Generate Business Impact

Module Four Description

In this fourth Module of Business Impact Accelerator©, you and your team will begin to put your five-year scaling and growth plan into action. By completing these activities, you will improve the operating effectiveness of your business or social enterprise and increase its depth and breadth of impact.

You and your team will complete four Activities …

  1. Improve Customer Experiences
  2. Align and Execute Strategic Priorities
  3. Simplify Internal Processes
  4. Become a Certified B Corporation

… and produce nine Deliverables:

  • Customer Journey Maps
  • Net Promoter® Surveys
  • Company Service Aptitude Test
  • One Page Strategy Map and Plan
  • Strategy Reviews
  • Organization Chart of the Future
  • Process Improvement Plan
  • Business Process Maps and Library
  • Annual B Impact Improvement Plan

These Deliverables will enable you and your team to build a sustainable, high-impact enterprise that differentiates you from competitors focused only on maximizing short-term profit.

For each Deliverable, we provide step-by-step instructions and coaching tips for completion. We also feature a Certified B Corporation to benchmark and offer a list of resources to help you manage the transition of your enterprise from one stage of growth to another. If you have any questions, please contact us directly through this website.

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will improve the experience of customers. You’ll do this by creating Customer Journey Maps, conducting Net Promoter® Surveys, and completing the Company Service Aptitude Test.

Improving the customer experience is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy©, the majority of organizations adopt an “inside-out” mindset and focus only on maximizing profit. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is incumbent on you to think “outside-in” and transform customers into loyal and profitable brand advocates who come back for more and tell others about your positive impact.

Customer Journey Maps will help you create a branded customer experience. Net Promoter® Surveys will help you strengthen customer relationships. Company Service Aptitude Test will help you measure and improve the level of service delivered by your organization.

Together, these Deliverables will enable you and your team to create loyal promoters, generate sustainable results and impact, and scale your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model.

Customer Journey Maps

Required Materials:

To create Customer Journey Maps, you will need to visit the websites of Satmetrix and Design a Better Business. You will also need the Customer Persona and Journey Canvases created in Module 2, plus your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model and Plan.

To Do List:

There are five actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review work completed previously in Module 2 on the Customer Persona and Journey Canvases.
  2. Download and review two documents on customer experience management and watch two short videos on customer journey mapping.
  3. Start the design of your customer experience brand by crafting a Statement of Customer Experience.
  4. Create and improve customer journey maps for the customer segment(s) served by your business or social enterprise.
  5. Utilize these maps throughout Business Impact Accelerator© and during your enterprises’ ten-year journey of growth, change, and transformation.

Coaching Tips:

We consider well-designed customer journey maps to be an insurance policy for businesses serious about sustainable impact. The word insurance comes from “insure” which means “to make certain, safe, and sure.” Another definition is: “to secure or protect someone or something against a possible contingency.” We think this is an accurate description of one of the key jobs of leaders–safeguarding the experience of customers while ensuring sustainable growth.

Peter Drucker, the noted management consultant and author once said, “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” Yet, in the pursuit of 10X profit, many organizations lose their focus on customers. As discussed in Modules 1 and 2 of Business Impact Accelerator©, these organizations become “inside-out” and put their own needs ahead of customers. In Gender Wealth Strategy©, we described how the current system of finance and investment focuses on maximizing profit while ignoring the needs of women and HeForShe advocates.

So, how do you develop and sustain an “outside-in,” customer-focused organization?

To start, review the Deliverables you and your team completed in Module Two. Schedule 45–60 minutes of individual study time to review the Customer Personas and Journey Canvases along with your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model. Review pages 84–121 in Design a Better Business or consult the Design a Better Business website if you need a refresh on the Customer Persona and Journey Canvases.

Next, download two documents from Satmetrix and watch two short videos on “customer experience” and “customer journey mapping.” Here are the links:

The e-book from Satmetrix titled Demystify the Customer Journey provides an answer to the “why” and “so what” questions behind customer experience management and customer journey mapping. Note these comments:

  • “Net Promoter Score® is the only customer experience metric proven to be a leading indicator of a company’s potential growth and financial health.”
  • “Brands that improve the experience along the customer journey see revenues increase 10–15% and cost-to-serve customers decrease by 15–20%.”

Be sure to review the section on the role of customer journey mapping in managing and improving the customer experience. This concept of “life cycle” is key to differentiating your marketing, sales, and retention strategies while increasing the lifetime value of customers.

Defining CX

After completing this individual study, schedule a short meeting with your team to discuss the highlights from these documents and videos. During the session, be sure everyone is clear on the definition of customer experience (CX) and the purpose of journey mapping.

In our consulting work over the years, we’ve used this definition of customer experience from Forrester: “how customers perceive their interactions with your enterprise.” Colin Shaw of Beyond Philosophy goes a bit further in his definition: “customer experience is a blend of a company’s physical performance and the emotions evoked, intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact.”

In this definition, Shaw highlights both the rational and emotional side of customers’ experiences, which aligns with research into the way customers make purchase decisions. Shaw states that at least 50% of the overall customer experience is emotional. And we agree.

Shaw raises two questions in his excellent book, Building Great Customer Experiences, that need to be discussed by your team: (1) does your enterprise know what its customer experience is?, and (2) is the statement of this experience written down? Shaw defines the Statement of Customer Experience as “a description of the customer experience which contains elements that have been chosen for delivery, written in a way that can be easily understood, and will inspire people to put into action.” He provides an example using a hypothetical business called Beyond Philosophy™ Holiday Tours:

“We want our customers to have a thoroughly enjoyable experience on their holiday. We will achieve this through providing a very friendly and accessible customer experience that they trust. Everything we do will be delivered in a timely and reliable manner that will be second to none. The result of this is that our customer will become loyal and will say, ‘I would never dream of going anywhere else.'”

