Change initiatives and strategic plans all-too-often fail to be implemented simply because corporate vision fails to become part of the daily attitudes, behaviors and habits of the many people who must execute the plan. Consider developing your own “Handoff Checklist” as a basic but powerful tool to enhance your organization’s ability to execute – and put your hard-won plans into play.
“Time it takes to go through the checklist? One to five minutes. Time (and trust) saved by going through the checklist? Immeasurable.”
Source: “The Secret to Ensuring Follow-Through” by Peter Bregman, Harvard Business Review, January 25, 2011. Bregman applies the concept that “a team is only as strong as its checklist” in surgeon/author Atul Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.
Bregman also offers a sample list of questions that the person handing off work must ask the person taking accountability for delivery:
- What do you understand the priorities to be?
- What concerns or ideas do you have that have not already been mentioned?
- What are your key next steps, and by when do you plan to accomplish them?
- What do you need from me in order to be successful?
- Are there any key contingencies we should plan for now?
- When will we next check-in on progress/issues?
- Who else needs to know our plans, and how will we communicate them?
This article goes on to briefly explain how standardizing behaviors, such as creating a checklist that everyone must follow, eliminates the need for individual courage from the right people to take the right actions, at the right time, for the right reason, to achieve the right results.
Something as simple as your own shared Handoff Checklist can reduce or eliminate the gap between vision and execution.
If you would like to receive a copy of my original white paper on closing the gap that exists between corporate strategy and the daily work performed on the front lines, called Leadership on the Front Line, send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. ***Include “Leadership on the Front Line white paper request” in the subject line.
Managers are the linchpins connecting the daily actions of a workforce with corporate vision. Yet most companies complain about the gap that exists between corporate strategy and the daily work performed on the front lines. In response, company vision, values and goals are hung on the walls; HR beefs up training and everyone hopes for the best. Yet the gap remains. Why? Leadership on the Front Line provides a model and direction for putting your organization at The Intersection of Purpose and Now.