You aren’t selling an X-Ray.
You are helping a business owner find solutions to their challenges in running their company.
The X-Ray becomes that solution. Once you have created rapport with a business owner, helped them understand the concepts underlying the 7 Stages of Growth beginning with the fact that as a company grows the complexity increases and that complexity is created by people, you open the door to helping them focus on the right things at the right time.
Your goal is to help them see the value in understanding the ‘hidden agents’ and getting to the root cause of an issue. By showing a business that there is a proven formula for growth, you build that rapport. By showing them how specific challenges show up at each stage of growth and explaining that what they didn’t get done in an earlier stage of growth doesn’t go away – you start laying the foundation to begin to explain the process of the X-Ray.
Here is an example of a proposal I presented to a Stage 3 client for an X-Ray. I provide it here because it utilizes language and benefit statements the client will receive from the X-Ray. When you are looking for a way to explain the X-Ray, this is a good example. This is the type of resources I’m providing on my Membership Website in order to provide GCS with the information they need to better understand how to market and sell the program.
Hi (Name of Client):
You have to know I’m so enjoying our conversations. It’s a delight to hear how much you care about your team. I believe the ability of a leader to be emotionally connected to each and every person in the organization is what drives the culture and motivates employees to exceed expectations.
To that end, we talked about this may be the perfect time to engage your management team in going even deeper into the challenges of running and managing their work and the work of the organization.
As promised, here is a summary of the Stages of Growth X-Ray™ process that we talked about.
This process I’m suggesting takes two days and we’ll focus on your current stage of growth, two past stages of growth and help you prepare for your next stage of growth.
So often, as leaders, we get caught up in our growth, and don’t have enough time to manage that growth. As I thought through how the X-Ray process could be of value to your team, I believe the value will be in hearing how your team processes the information and the initiatives that everyone will buy into at the end of the workshop.
We’ve talked about your current strategic direction for (name of company) and the plans you have in place for 2022. My belief is that this process will help identify the deeper issues that could possibly create obstacles to those plans. For instance, a statement in the Stage 3 exercise called the Non-Negotiable Rules for a Stage 3 company is: “Delegate responsibility and authority to capable managers and meet with them regularly.” Another one states: “Instill an employee accountability mindset throughout the company.” These statements are not so much about strategy as they are about how the company thinks about the business and how people view how well the company is doing in these areas.
In Stage 2, looking back to an earlier stage of growth, your team will respond to statements such as: “Create a daily, weekly and monthly key indicator instrument panel.” Another one states: “Set clear and agreed upon action goals with all team members.”
These are just examples of how the process stimulates conversations around topics that help managers think differently. Those conversations are where the ‘gems’ of ideas are uncovered in an environment that encourages interaction and dialogue.
In the exercise called the Builder/Protector, your team will evaluate the confidence/caution ratio in six categories including Leadership, Business Fundamentals, Feeling Respected and Valued, Implementing Change, Innovation and Team Maturity. They will respond to statements on a scale range from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, such as: “We sharpen our team purpose and performance objectives by translating our business strategy into practical actions.” Another one states: “Leaders appear confused by shifting business goals and issues that are not well defined.” Each assessment is designed to challenge the current mindset of the management team in order to highlight areas that need attention.
What This Process Is All About
This process consists of identifying the key players who play a critical role in (name of company) growth and ultimate success.
This group should consist of key decision makers, people who are in a position on a daily basis to put systems in place for their area of responsibility and then hold people accountable to getting specific things done.
A couple of caveats regarding this process. It’s open, honest communication. For some companies, at a level they haven’t experienced before. For this process to be successful and ultimately bring success to the company, you have to be open and willing to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.
My job as the facilitator is to ensure that the conversations that occur are progressive, helpful, enlightening and open in order to allow the dialogue necessary to impact change. Everyone is heard. All opinions are important.
My experience has always been positive when I’ve conducted this type of planning process. Lots of issues get discussed. Lots of emotions get released. Lots of agreement happens. Lots of ideas get captured. Lots of accountability gets put in place.