The italicized words in this example serve as “design criteria” (of course, you’ll select ones specific to the experience you want to deliver). If you think this is fluff, think again. Disney and other loyalty leaders have been doing this for years. If you’ve ever been to Disney (as a child or parent), you’ll recall the incredible attention to every aspect–rational and emotional–of The Disney Experience.

What Is Your CX?

So, what is the CX of your enterprise? And how does it relate to the Customer Persona Canvas, Customer Journey Canvas, and High Impact Value Proposition Canvas created in Module Two? Does it support the sustainable, high-impact brand and enterprise you’re aiming to build over the next ten years?

To answer these questions, select 2–3 members of your team to develop a Statement of Customer Experience for your enterprise. Review the Customer Persona and Journey Canvases from Module 2 of Business Impact Accelerator and make changes as necessary. Take the time to expand on the rational and emotional sides of the customer experience. If you have several customer segments, then you’ll need to develop Customer Journey Canvases (or Maps) for each segment. Be sure to align everything with the “customer profile” section of your High Impact Value Proposition Canvas.

Look for opportunities to involve frontline teams in this process and to personalize and customize the Customer Journey Maps for your “rock star” customers (reference the work you completed in Module One on Evaluate Customer Engagement). Obviously, if you have several customers that contribute significantly to the revenue of your enterprise, you will want to provide them with the best possible experience in order to sustain that revenue stream and stay on track with your 3X-in-10™ revenue sharing obligations.

After the sub-team has completed their work, schedule a meeting with the entire team to review the progress you’ve made. Be flexible with the idea your branded customer experienced will change as you review Net Promoter® Surveys (coming up next). Use ongoing feedback from customers to continuously test, refine, and improve their experience.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Did we create a Statement of Customer Experience that differentiates us from competitors?
  2. Does this Statement align with our value proposition and the sustainable, impact-driven brand we aim to build over the next ten years?
  3. Do we have a plan and schedule for ongoing review and improvement of journey maps for our customers?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately one hour to review learning materials individually and another 1–2 hours to discuss implications with the entire team. It will take a small group about 2–3 hours to create a Statement of Customer Experience specific to your business or social enterprise.

Featured Certified B Corporation:

Whole Kids

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about customer journey mapping, touch-point mapping, and improving the customer experience, we recommend the following:

  • Customer Touch-point Mapping (see Pro Bono Coaching Support section of this website).
  • Design a Better Business (in this website for the book; you’ll find Customer Persona and Customer Journey Canvases in the section titled Free Tools).
  • Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprint, and Diagrams by James Kalbach.
  • Building a Great Customer Experience by Colin Shaw (also, study Beyond Philosophy, the website of Mr. Shaw’s organization).
  • The Net Promoter System Podcast (from Bain & Company; both the podcast and website provide excellent information about managing and improving the customer experience, customer journey mapping, and implementing the Net Promoter System®).
  • Satmetrix (co-creator of the Net Promoter System® and Net Promoter Score® with Bain Consulting and Fred Reichheld).

Next Steps

Net Promoter® Surveys

Net Promoter© Surveys

Required Materials:

To conduct Net Promoter® surveys, you will need to visit the Net Promoter System website. You will also need the Customer Journey Maps you just updated as well as the Customer Engagement SWOT Diagram completed in Module One of Business Impact Accelerator©.

To Do List:

There are six actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Visit the Net Promoter System website and review the section titled NPS and Growth.
  2. Watch six short videos about the Net Promoter System®.
  3. Create a Net Promoter® Survey (or update your current customer survey) and include the “recommend” and “why” questions.
  4. Pilot this Net Promoter® Survey with a small group of customers.
  5. Review feedback received from customers and close-the-loop with each one of these customers.
  6. Review lessons learned and create a personalized engagement plan, including survey schedule, for each customer.

Coaching Tips:

In Customer Journey Maps, you and your team learned about the Net Promoter System® and question: “How likely would you be to recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?” In this section of Module 4, your business or social enterprise will put this question into action as you create and implement a Net Promoter© Survey.

First, let’s make sure you and your team have a common base of knowledge about the Net Promoter Score® and Net Promoter System®. Visit the Net Promoter System website and in the main navigation bar, look for About NPS and NPS and Growth. You’ll see this graphic from a study conducted by Bain (co-creator of Net Promoter® with Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix).

These are very compelling results, aren’t they? This website offers in-depth information about the Net Promoter System®, and we encourage you to sign-up for the Net Promoter System Podcast to hear first-hand accounts from enterprises achieving amazing results with this “outside-in” operating system.

After reviewing the Net Promoter System® website, schedule a meeting with your entire team to watch six short videos:

Facilitate a discussion about the information presented in these videos. Be sure to revisit the work completed in Module 1 on Evaluating Customer Engagement. As Bill Lee reminds us in The Hidden Wealth of Customers: “you need to develop a customer engagement system to transform customers into loyal promoters and brand advocates who in fact, attract other loyal customers.” Examine the Customer Engagement SWOT Diagram from Module 1 to see if there are any quick improvements you can (or need) to make as a result of watching these videos.

Also, take a few minutes to review the wording of the Net Promoter® question (“how likely would you be to recommend [insert your company] to a friend or colleague?”). You may need to change the wording slightly for it to resonate with your customer base.

The Real Magic

The real magic behind the Net Promoter® question is the follow-up question: “Why did you give us this score?” The answer to this second question will help you and your team to (1) segment customers into three groups (promoters, passives, and detractors), and (2) learn how to rescue a relationship, turn passive customers into promoters, or discover ways to turn loyal promoters into brand advocates.

However, this only will happen if customers are honest about their experiences with your enterprise. Over the years, customers have been reinforced by companies–large and small–to not answer this question honestly or in many cases, to ignore it. The reason is straightforward. These customers are not provided any follow-up, not even an email outlining what the company has learned and how they are planning to use feedback to improve the experience or their products and/or services.

As a result, customers consciously or unconsciously realize their opinions do not count and become cynical about future surveys. So, it’s incumbent on you and your team to change this mindset by first seeking to understand what’s driving the Net Promoter Score and then taking action to correct service failures or reinforce loyalty. Not once in a while, but every single time you ask customers for feedback.

