Crank It Up!

What can you do if our organization is too laid back? If the people lack urgency? If you’re missing targets?

Maybe you look at last quarter’s numbers wondering how to crank it up—increase sales, produce more, get people moving, get them to share our urgency.What should you do on Monday morning?

  1. Tell everyone why you need to crank up the pace. Do the inspirational bit, but also lay out the challenges and perhaps, but carefully, express your disappointment with the past results. Let everyone know each person has a stake in the success of the company.
  2. Make sure you’ve set clear, measurable targets for the year. And—put the targets in priority order.
  3. Translate those targets into quarterly, monthly and weekly targets. Verne Harnish, in his book, “Scaling Up,” says the rhythm of your measurement system has to match the pace of the organization and its markets. If you want to grow fast, or if the market is volatile, have more frequent meetings.
  4. Make sure everyone in the organization knows the goals and priorities. Each person should have three primary measurable targets for each measurement period. Remember, what gets measured, gets done.
  5. Identify obstacles early and move decisively to overcome them.
  6. Make company performance visible. Put performance graphs is places where everyone can see the organization’s progress. Hiding measurements in computers or mobile devices doesn’t work.
  7. Reward good performance. Praise those with exceptional performance and use their techniques to help train and challenge others.
  8. Take quick action on slackers. Find out what is hindering their performance and provide appropriate help or training. If that doesn’t work, remove the bad performers from the team. The quickest way to increase a team’s performance is to rid the team of bad performers.

Check out Meg Whitman’s article in the Harvard Business Review ( to see how the CEO of a BIG company faced these questions.

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