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All Aboard! Align Your Team – Theme Kickoff

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, May 19, 2014

A recent Inc. Magazine survey revealed 92% of CEOs believe their leadership teams agrees with and can communicate their strategy.  

What’s the Reality?  

The survey discovered: ONLY 2% OF THE LEADERSHIP TEAMS COULD! 

Aligning your business from top to bottom requires a tool to communicate your company’s strategy.  The One Page Strategic Plan is the tool that brings all of the parts of your strategic plan together to align your team and communicate your plans.  Part of the One Page Strategic Plan includes a section for your Quarterly Theme. describe the image

The pictures you see in this blog are from Tuesday’s “All Aboard” Theme Kick-off at Fleck Sales, one of my customers. 

This board greeted Fleck Sales employees as they entered their conference room.  Each employee was asked to sign the board signifying their commitment to the 2nd Trimester Theme!  If you look closely you can see their signatures. 

describe the image

This board greeted Fleck Sales employees as they entered their conference room.  Each employee was asked to sign the board signifying their commitment to the 2nd Trimester Theme!

Achieving Success hitting your priorities requires aligning your team so that every oar in the water is moving in the same direction.  How do you do that in a company that has over 100 different individuals and is in two locations?

First you determine your Trimester (or Quarterly) Priorities.  This begins with a quarterly planning meeting with your executive team.  With Fleck on a Trimester calendar it began with a Trimester Planning meeting about a month before the 1st Trimester ended.   From your priority you determine a reward and celebration for achieving your One Thing priority.  You create a Theme committee to develop the plan and then get everyone on board. 

It’s appropriate that Fleck Sales is a Miller Lite Coors distributor and their theme for their 2nd trimester is “All Aboard.”  Coors Light dominate message includes the Coors Silver Bullet. From 2009 to 2012 Fleck Sales won the prestigious President Award for being one of the top three distributors in their region.  2013 was a good year beating their competitive rival Anheuser-Busch in market share however their efforts to win the President’s Award fell short.  This year Fleck is determined to win the award again.  The summer months for a beer distributor are like Christmas Season to a retailer.  They are crucial for achieving significant results for the year. 

May through September determine which distributors in each of Miller-Coors region make into the finals to be selected for the 3rd Trimester as President Award Winners.  You could say that these months are the regular season to determine who gets to into the playoffs in the third trimester.

Fleck knows what’s accomplished in these months will make the difference between qualifying or failing to win a President’s Award again.  They don’t want to be left out again. 

Fleck’s chosen metrics are based on the President Award measures they need to hit.  In addition to sales metrics operations and delivery have measurements that contribute to these targets.  Dashboards will be displayed where each of these teams can track their progress. 

describe the imageThe evening started with a message from the President Dudley Fleck, and then the Vice President of Sales Mike Schulte.  It’s important to note that while the focus is to achieve the metrics established for the trimester an emphasis is placed on the company’s culture, with Dudley and Mike sharing the company’s Core Purpose, Vision, and Core Values.  They noted that everyone in the company contributes to these, and the importance of having everyone on the Fleck team buy into the theme for the trimester.  There was an agenda, and on the reverse side of the agenda these cultural elements where included to remind everyone what their business is truly all about.

Train music played in the background as Fleck employees divided into three segments moving through three stations displaying essential support elements to achieving success in the second trimester theme.  Fleck Sales 2nd Trimester Kick Off 005 resized 600One station shared the retail focus, key MillerCoors brands with specific targeted customers crucial to get on board to achieve the metrics.  Fleck Sales 2nd Trimester Kick Off 028 resized 600Another had their updated website that includes a career opportunity page, who we are (sharing their culture, community involvement, history, green incentives and staff), and most importantly a customer’s login page to ease their efforts to gather information about their account, products, and pricing.  The third stage area included a MillerCoors representative discussing the importance of premium light to on premise locations, and how critical it can be to improving their volume and most importantly their profits.  Fleck Sales 2nd Trimester Kick Off 017 resized 600He shared research on how light premium beers contribute to patrons staying longer and drinking more due to the less filling and limited alcohol content. 

There was food and of course drink for everyone.  One of the perks of working for Fleck Sales is a beer at the end of the day is perfectly acceptable as long as you do it responsibly.

The 2 hour rally closed with John McLaughlin, MillerCoors- General Manager-Iowa/Nebraska region.  It was an enthusiastic delivery on how important each Fleck employee is to the distribution channel success.  Ultimately the consumer wins when everyone performs at a high level.   Of course there was some specific excitement directed at beating the competition.  What’s a rally without a villain to focus attention on?

Its one thing to get all your priorities established each year, it’s quite another to actually achieve them.  In order to achieve your priorities clear communication of what the company wants to achieve must be communicated.  Just as “Taxation without Representation” stirred the hearts and minds of the American Revolution, your company absolutely needs to trigger the hearts and minds of every person in your workforce to achieve the potential your business has for success. 

Could you use some help in this area?  Is your entire team subscribed, locked in and focusing on what your company wants to achieve this quarter, this year?  Perhaps it’s time to consider a business coach and a theme to excise the demons that are impeding you from success. 

What’s remarkable about Fleck Sales is their leader, Dudley Fleck.  He never quits delivering the message on the vision, core purpose and core values of the company.  He’s an advocate and missionary for the company.  What’s the significance of this? 

When a company’s leadership is just 25% more engaged, it results in constituents that are 40% more engaged.  Having a clear vision is where this begins.  We’ll explore this next blog. 

Topics: quarterly meetings, themes, Business Culture, Page Strategic Plan

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1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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