At its heart, Net Promoter® is really a question about relationship strength. As Fred Reichheld explained in his 2006 book, The Ultimate Question, it’s a question based on the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In this book, Reichheld describes the “bad profits” earned by companies that extract excessive fees or impose onerous terms and conditions on their customers (for example, banks, airlines, cable providers, and hotels to name a few). Doesn’t this sound like the profit-driven banks, lenders, private equity investors, typical impact investment funds, and Wall Street investment firms and their conventional debt and equity financing models?

Another aspect of the Net Promoter System® many fail to understand is the need to take a census of all your customers on a regular basis (once or twice a year). The desired result is a 100% response rate, not a number that satisfies statistical tables. Here’s the point. Even if you get a survey response rate of 20% (which market researchers and statisticians would say is good), what is this result saying about the other 80% of customers who chose not to respond?

We recommend adding a key strategic measure on your One Page Strategy Map and Plan (introduced in the next Activity) to increase the Net Promoter® survey response rate to 80% or more. These are the survey response rates experienced by “loyalty leaders” like USAA, Apple, Costco, and Southwest Airlines (among others). Don’t follow the example of a publicly traded company we know that boasted in their annual report they had high customer engagement scores, when in reality they received just 4% of their online surveys back from customers.

Net Promoter® Is a System, Not Just a Score

We’ve been discussing surveys in this section of Module 4, but the real focus should be on creating a closed-loop feedback and operating system that embeds Net Promoter® into the day-to-day activities of your frontline teams. This means you must push down into your organization the responsibility for closing-the-loop with customers and improving their experiences. By doing this, you’ll align daily operations with your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and strategic vision of the future.

As you create the Net Promoter© Survey and think through how to pilot with a small group of customers, realize you can ask more than the “recommend” and “why” questions (just don’t ask more than ten questions). And yes, you can ask the “satisfaction” question. You do need to know if customers are satisfied with the products, solutions, and service you provide. But as you read in the materials from Satmetrix, satisfaction is not enough to transform customers into passionate and loyal promoters. Be sure to use the same 0–10 point scale for all questions so you can continue segmenting your customer base into detractors, passives, and promoters.

Plan to pilot your initial Net Promoter® Survey with a small group of customers, preferably the earlyevangelists identified in Modules 1 and 2 of Business Impact Accelerator. Use a low-cost online survey tool like Google Forms in these early stages.

Ask one of your team members (or yourself) to be the points of contact for survey administration and to help troubleshoot any issues. They will also be the individual(s) to summarize survey responses and report back to the team. Be sure to respond to every piece of customer feedback (good or bad). In particular, if anyone scores a 6 or below on the survey, take immediate action as these are detractors who may be getting ready to “fire” your enterprise.

We advise closing-the-loop in-person to drill down into survey responses and listen to customers–in their own words–discuss the experiences they’ve had with your enterprise. This follow-up can be in-person, but it could also be via Skype or telephone. The important thing is to “close the loop” 100% of the time.

In a follow-up meeting after this first round of surveys, you and your team should review lessons learned and begin to design an operating system that works best for your enterprise. Plan to create customized engagement plans for each customer featuring regular touch-base sessions and short relationship or transactional surveys.

Remember, this is more than just an item on your to-do list. The Net Promoter® Survey is your key to building enduring relationships that translate into positive cash flow, profit, and sustainable impact.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Did we keep our Net Promoter® Survey to less than ten questions?
  2. Did we close the loop with 100% of our customers involved in this survey?
  3. Did we create specific plans for improving the engagement level and experience of each customer?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 12–16 hours to conduct a pilot test of your Net Promoter® Survey, including the two-hour initial meeting with your team.

Featured Certified B Corporation:

Harper + Scott

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about improving customer loyalty and Net Promoter®, we suggest the following:

  • The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth by Fred Reichheld (especially Chapter 7 on Design Winning Customer Strategies).
  • The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World by Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey.
  • Answering the Ultimate Question: How Net Promoter Can Transform Your Business by Richard Owen and Laura Brooks, PhD.
  • The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value by Fred Reichheld.
  • Loyalty Rules: How Today’s Leaders Build Lasting Relationships by Fred Reichheld.
  • The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore.

To develop and manage surveys, we recommend:

  • Google Forms (Google>Google Drive>My Drive>More>Forms)

Next Step

Company Service Aptitude Test

Company Service Aptitude Test

Required Materials:

To complete the Company Service Aptitude Test©, you will need to visit the website of The DiJulius Group. You will also need the Change Accelerator© platform and toolkit.

To Do List:

There are five actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Learn about the ten commandments of world-class customer service as recommended by The DiJulius Group.
  2. Complete the free online Company Service Aptitude Test (C-SAT).
  3. Review C-SAT results and identify areas for improving the service aptitude level of your enterprise.
  4. Download the Action Plan tool from Change Accelerator and develop a plan to improve the customer service level of your business or social enterprise.
  5. Complete the C-SAT once per year and update your enterprise-wide customer service improvement plans.

Coaching Tips:

How would you and your team like to “make price irrelevant” by delivering a branded customer experience unique to your business or social enterprise? That’s the philosophy and approach of The DiJulius Group, a customer service and experience consulting firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. In his books and YouTube Channel, DiJulius outlines the approach of his business for delivering a world-class service experience. His approach uses these ten commandments of world-class customer service:

  1. Service Vision: a clear purpose of why the business exists.
  2. Creating a World-Class Internal Culture: attract, hire, and retain only the people who have the service DNA.
  3. Non-Negotiable Experiential Standards: experience standards everyone must meet.
  4. Secret Service Systems: utilizing customer intelligence to personalize their experience and engage and anticipate their needs.
  5. Training to Provide a World-Class Customer Experience: systems and processes that remove variation and deliver a consistent customer experience.
  6. Implementation and Execution: how to go from ideas on paper to consistently executed concepts.
  7. Zero Risk: anticipating your service defects and having protocols in place to make it right.
  8. Creating an Above-and-Beyond Culture: constant awareness and branding of how to be a hero.
  9. Measuring Your Customer’s Experience: what gets measured gets managed.
  10. World-Class Leadership: walking the talk.

