I took a detour the last two years in my consulting career in residential home building by leading one of the largest real estate brokerage firms in the US. It was an interesting assignment but offered very similar challenges as what I have seen in the home building arena for the last 25 years. The most outstanding issue that seems to cut across all organizations in real estate whether in homebuilding or within real estate brokerage firms is the opportunity of converting the owner/leaders ideas and strategies into actionable, executable plans that produce results.
I have never found a business owner lacking in ideas or the vision to be able to conquer their latest market opportunity. They typically find it easy to come up with change related strategies, but inevitably get frustrated when their people struggle in actually implementing these strategies across their business.
I have found the common denominator for these owner/leaders who are not able to execute at an acceptable level to be their style in how the change process or strategy has been introduced to the people in and out of the organization. The classic approach is; I have an idea to help my business, I will develop it, add structure to it, decide how it will work and tell everyone this is the new way of working. I will expect it to be embraced, consistently applied and flawlessly executed.
The reality is that most of our employees don’t really understand the owner’s vision, how their work fits into that vision and typically have no ownership or authorship in the development or execution of the outcomes.
So how is it that we are so disappointed when our strategy and ideas never take hold and give us that ROI we so rightfully know should occur?
My recommendation to all you leader/owners is to use what I call the Fast Track process. This is certainly not a novel idea but for our industry it is rarely utilized.
A Fast Track process identifies a healthy cross section of your stakeholder population, ( employees. contractors, leaders, etc) offers some structured preparation work and assessment and then takes groups of 10 to 80 into a room for 18 hours over a period of three days. Each day is filled with techniques and processes to have everyone participate, propose ideas and to eagerly accept and welcome accountability for execution. The end result is a full committed workforce, using 100% of their discretionary time and focused behaviors to assure the results the company needs for success.
Owner/ leaders get to finally see their ideas and strategies come to fruition while the workforce leaves feeling empowered, valued and energized around a common vision. It a total win win.
Many of us reach the conclusion that rank and file employees are not experienced or competent enough to participate in such visionary processes. This may be certainly true is some cases but if your goal is to fully implement change, the choice must be to get these key, influential people involved and engaged.
If you are interested in more information on this Fast Track process , I would be happy to fill in the blanks.