Do you make sure to capture the Revelations after each X-Ray? This is a critical part of the overall Stages of Growth X-Ray process and I find it helpful for several reasons:
- It gives the participants a chance to reflect on what they did learn during the process
- It provides the CEO with a great understanding of what his/her team walked away with
- It proves the value of the exercise to everyone in the room
- It gives you, the GCS, words that you can use to describe to prospects what actual participants said about their experience
In a recent X-Ray for a Stage 5 company, I had 16 participants walk away with a clear understanding of what the company needed to focus on for the next six months. There was immediate alignment behind their top five challenges:
- Hiring quality staff
- Not able to quickly get systems in place
- Employee turnover
- Continual cash flow challenges
- Need for better staff buy-in
Our discussion around these challenges included an awareness that none of the ones they selected lined up with their current stage of growth. However, two show up in Stage 4, one shows up in Stage 3 and two show up in Stage 2. They resonated completely with the rule that says ‘what you don’t get done in any stage of growth won’t go away’. Their focus throughout the two days was directed toward ‘cleaning up the things we missed’ in previous stages of growth.
Their top five initiatives were:
- Create a communication plan that identifies what needs to be communicated, who needs to hear it and how will it get communicated
- Identify key metrics for all departments that tell us when we are meeting or exceeding standards
- Review roles and responsibilities and include expected outcomes
- Define business goals
- Communicate, train and tweak project management template
Remember, this process gets to these critical initiatives in two days, not 2 months! The group was energized. The CEO was delighted over the results while at times frustrated that people didn’t know as much as the CEO thought they knew.
Here were some of their Revelations – and my comment about their value:
- Need more communication from leadership team to mid-managers – this issue garnered all kinds of dialogue, unveiling a serious disconnect between the leadership team and the managers
- As a team we all seem to struggle with the same things – people were quick to see that their specific issue was shared by so many others – it wasn’t just me, type of thinking
- Monthly reporting by departments … no excuses – frustration over the fact that meetings aren’t well run and people sometimes don’t show up on time or show up at all
- We skipped over many of the process related requirements in Stages 3 – 5 – this came up a lot in terms of the things they identified as problems and how they should have been taken care of sooner so they have to focus on them today
- People want to give more in many cases but aren’t sure how – CEO asked many times why people just didn’t ask for answers and the response was people didn’t see the opportunity to do so unless asked
- Many, if not all of the non-negotiable rule discrepancies are rooted in lack of communication – the lack of communication theme was touched on all the time and it is no wonder it showed up as their number one initiative
- Need more transparency/communication about processes – again, frustration on the part of the managers that the leadership team has an entire project management software program set up and almost no one in the room knew what it was or how it worked
- Upper management sees things as more rosy (sic) than they are – people were open and willing to air their frustration and the leadership team listened and learned a lot about what they weren’t communicating well with the rest of the company
- Was nice to know that profit is being measured by a percentage with financing going back into the business – this from the senior craftsman who was very engaged and while frustrated at some level, had a chance to hear how money is being put back into the company for needed expansion and improvement
- Surprised that the initiatives we chose could impact so many of our top challenges – this is a critical step in the X-Ray process that you address as you complete the Growth Curve Navigator and it is a valuable reality check
The list goes on – 136 total revelations in all were captured. In my follow up report to the CEO I include ALL of the revelations by person. It’s why I use the multiple layer “ncr” format so I can take the top copy and leave the participant with their own copy.
Never lose sight of the value of these Revelations. This information is of course confidential and if I want to use any of these as testimonials, I get the permission of the person and the CEO. I just wanted to make the point that the X-Ray process is so full of great outcomes, it is worth your time to always capture these nuggets of knowledge from your participants.
There is a huge uptick in the number of X-Rays being delivered and I’m delighted to hear from each of you on your own experience. Please let me know when you have X-Rays planned and what stage of growth the company is in. I’m always looking for case studies to share as we can all learn from the experiences of others.
Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!