The “so what” behind these principles is evident when you consider 80% of enterprises never advance beyond an average level of service. And, only 3% of companies have created a world-class capability level. These results are from research cited in DiJulius’ book, What’s the Secret?: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience.

To learn about the work of The DiJulius Group, schedule a meeting with your entire team to watch this short video: “John DiJulius Interview, Part 2: The Ten Commandments to Providing a World-Class Customer Experience.”

After reviewing the ten principles, ask one of your team members to lead the entire team through the Company Service Aptitude Test (or C-SAT). You’ll find this 114-item survey on The DiJulius Group website. Be sure to answer each question honestly. The assessment is not a “blame exercise” as everyone in the room has had a hand in shaping the current service culture of your enterprise. Be sure to reach consensus in forming your group ratings.

After you finish and submit the C-SAT, you’ll quickly receive scores for each section as well as the overall service aptitude level of your enterprise. You can benchmark your results to the research cited in What’s the Secret?:

  • 12% of companies scored Level 1 (“unacceptable” level of service aptitude)
  • 29% of companies scored Level 2 (“below average” level of service aptitude)
  • 39% of companies scored Level 3 (“average” level of service aptitude)
  • 18% of companies scored Level 4 (“above average” level of service aptitude)
  • 3% of companies scored Level 5 (“world class” level of service aptitude)

Develop an Action Plan

As you and your team process the C-SAT results, do any priority areas jump out? Are there improvement areas that could generate immediate results?

You’ll no doubt want to dig into the ten commandments of world-class customer service by reading What’s the Secret?, but plan on this being a longer-term project for your enterprise as you begin to scale your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model and implement your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan. For now, focus on developing a customer service improvement plan that will start to address priority issues identified in the C-SAT.

Identify 2–3 members of your team to create a customer service improvement plan for the next 12 months. One of the actions you could immediately take is to prepare for the introduction and deployment of your Statement of Customer Experience (developed previously). This Statement is similar to a service vision as discussed by The DiJulius Group.

Use the Action Plan tool from Change Accelerator to develop your annual improvement plan. Be sure to use all of the processes and tools of Change Accelerator. For example, you could use the Case For Change Story tool in a future town-hall meeting to share new expectations and standards for delivering engaging and memorable service experiences.

If you’re in the process of finalizing or revising your business plan, use the results from this part of Module 4 in the section titled Operations and Service Strategy. Women and HeForShe investors will want to know how you’re going to engage and retain customers to deliver sustainable results and deliver on your 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer.

Also, be sure to schedule a date for the team to come back together to re-take the Company Service Aptitude Test. You’ll want to assess your progress and develop new plans for improving the level of your organization’s customer service.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. What did we learn about our enterprises’ level of service aptitude?
  2. Do we have clear expectations of the experience we want our frontline teams to deliver?
  3. Did we create a customer service improvement plan unique to our business or social enterprise?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 3–4 hours (over 1–2 sessions) to complete all questions in the C-SAT. It will take another 3–4 hours (over 1–2 sessions) to develop a customer service improvement plan.

Featured Certified B Corporation:

Dialogue Experience

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about delivering world-class customer service, we recommend the following:

  • What’s the Secret?: To Providing A World-Class Customer Experience by John R. DiJulius III.
  • Secret Service: Hidden Systems that Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service by John R. DiJulius III.
  • The Customer Service Revolution: Overthrow Conventional Business, Inspire Employees, and Change the World by John R. DiJulius III.
  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (Zappos CEO).
  • The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company (3rd Edition) by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson
  • The Disney Way Fieldbook: How to Implement Walt Disney’s Vision of Dream, Believe, Dare, Do in Your Own Company by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson.

Next Step

Align and Execute Strategic Priorities

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will improve the capability of your enterprise to execute strategic priorities. You’ll do this by creating a One Page Strategy Map and Plan and conducting Strategy Reviews.

Aligning and executing strategic priorities is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy©, 60–80% of businesses fall short of the targets identified in their strategic plans. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is incumbent on you to deliver the sustainable results promised to stakeholders.

One Page Strategy Map and Plan will focus and align everyone in your enterprise around strategic priorities and measures. Strategy Reviews will engage frontline teams in helping you manage and improve performance.

Together, these Deliverables will enable you to implement your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and achieve your Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact.

One Page Strategy Map and Plan

Required Materials:

To create a One Page Strategy Map and Plan, you will need access to visit the Virtual Strategist Channel. You will also need your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and several tools from the Business Impact Accelerator Library.

To Do List:

There are five actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review five short YouTube videos on strategy planning and management using the Balanced Scorecard System.
  2. Access the BIA Library and download the One Page Strategy Map and Plan Template.
  3. Customize the One Page Strategy Map and Plan for your business or social enterprise and incorporate into your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.
  4. Communicate your One Page Strategy Map and Plan to focus and align your business around its strategic direction and priorities.
  5. Use the One Page Strategy Map and Plan in monthly or quarterly strategy reviews to track progress, update results, and align improvement activity.

Coaching Tips:

In Gender Wealth Strategy Key Finding #8, we shared research about the capability of organizations to deliver sustainable growth and results. We cited research that found 44% of strategic initiatives failing in the first three years of implementation and 60–80% of businesses falling short of the targets identified in their strategic plans.

In other research on strategy management and execution, Kaplan and Norton (creators of the Balanced Scorecard) found the following: 95% of employees do not understand their organization’s strategy, 86% of leadership teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy, and 60% of organizations do not link strategy to operational budgets.

These studies should be a wake-up call as you start to implement your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan. This is one of the reasons why we use the “be careful what you ask for” mantra. Yes, it takes work to become growth-ready or investment-ready, but the real work begins after you raise the capital.

