Procter & Gamble advertising guru Ken Levy used to say, “Strategy should precede execution.”   With a copy strategy in place, advertising development works best if the team leverages its leadership skills across a predictable set of steps:

    1. Design the ad
    2. Agree on the design and budget
    3. Produce the ad

uncaptionedWhen Plum Builders CEO Al Giaquinto started building homes, the game was the same. With a vision/approach in place, home building worked best if the team followed a predictable set of steps:

1. Design the home (Architect)

2. Agree the design and budget (Owner)

3. Produce the home (Builder)

What Al figured out is that this process was isolating the steps of design and construction and was successful only if the person “catching” the plans the architect “threw” over the wall viewed the architect’s drawings in the way they were intended. (How many times have you seen projects go askew because the person “catching” your direction didn’t interpret them in the way you intended?)

So Al changed the process to an integrated, iterative approach utilizing many of the same concepts that Frank Lloyed Wright used in his organic design approach.

Using this framework the owner, architect and builder openly collaborate on project scope and budget from the start… The architect and builder each have their own area of professional responsibility but accountability to the client for a project that meets budget constraints, design strategy and delivery schedule are prioritized at the start.

The builder’s role is to enhance the team with the right players inside and outside his firm: Other design build professionals including pool, landscaping, audio visual, home automation and security, acoustic, and his professionals, an architect, kitchen designer, bath designer, interior designer. The role of building the team by understanding the value each player offers is the key to optimal success.”

This has resulted in better satisfied clients and a whole lot less re-work along the way.

Take a hard look at the role sort in your organization

Like Al, we all know how important it is to have the right people in the right roles with the right support. Most see this as an exercise in developing or finding people to fit pre-designed required roles. This is a futile exercise if the roles are wrong to begin with or if the links between the roles are wrong.

Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Commit or re-commit to the mission. Make sure everyone is clear on what you’re trying to accomplish.
  2. Agree on the resources required to accomplish the mission: financial, human, operational.
  3. Determine the optimal way to manage those resources. (e.g. architect takes lead on design; builder takes lead on implementation; both coordinating with the owner at every step along the way)
  4. Implement
  5. Monitor and adjust along the way. Always checking progress towards the mission with the mission owner.

What’s different is the idea of a shared accountability to the mission owner with each functional expert taking the lead in their own area of expertise. This in no way suggests that the experts have to let non-experts tell them what to do. This is all about explicitly coordinating, linking and integrating efforts along the way so that things don’t get “thrown “over the wall.

This is a good example of step 9 of The New Leader’s PlaybookSecure ADEPT People in the Right Roles and Deal with Inevitable Resistance

Make your organization ever more ADEPT by Acquiring, Developing, Encouraging, Planning, and Transitioning talent:

  • Acquire: Recruit, attract, and onboard the right people
  • Develop: Assess and build skills and knowledge
  • Encourage: Direct, support, recognize, and reward
  • Plan: Monitor, assess, plan career moves over time
  • Transition: Migrate to different roles as appropriate

Click here to read about each step in the playbook

Click here for YouTube videos highlighting each step