over two dozen guides, templates, and references. Join the 1,000’s who’ve leveraged these downloads to improve their business, team, and life
- If you’re looking at your New Year’s resolutions, this post shares that action is better than perfection
- In thinking through new goals or resolutions, we all have regrets. Here are five to let go and let live as we enter 2021.
- Want to create a purpose-driven organization? Here are eight steps based on a Harvard Business Review article
- If you’re an executive and want to understand AI and ML, start with this guide.
- If you’re responsible for delivering software, this brief covers the pillars of software development success.
- Finding and retaining talent is key in any market, this whitepaper outlines the blocking and tackling of finding and keeping talent
- Software estimation is hard. Use this brief to help avoid common pitfalls
- Agile, Scrum, and other terms get thrown around a lot. Use this executive insight to get the lowdown
- While it may seem self-serving, this brief breaks down, for any relationship with a consulting company, what it takes to make things work
- Accessibility must be a consideration for any software product. Written by my colleagues, this whitepaper outlines what is required to make software accessible for all
With firms planning out 2021, here’s a reminder that for strategies to be meaningful, you must align everything in your organization to match the strategy. McKinsey & Company consultants Tom Peters and Robert Waterman created a useful alignment tool known as the 7-S Model.
It recommends that structure, systems, skills, shared values, staff, and leadership style all be in alignment in support of the strategy.
Here’s a summary of the 7-S Model, an example, and a template for your own 7s model
My thanks to Minnesota Magazine for including me on the list of the Minnesota 500. Below is the profile from the magazine:
We are hiring. Getting the right people is vital, obviously, to building a great team.
Building a great team starts with finding great people. Top firms spend an excessive amount of time recruiting.
One worldwide executive recruiting firm, Egon Zehnder International, conducts between 25 and 40 interviews per hire! Most of us don’t have the time or resources to put job candidates through such a rigorous recruiting process. However, we can take the time to check out a potential new employee thoroughly before asking him or her to join our team. If you’re wowed by someone’s technical prowess but concerned about his or her honesty or attitude, don’t risk it. When we have justified hiring someone—usually in response to a hefty workload—the person may have provided short-term relief but did not work out in the long term.
We have an eight-step process. An essential step in our approach uses an interview from the book Top Grading. Here’s a link to that interview.