Key Resources

Fortunately, there are two resources available to help you and your team improve capability to manage and execute strategic priorities. The first tool is the Virtual Strategist Channel on YouTube. The Virtual Strategist team is well-schooled in the Balanced Scorecard. This strategy management system is considered the “gold standard” for planning and measuring strategy as well as managing and improving strategy execution. The Balanced Scorecard (or BSC) is the second tool available to you and your team to deliver on your aim to generate sustainable growth and impact.

We recommend subscribing to the free Virtual Strategist Channel to accelerate learning about the BSC. With your entire team in attendance, watch these five Virtual Strategist Whiteboard Sessions:

After viewing the videos, moderate a discussion about the key points. Did everyone catch the comment about focus and alignment? It’s one of the main objectives of the BSC. In many organizations, it is a real challenge to focus and align everyone around strategic priorities and the “vital few” success metrics. Without sustained focus and alignment, it will be very difficult (and maybe impossible) to deliver sustainable results and deliver on the promises of your 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer.

Another comment worth noting is the one about leading and lagging measures. Ideally, you would like to have an equal balance of metrics, including those reporting past performance as well as predicting future performance. The presenter, Erica Olsen, does an excellent job of explaining the difference between a lagging indicator (% increase in sales) and a leading indicator such as pipeline performance (e.g., % increase in qualified leads). The lagging indicator looks backward while the leading indicator looks forward. Both of these examples would be good measures, but which indicator do you think would do a better job of helping your team manage cash flow and calibrate financial forecasts?

Also, Ms. Olsen does an excellent job of describing how to define KPI’s  (e.g., measure, target, source, and frequency) and the type of metrics one can develop in the Balanced Scorecard (i.e., counts, progress, and % change).

One Page Strategy Map and Plan

After reviewing the five Virtual Strategist videos, access the Business Impact Accelerator© Library and One Page Strategy Map and Plan Template.

You may have already used this template in Module 3 to complete the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan (the business plan is a requirement for completing the Investment Readiness Checklist.

If this is your first exposure to the One Page Strategy Map and Plan, here are a few pointers:

  • The One Page Strategy Map and Plan uses the Balanced Scorecard System first introduced by Kaplan and Norton in 1992.
  • It utilizes a strategy map to communicate strategic priorities (in the left column) and a scorecard to communicate strategic measures and initiatives or projects (in the center and right columns).
  • Usually, there are no more than 12–16 strategic priorities (or objectives) on a strategy map.
  • Note the four perspectives (or rows) and order of appearance. Typically, in the business world, financial priorities or objectives appear in the top row (you’ll see this in the Virtual Strategist videos). But since your business or social enterprise is driven by a Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact, objectives related to stakeholder value proposition now take precedence in the top row with financial objectives right below. Remember the discussion in Modules 1 and 2 about means versus ends (and outputs versus outcomes)?
  • The family of strategic measures appear in the center and correspond to one or more objectives on the strategy map. You must have at least one metric for each objective, but you can have more. The rule of thumb for the number of strategic measures is no more than 1.5X the number of objectives. In this case, 12–16 strategic priorities or objectives translate into 18–24 key strategic measures (e.g., six metrics for each of the four rows or perspectives).
  • There is usually a time frame attached to the metrics section (e.g., 18 months to 2 years). Initially, you should focus on identifying those metrics that will guide the launch of your five-year business plan.
  • Strategic projects on the far right are related to one or more of the measures in the center section. These are your priority improvement projects or strategic initiatives for the initial 18–24 months. Your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan will have more projects identified in the growth capital budget, but in this column, you should only focus on the initial phase of scale-up.
  • You need to ensure linkage between each of the objectives and perspectives on the strategy map (as Ms. Olsen demonstrates in the video). However, you will also need to ensure linkage horizontally, between strategic objectives, measures, and initiatives.

It’s About Execution

The assignment for you and your team is to customize the One Page Strategy Map and Plan Template for your enterprise. We used the Activities of Business Impact Accelerator for the starting set of strategic priorities in this template.

However, you can replace these with your priorities. The idea here is to help you get started, put the Balanced Scorecard System into action, and continuously refine and improve this System over the ten-year journey of growth, change, and transformation. Based on our experience in helping companies implement Balanced Scorecards, it will take 1–2 years for you to integrate this new system fully into your enterprise and culture.

Ask 2–3 team members to create a draft One Page Strategy Map and Plan. Put a time frame on this group’s activity (e.g., 1–2 weeks). You have already identified many of the key objectives, measures, and initiatives in your business plan and model, so avoid reinventing the wheel. Your immediate goal is to start learning about your organization’s capability to “lift-off” and execute new strategic priorities. It is not to create the world’s greatest Balanced Scorecard.

We need to share an “inside” secret with you about implementing Balanced Scorecard Systems. That is, the BSC typically reveals a significant weakness in most business and social enterprises (regardless of size). This weakness is found in the quality of data feeding the family of strategic measures. In many BSC engagements over the years, we’ve spent considerable time during the first year of implementation ironing out data problems (e.g., missing, poorly defined, or conflicting.). So, don’t be surprised if this happens. In fact, we recommend you anticipate it and add a strategic project to the One Page Strategy Map and Plan focused on improving measurement and tracking systems.

After completing your One Page Strategy Map and Plan, you will need to think about communicating it to the entire team and organization. To assist, the Virtual Strategist Channel has an additional three YouTube videos to help you in this matter. When the time is right, schedule a meeting with your entire team to watch:

Reference Change Accelerator© and the ACT™ Model to plan how you will engage your organization in review and discussion of the One Page Strategy Map and Plan. Recognize that employees will want an answer to the WIIFM (or “what’s in it for me”) question.

