Key Focus Areas

By John Spence   @AwesomelySimple

For more than 22 years John Spence has traveled worldwide helping people and businesses be more successful. John is the author of five books and co-author of several more, a business consultant, workshop facilitator, keynote speaker and executive coach with a client list that includes numerous fortune 500 firms, small to medium-sized businesses, professional associations and other organizations around the globe. John’s areas of expertise include: leadership, high-performance teams, managing change, organizational culture, consultative selling, strategic planning, strategy execution and the future of business.

  • Top 100 business thought leaders in America
  • Top 100 small business influencers in America
  • Top 500 leadership development experts in the world
  • Author of 5 business books

During the past 65 days I presented workshops to more than 1,000 CEOs, business owners and senior executives in the US, New Zealand and across Australia. I was amazed to see an extremely clear pattern emerge from this diverse group. They were all in agreement on key areas they must focus on more intently in their organizations.  Read this list carefully and consider whether these might also be areas that you need to spend more time, effort and resources on in your business.

  • Lack of a vivid, compelling and well-communicated vision and strategy for growth.
  • Lack of specific, measurable, binary metrics that support the vision and strategy.  
  • Lack of disciplined execution / culture of high accountability.
  • Do not truly listen to, and deeply understand, the voice of the customer (VOC).
  • Do not understand our “Moments Of Truth” and therefore do not have processes in place to execute them flawlessly every single time, with every single customer.
  • Do not do a superb job in talent development.
  • Do not deal decisively with mediocrity and poor accountability.
  • Have not invested enough time and energy in building a high-performance/winning culture.  
  • Not focused enough on innovation.
  • Lack of trust and true teamwork across the entire organization.

You might think this list is fairly mundane –just fundamental business practices that you know are important. However there is a big difference between knowing something – and actually doing it every single day.  Most business people I talk to clearly understand that on a scale of 1 to 10 they should be a 9 or 10 on all of the items, yet very few truly are.  While in Auckland, NZ, a client asked me why this is the case. I replied, " from my experience most people are too busy putting out fires and taking care of emergencies to focus on these critical fundamentals, or they do not have the will to enforce them as non-negotiable standards of performance across every part of their business."

Disciplined execution is everything.