Former "Top 40 Under 40" CEO Shannon Byrne Susko’s leadership strategy framework
Here’s a riddle.
What was the difference between a start-up/early-stage CEO and any other CEO during the early days of the pandemic?
Answer? Not a lot.
As leadership coach, former CEO, and Corporate Director Shannon Byrne Susko points out, the crisis put them on the same footing.
Both leaders had to wrestle with:
· Their core purpose, long-term goals, near-term goals, annual goals, 90-day goals and consistent communication (over-communication in the pandemic).
· Hanging on and surviving. Cash was (and is) king!
And, she says, many companies are still working through these stages a year later.
GO FOR GROWTH FRAMEWORK
So, using her “best kept secret” own strategy system 3HAG Way, Shannon coached this week’s Masterclass Go For Growth: A Strategic Planning Framework For 2021.
Here’s a snapshot of her strategy framework, set out in detail in her books The Metronome Effect and 3HagWay, and soon-to-be-published Metronomics.
7 steps to take right now:
STEP 1 – MAP YOUR CASH (from the bottom up)
· What’s the cash available? Here’s a formula: Total available cash divided by total daily cost of operation = # of days of cash available.
· Map Your Key Function Flow Map (KFFM). Be clear on the functions needed and who owns what function. Is there a function no-one owns?
STEP 2 – GUT OUT YOUR CORE PURPOSE & 30-YEAR GOAL.
· Write down your core purpose, your core values, and your 10-30 year goal (your BHAG/Big Hairy Audacious Goal, the much-quoted Jim Collins concept). This BHAG can be “gutted out” with no numbers.
· Most companies have a core purpose, but most don’t have a 30-year goal.
STEP 3 – 3HAG: 3 YEAR HIGHLY ACHIEVABLE GOAL
· What is the year-end date of year 3?
· What will the fiscal measure be? (eg. gross revenue $20 mill and CASH $2 million)
· What are the widgets to get the company to this number? (How many of what will get us to those numbers?)
· What will the company be in 3 years? “Gut out” a 3HAG statement with no numbers (eg.“To be the leading north American payment service provider’)
· What are the 3-5 capabilities we need in place to deliver on 1-4? (eg. We’d need 24x7 support)
· What do we want to be known for in 3 years? (eg. “Making payments easy”)
PAUSE TO FACE THE BRUTAL FACTS
Before we go to Step 4, pause here and write down the facts of your company. They must be facts, not opinions. Get them all down. No cash might be in there. Rising cost of supplies. Out-of-date contracts. Rent costs.
Okay, let's move on......
STEP 4 - EXECUTION: THE 1HAG
· Come up with your 1-year highly achievable goal. How many widgets/bookings do you need to make the number?
STEP 5 – QHAG/ 90 DAY QUARTER PLAN
· What’s the exact number of widgets you need to deliver to make the number? What are the corporate priorities and who owns each priority? Weekly sprint - 'This Friday where are we going to be? Next Friday? And the next?'
STEP 6 - A-PLAYER LINEUP
· Aim for 90% A-players to create an A-team. An A-player must have the core values and must exceed expectations. A Rockerfeller Habit question is 'Would you enthusiastically re-hire them?'
STEP 7 - RE-IGNITE YOUR STRATEGY
· Confirm the Top 3 needs of your core customer. In the pandemic the core customer may be the same but their needs may have shifted.
62% of our delegates at Shannon's masterclass said they were taking advantage of the market at present and going for more growth.
Shannon says that requires a repeatable, successful CEO. Someone who knows not just what needs to be done, but how to do it.
It's not going to happen with a "desperate CEO" with all the tools and the theory but no system.
To grow, Shannon says you need:
- A highly cohesive, culturally strong team
- A clear and simple strategy, goals and metrics
- A great leader
A former fintech entrepreneur, Shannon herself was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 and was awarded the Sarah Kirke Award for Canada’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs in 2006. Shannon founded her CEO coaching and worldwide speaking business in June 2011.
So, to end, I’ll leave you with a great weekly meeting idea from Shannon’s own team:
· At every weekly leadership meeting, everyone must share a market update, either a piece of industry news or customer feedback (every team member takes a customer call each week).
To learn more from Shannon, read our interview with Shannon Byrne Susko
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