We discuss the importance of conducting regular strategy reviews in the next part of this Activity. These sessions will help you, and your team, put the Principle of Involvement (“people support what they help create”) into action and develop the capability of your enterprise to execute strategic priorities and deliver sustainable results and impact.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Are the One Page Strategy Map and Plan and Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan in alignment?
  2. Did we create a robust family of strategic measures to provide evidence of strategy execution?
  3. Do we have a plan for communicating our strategic priorities, measures, and plans to the rest of the enterprise?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 2–3 hours to review and discuss the Virtual Strategist Whiteboard Sessions. And, it will take about 16–32 hours to customize the One Page Strategy Map and Plan template for your business or social enterprise.

Featured Certified B Corporation:  

Ogunte

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about managing strategy with the Balanced Scorecard, we recommend the following:

  • “Episode 164: Intro to the BSC”
  • Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton.
  • Balanced Scorecards and Operational Dashboards with Microsoft Excel by Ron Person.

Next Step

Strategy Reviews

Strategy Reviews

Required Materials:

To conduct Strategy Reviews in your enterprise, you will need access to the One Page Strategy Map and Plan and Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.

To Do List:

There are three actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Learn about the rationale, importance, and mechanics of conducting regular strategy review sessions in your business or social enterprise.
  2. Conduct at least four strategy reviews per year to update the One Page Strategy Map and Plan and align your enterprise around its strategic direction and priorities.
  3. Cascade strategy reviews to frontline teams in your business to build ownership and commitment for executing strategic priorities and generating sustainable impact.

Coaching Tips:

In The Execution Premium, Dr. Robert Kaplan and David Norton (creators of the Balanced Scorecard) share results of a study they conducted in 2006 about the systems used by organizations to manage strategy execution. They found that “having a formal strategy execution system made success 2–3X more likely as not having such a system.”

An essential component of any Balanced Scorecard Strategy Management System is the Strategy Review. The logic for these monthly or quarterly reviews is straightforward: “inspect for what you expect.” In this case, the goal is not only to review and update strategic performance but to learn where and how the organization can improve. Strategy reviews are different than operating reviews because of the cross-functional nature of the strategy map and scorecard. It is in this ongoing review process where opportunities to accelerate growth, change, and business transformation will be discovered, especially if frontline teams and team leaders are involved in the process.

To start learning about the rationale, importance, and mechanics of strategy reviews, we recommend you and your team schedule individual study time to review the following documents and YouTube videos:

Strategy Review Best Practices

Mark Livingston, creator/author of the WIIN learning platform, has facilitated numerous strategy reviews over the years and has worked with internal resources (and change coaches) to develop their skills to facilitate these sessions. Here are tips for you and your internal resources to keep in mind:

  • Strategy reviews are not operating reviews. Although it may be hard at first, stay focused on the One Page Strategy Map and Plan and not the tactical details of what’s happening inside functional departments (or not). You always have the option of scheduling other sessions to work on these operational issues.
  • Strategy review sessions are conducted in a no-blame and no-fault environment. People must feel free to talk honestly and candidly about what’s taking place. It often requires a change in mindset and may be difficult for senior leaders accustomed to dominating the agenda or airtime. So, be patient. This capability will develop over time as trust and experience grows.
  • In setting targets for each metric, use the green, yellow, and red stoplight approach. You want to set goals for your metrics in alignment with the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan. Some of these targets may be ambitious, and you could be reporting “red” for some time. Be “okay” with this. Ask open-ended questions to check progress and learn how to close performance gaps as efficiently and effectively as possible. Regardless of the level of performance (green, yellow, or red), ask the strategic owner and team “why did we get this result?” The aim is learning and improvement, not robotic reporting.
  • Schedule strategy reviews one year in advance on a rolling schedule and without fail, conduct every single one. Otherwise, the team and organization will perceive you are not serious about the Sustainable 10X Impact Vision, Business Model, and Plan.
  • Preparation is essential for strategy review success. Meet with each “strategic owner” before the session to review standards, agenda, and information to be shared.
  • Typically, strategy reviews are scheduled in two to eight hour blocks of time, depending on the availability of team members and the frequency of review sessions. If you’re doing strategy reviews monthly, you might examine the top half of the strategy map one month followed by the bottom half the next. If you’re scheduling reviews quarterly, you may want to devote 1–2 hours per row (perspective).
  • Every strategic priority on the strategy map must have a strategic owner, and preferably, that owner should be in a different functional area (e.g., the finance manager is the owner of priorities in the learning and growth perspective). Take advantage of the cross-functional nature of the BSC to tear down artificial walls and the thinking and mindset that often comes with these walls.
  • Always update your One Page Strategy Map and Plan in a timely fashion. A good rule of thumb is no later than one week after the meeting. Ensure everyone in the organization hears about or reads the minutes from these strategy review sessions. Do not keep your strategy or strategy reviews a top secret.

Your Strategy Review Process

You should plan on conducting at least four strategy reviews per year (one per quarter). This is the minimum number. Often, enterprises in the first year or two of implementation will conduct monthly reviews and then shift to quarterly reviews once “bugs” have been worked out of the system. The option is yours.

Always communicate results to the rest of your enterprise. Keep people informed in numerous ways, including follow-up town-hall meetings. You don’t want to raise expectations of your business and then not keep them informed about progress, lessons learned, and pending changes. You completed (or will complete) the Activity titled “Case for Change Story” in Module 3 to build the support and commitment of employees in your enterprise. So, keep everyone in-the-loop (especially if the majority of measures are in the “red zone”).

After the first several strategy reviews, consider organizing and conducting a “bottom-up” strategy review (versus the typical “top-down” sessions involving only senior leaders). Or, schedule a combination of both. The point here is to listen to the “voice” of frontline teams and discover ways to make their jobs easier so they can deliver engaging customer experiences, simplify internal processes, and deliver sustainable results.

You can also use this opportunity to recognize the efforts and achievements of frontline teams (especially if they’re working on a challenging project or goal/target). Respectfully conduct all sessions following ground rules or standards adopted for strategy review sessions. As you well know, the positive or negative experience of employees in a “bottom-up strategy review” will be widely shared and known by every employee in the enterprise by the close of business that day.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Did we establish and live up to a set of standards for how we want to conduct strategy reviews?
  2. What did we learn about our organization from the last strategy review?
  3. Did we create a clear plan of action for addressing issues identified in the previous strategy review?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 8 hours per quarter to conduct regular strategy reviews, not including preparation time.