In our conversation, I know you value input from every single employee. This process simply helps to put a laser-like focus on what your management team feel are the company’s strengths as well as weaknesses.
And just as important to recognize, is the need to create a more definitive plan on what the obstacles are today and what (name of company) will need to grow in the future.
How the Process Works
Step 1: Identify key players and get them on board
Who will you include in this process? Certainly, your key managers. Who else should you be hearing from? Are there other stakeholders that would be of value to involve?
Step 2: Select the dates
Select the dates. This process involves each participant completing a series of online assessments and these should be completed no less than 10 days before the selected dates of the planning session. Usually people can complete these assessments in less than 40 minutes.
Step 3: Participants complete online assessments
As a Stage 3 company, (20-34 employees) each person would complete the following assessments:
27 Challenges/Strengths – consensus on what your team feels are the company’s top 5 challenges and top 5 strengths
Builder/Protector – identifying areas where too much protector or too little builder mindset may be creating obstacles to growth
Stage 3 Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules – these are the critical issues your current stage of growth demands that you address as well as two previous stage issues
Stage 2 Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules
Stage 1 Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules
The results are NOT anonymous. One of the main outcomes from this exercise is the discussion that occurs when issues that are generated from these online assessments are viewed from each person’s perspective. Clarity becomes focus and that focus becomes your priority.
Step 4: First day of the two-day workshop
The first day of the workshop has two separate components. There is an education component that helps participants understand the concepts underlying the 7 Stages of Growth and the nuances that impact a Stage 3 organization. And there is a discovery component that has each person sharing their results from the survey which offers the opportunity for deeper discussions about how people feel about issues, why they feel that way and what would change if (name of company) focused on the right things at the right time.
Step 5: Second day of the two-day workshop
Taking the issues that surfaced from the first day, the group now identifies their top 5 priorities. This process brings critical issues to light and allows everyone to get behind why certain issues must be dealt with first. If you already have some strategic plans in place, we’ll have those available and see where the information we are uncovering might fit into that bigger picture. Then the process has the group assigning ownership and accountability of each priority as well as deadlines on when certain issues are resolved.
Outcomes You Can Expect from this Process
Clarity. There are lots of issues involved in running a successful company. Normally only the CEO is clear and involved in all of these. By getting key players involved, other people will become more familiar with those issues. The weight of bearing all that knowledge shifts to others who are capable of taking a more proactive role in how the company grows.
Alignment. Once you have clarity of the WHAT – what issues need to be addressed based on the company’s current stage of growth, then the management team can focus on the HOW – how they will work together to address what we agreed needs attention. The other outcome of alignment is instant buy-in. After all, the issues are discovered by the participants – not an outsider who isn’t as familiar with the company as these key players are.
Focus. No other work goes away. However, the purpose of the work becomes clearer. And there is now a group of people who see the reality of what needs to be done immediately and these are the people in the organization who have the capability of redirecting the energy and the resources of the company.
Communication. This is the best process I’ve ever seen that opens lines of communication and gets people comfortable talking about all kinds of things they aren’t use to talking about. Even people fairly new to an organization will feel comfortable opening up and providing their viewpoints.
Priorities. There will be a list of 5 issues that the group agrees needs to be dealt with sooner than later. There will be a lot of discussion around why one issue is more important than another. Relationships between one issue and another issue will be observed. Knowledge about the company and what it takes for it to be successful will be distributed.
Accountability. This is the hardest one to address and requires you, the COO to stay focused on issues that aren’t getting done or problems that are showing up. You will have each person’s buy-in and your role will simply be to ask for updates to progress during critical meetings. Sharing those results and asking people to support each other in the work brings a team even closer together.
Your Investment in the Stages of Growth X-Ray™ Process
This is where you outline the costs and your program.
Remember, it’s your job to articulate the value of this incredible program and the more you understand where the company is in its growth curve, the more credibility you have as you talk to that CEO about the ‘challenges’ they currently face and the importance of getting their entire leadership team in alignment around critical issues that are creating obstacles to their growth.
Questions? I’m pretty sure I have most of the answers! Don’t hesitate to reach out.
Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!