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Coca-Cola invested in their AI-driven infrastructure to come up with new flavors. In their quest, they discovered a new flavor called Cherry Sprite - a competitor to Cherry 7Up, which was already leading in the market for thirty years. So when Coke launched its cherry flavor, 7Up had already captured the market. The issue here wasn’t coming up with a new product. If one of Coke’s representatives had walked down the store aisle, they would’ve seen it. They didn’t need AI or data - they just had to make a quick decision.
If Coke had launched its Cherry flavor earlier, it would've raked millions. They missed the bus to be the market leader for 30 whole years! Making a delayed decision for Coke cost them millions in revenue.
Not just Coke! A typical business leader spends ten days longer than necessary to make decisions. If you lead 300 people, it is like burning a decade off your company’s calendar every time you face a decision!
Internal decisions in organizations take a backseat and are usually decided over a period of time. A Mckinsey study pointed out that only 27% of organizations take high-velocity and high-quality delegated decisions.
One such decision that is always a high priority but is delayed indefinitely - it’s the organization’s goal framework. To decide on a framework, teams go on retreats, have long meeting hours, convince leaders, jot down ambitions, and yet don’t decide on one. Every critical decision concerning the organization’s goal is postponed till “after we decide on a framework, let’s do check-ins or set goals.”
By the time a framework is chosen your teams are already pulling their hair out and running in different directions.
Goal Frameworks keep leaders going in circles, but what about them makes it so hard to decipher? First, let’s take a look at the commonly used frameworks
Choosing a goal framework is like comparing apples to apples
All the frameworks tread on similar lines and focus on building your organization’s goals. We’ve written the same goal using frameworks that float in the corporate world below. Take a look -
Can you see it? All these frameworks just add on top of each other and they’re similar! There are a plethora of frameworks now and will be in the future as well. Our fickle-mindedness in selecting a framework is nothing but the paradox of choices. We shouldn’t be thinking about what is right and which framework to choose, but rather what should we do to make these frameworks work?
Frameworks don’t work like clockwork
Coke spent a good number of years obsessing about data and leaders spend the same time deciding framework fitment. The time to execute is more important than the time spent on decision-making. Frameworks are just guiding principles - once you finalize one - they don’t automatically implement themselves. So what’s the solution?
It’s pretty simple - follow through with your goals with the help of Continuous Performance Reviews (CPR).
Framework or no framework, you need CPRs in your organization. Even though individuals in your organization work, they cannot get their job done by themselves. They need cross-team and managerial collaboration to complete their work!
CPR is the forgotten ingredient!
Continuous Performance Reviews (CPR) share their acronym with Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) - it’s a mere coincidence, but it is truly the Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation for modern businesses.
When managers constantly check in and optimize, employees feel energized and motivated.
Here are six critical elements to conduct a successful CPR:
- Create a cadence - Creating a regular rhythm for check-ins helps the individual feel heard and seen. These conversations help surface issues that can be resolved promptly.
- Understand - Learn where the individual’s best work is. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
- Distill - Cut out the chaos, and understand what’s important. Work happens in sprint cycles and changes frequently. Effectively optimize your team’s work on what’s priority vs what is urgent. Priorities are usually the difference-making work needed for long-term fruition, whereas urgencies are menial tasks. Every employee's priorities need to be updated every week or two so they don’t derail during the goal-setting process.
- Enable - Analyze what your team members need to get their work done. You succeed as a leader only when you make sure your team is fully enabled to do their work at the fullest.
- Give Praise - Whenever your team member does something, appreciate them openly. This provides your teammate with a sense of value. It motivates them to do their best every day at work. More than rewards and recognition, cultivating a culture of praise increases collaboration and decreases competition. It helps you build high-performing teams.
- Provide Constructive Feedback: Constructive Feedback helps your team upskill and course-correct. It also shows them you care about their growth and inculcates trust in the leadership.
These are simple yet effective habits to streamline processes for your employees and leaders. You don’t need to wait for a goal framework to do the above. These small rewarding habits create high-performing teams with driven individuals bringing the best to the table. The acronym soup of goal framework also “try to do this” at its core.
Even if you have a framework and don’t implement CPR, it is just a bunch of static sentences that’ll be revisited in your next annual retreat. This is what makes goals daunting for most leaders. Many don’t get it right because they don’t implement it right. You need to create micro-habits for your frameworks to work. CPRs do just that and more by creating rewarding micro habits.
CPRs enable your employees to understand their work and purpose in the company; in return, it helps managers build an open-door culture where team members reach out to each other - creating a collaborative and efficient work environment. This ensures work gets aligned, the right work gets done, and people exert their time doing their best!