Featured Certified B Corporation:

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about strategy reviews and the Balanced Scorecard Strategy Management System, we recommend the following:

  • The Strategy Review Process by David Norton and Jay Weiser (Balanced Scorecard Report, November – December 2006).
  • Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton.
  • Balanced Scorecards and Operational Dashboards with Microsoft Excel by Ron Person.

Next Step

Simplify Internal Processes

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will simplify and improve the internal processes that drive the daily operations of your business or social enterprise. You’ll do this by designing an Organization Chart of the Future, developing a Process Improvement Plan, and creating Business Process Maps and Library.

Simplifying internal processes is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy, many organizations lose their customer focus and become “inside-out.” As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is incumbent on you to design and develop an “outside-in” organization that exceeds stakeholder expectations and delivers sustainable results.

Organization Chart of the Future will help you align the strategy and structure of your enterprise as it scales. Process Improvement Plan will help you prioritize the work processes to simplify and improve. Business Process Maps and Library will help you create an online portal of process documentation to accelerate learning and performance.

Together, these Deliverables will enable you and your team to avoid the complexity created by growth and deliver on promises to stakeholders, including women and HeForShe investors on your crowdfund investment platform-of-choice.

Organization Chart of the Future

Required Materials:

To design an Organization Chart of the Future, you will need to visit the website of Bain & Company. You will also need Change Accelerator© and your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.

To Do List:

There are five actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review two short videos on the “paradox of growth” and three articles about organization design.
  2. Identify (or confirm) the talent you will need in the years ahead as you scale impact and achieve take-off (this is the “primary goal” discussed in Module 3 of Business Impact Accelerator).
  3. Download and review two tools from the Change Accelerator toolkit.
  4. Develop and prototype 3–4 organization charts of the future and select one best option based on internal impact analysis.
  5. Review the selected option with your team and include in your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and ongoing strategy review process.

Coaching Tips:

In Gender Wealth Strategy©, we described the challenges faced by entrepreneurial teams in achieving and sustaining growth. This challenge of sustainable growth is the topic of two excellent books: (1) Growing Pains: Building Sustainably Successful Organizations and (2) The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth.

The authors of Growing Pains (Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle) describe the situation where leadership teams “fail to manage the transition of their enterprise from one stage of growth to another.” In The Founder’s Mentality, Bain & Company principals Chris Zook and James Allen describe a phenomenon they call the Paradox of Growth–”growth creates complexity and complexity kills growth.”

In looking at potential barriers to sustainable growth, the organization chart at times can be a weakness or hindrance. An organization chart is more than a graphical depiction of hierarchical reporting relationships. In reality, an organization chart describes the structure and design of an enterprise. Both the structure and design of your enterprise need to be considered very carefully as you work to grow revenues by 5–10% or more in each of the next ten years.

Here are the formal definitions of organizational structure and design:

  • Organizational Structure: The hierarchical arrangement of lines of authority, communications, rights, and duties of an organization. Organizational structure determines how the roles, power, and responsibilities are assigned, controlled, and coordinated, and how information flows between the different levels of management. A structure depends on the organization’s objectives and strategy.
  • Organizational Design: The manner in which management achieves the right combination of differentiation and integration of the organization’s operations, in response to the level of uncertainty in its external environment.
Get Ready for Growth

To learn more about organizational structure and design as well as the Paradox of Growth, schedule an hour of individual study time to watch two videos and review three articles. These include:

Did you catch the two very important statistics from these articles?

  1. “A 2014 Strategy+ survey found that 42% of executives felt that their organization was not aligned with the strategy and that parts of the organization resisted it or didn’t understand it.”
  2. “According to McKinsey’s research, less than a quarter of organizational-redesign efforts succeed. Forty-four percent ran out of steam after getting underway, while a third failed to meet objectives or improve performance after implementation.”

These statistics should provide a cautionary warning as you and your team examine whether the structure and design of your enterprise aligns with the strategic priorities identified in the One Page Strategy Map and Plan and your Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact and Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.

In our work with business and social enterprises over the years, we’ve used a tool called the 4S Model to describe key elements of organizational design that leaders need to get right if they’re going to scale, navigate change, and manage growth effectively. The 4S Model stands for: (1) Strategy, (2) Structure, (3) Systems, and (4) Skills. And yes, the order matters.

In too many cases, we’ve seen enterprises change their organizational structure or design without a careful assessment of the impact on their strategy and internal systems, processes, or skill-sets. By the way, we think the numbers in McKinsey’s research are low. They do not account for the high level of employee disengagement that takes place when the 4S’s get knocked out of alignment by poor leadership or management decisions.

Organization Chart of the Future

To avoid potential issues getting in the way of sustainable growth, management teams need to think about the impact of scaling plans on the enterprise, including selection and hiring of new talent needed to scale.

As a first step, facilitate a discussion about the “lessons learned” from these videos and articles. In your discussion, be sure to review your Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact and the Scaling Action Plans created previously. Along with the average annual revenue growth rate in your 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer, this review will help you to identify (or confirm) the headcount needed to achieve future growth plans.

Then, select 2–3 team members to develop an Organization Chart of the Future. This Chart is a tool for identifying the talent needed to launch scaling plans and achieve sustainable operation and growth after scale-up. Another purpose is to help you assess the impact of growth on the capability of your enterprise to execute strategy and deliver sustainable results.

Download and use both the 4S Realignment and Systems & Structure Impact Analysis tools from the Change Accelerator toolkit. Identify any changes to the design of your organization that might be appropriate given the scaling strategies and growth plans you’ve developed (or are currently in the process of developing). In the 4S Realignment tool, plan to use the Case for Change Story from Module 3.

