If you spend time with a few thousand management team members the way Steve Kimball has, you discover some things. Mainly, you discover that CEOs don’t know their management teams very well. At all. Kimball is CEO of Inc. Navigator, a team alignment and accountability tool. His data from team assessments reveals three major ways in which teams definitely do not see themselves as the CEO does:
Are teams aligned on what matters? A whopping 92 percent of CEOs say their teams agree with and can clearly communicate their company’ s strategy. But that 92 percent are dead wrong: In reality, only 2 percent of leadership teams list the same top three strategic priorities.
2. Value Proposition.
Do teams agree on how the business appeals to customers? An overwhelming majority — 85 percent — of CEOs say their employees can clearly state their company’s value proposition. Again, the CEOs are wrong: In point of fact, only 20 percent of leadership teams can communicate a common value proposition.
Are people held accountable? To this question, 86 percent of CEOs believe that everyone in the company is held accountable for performance. Once again, the CEOs are too optimistic. As it turns out, only 20 percent of leadership teams agree that everyone in the company is held accountable.
One of Kimball’s three blind spots has to do with your company’s value proposition: 85 percent of CEOs believe their teams can clearly state the value prop; in reality, only 20 percent of their teams can do it. A nifty stat, but how do you solve the problem?
One company with a helpful blog on the subject is the international management consulting company TBK Consult, which specializes in internationalization in the software industry.
A recent post by Hans Peter Bech asks, “How long does it take to check if your management team is pulling and pushing in the same direction?” The answer: 10 minutes, thanks to two five-step assessment tools in Bech’s post. These tools require management to confront and prioritize the real reasons customers value their offerings. Is it overwhelming functionality, elite service, or a perfect price point -- and which will it be in the future? Just as important as the answer to the question is management’s discussion of it, which can help put any team on the path to being on the same page.