Explore different possibilities for your Organization Chart of the Future by sketching out 3–4 prototypes. Use 4S Realignment to evaluate the impact of each prototype on your enterprises’ structure, systems, skills, and spirit (or culture). Present your options and preferred choice to the entire team and when ready, include in your business plan in the section titled Organization and People Strategy. Use your subscription to SlideModel.com to find a template appropriate for depicting this organization chart of the future.

Just one more tip, be sure to consider the impact your future structure will have on current team members. Your employees will want to know the potential implications of any change in their roles, responsibilities, and career prospects. Take the time to build commitment for these anticipated changes. Consult Change Accelerator for a quick review of the Accelerating Change and Transformation (ACT™) Model to plan a proactive course of action.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Does everyone in the team understand the Paradox of Growth?
  2. Did we identify opportunities to simplify our organizational structure as we scale?
  3. Did we select one best option to include in the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 2–3 hours to review the videos and articles as well as previous work from Modules 2 and 3. It will take the small group another 3–4 hours (over 1–2 sessions) to design and prototype alternative organization charts.

Featured Certified B Corporation: 

Genuine Health

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about organization structure, organization design, and managing for growth, we recommend the following:

  • Bain & Company YouTube Channel (scroll down to find The Founder’s Mentality series).
  • The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by Chris Zook and James Allen (this is the website for The Founder’s Mentality).
  • Nicolay Warren YouTube Channel (series of videos on organization design from a skilled practitioner).
  • Organisation Design: Re-defining Complex Systems by Dr. Nicolay Worren.
  • Growing Pains: Building Sustainably Successful Organizations by Eric Flamholtz, PhD., and Yvonne Randle, PhD.
  • SlideModel.com (affordable subscription plans to 12,000 PowerPoint templates and slide designs, including several styles of organizational charts and diagrams).

Next Step

Process Improvement Plan

Process Improvement Plan

Required Materials:

To develop a Process Improvement Plan, you will need to visit the website and YouTube Channels of Ian James, The Process Consultant. You will also need Change Accelerator© and your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.

To Do List:

There are five actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review six short videos on mapping and improving business processes.
  2. Review the four-part video series on The Buyer’s Journey from The Process Consultant website.
  3. Use the Action Plan template from Change Accelerator to create (or update) a Process Improvement Plan.
  4. Use the SIPOC and RACI Profile, along with other tools from the Change Accelerator Toolkit to simplify, streamline, and align the internal workflows of your business or social enterprise.
  5. Identify the top ten process improvement opportunities and include within the Annual B Impact Improvement Plan and Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.

Coaching Tips:

This part of Simplify Internal Processes focuses on Systems, the third “S” of the 4S Model. As you’ll recall, 4S stands for (1) Strategy, (2) Structure, (3) Systems, and (4) Skills. A key requirement for building a sustainable, high-impact enterprise is continuously monitoring and improving the alignment of these four components of effective organization design.

Yet, we know that life does not always work according to a model or to plan. Things change in the competitive environment, in the lives of customers, and within the four walls of your enterprise. This is why process improvement (sometimes called continuous improvement) is critical to your success. By not continuously improving (or changing) systems, processes, and workflows, a business or social enterprise will find it difficult to deliver the results promised in a Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer.

To learn how to streamline and improve internal workflows, schedule an hour of individual study time to watch six videos from the ProcessConsultantChannel on Youtube. Here are the links:

To ensure everyone on your team is up-to-speed with process mapping, moderate a discussion about the six videos and white paper. If needed, cue up one or more of the videos to review important points and stimulate discussion.

Notice the definition of a process used by Ian James, The Process Consultant: “a sequence of (arbitrary) activities designed to create something of value.” With apologies to Mr. James, we added the word “arbitrary” to his definition. We did this as a reminder to you that workflows, roles, and job positions are in fact arbitrary. You have the power to make changes in how processes are designed anytime it makes sense and is warranted.

Internal and External Processes

To expand on this point, take the time with your fellow team members to watch four more videos from the website of The Process Consultant. You’ll find these four videos by clicking on the Business Process Videos link at the very top of this website. The four videos focus on:

  • “Aligning the Sales Process to the Buyer’s Journey (Part 1)”
  • “Why Cold Calling is So Inefficient (Part 2)”
  • “Smart Lead Generation (Part 3)”
  • “Misaligning the Sales Process and the Buyer’s Journey at Closing (Part 4)”

This series highlights the need to align internal sales processes with the experience of customers as they move through a decision and buying process. The Business Process Maps and Customer Journey Maps you’ll be creating, validating, and improving on a continuous basis are the “heads” and “tails” of the same coin. You and your team need to align these two maps and processes to deliver the customer revenue, retention, and loyal promoter behavior built into your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model and Plan.

Always start with the journey and experience of customers at critical “touch-points” of your business or social enterprise. Then, develop the internal workflows required to deliver the service and experiences desired by customers. This two-step “dance” is one that needs to be designed and orchestrated across your entire organization. This is the orchestration and systematization that Disney (for example) has been able to deliver and one of the primary reasons this enterprise continue to amaze and delight customers and their shareholders and investors.

So, what’s your version of The Disney Experience? You need both the Customer Journey Maps and Business Process Maps to deliver this experience in a repeatable, scalable, and profitable manner. Sounds like a “Key Activity” on the left side of your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model, doesn’t it?

Your Process Improvement Plan

Now that you and your team have a basic understanding of business process mapping and improvement, it’s time to develop (or update) a Process Improvement Plan for your business or social enterprise. This Plan should be incorporated into a number of other plans, including Scaling Action Plans, Annual B Impact Improvement Plan, and the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.

To develop a Process Improvement Plan, use the Action Plan template from Change Accelerator and identify the top ten processes within your enterprise that need to be put under the microscope and redesigned to support scaling and growth.

In addition to this template, download the SIPOC and RACI Profile tools from the Change Accelerator Toolkit. SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

Both tools will help you map the as-is process as well as redesign roles needed for the new process. The RACI Profile, in particular, is a useful complement to the Business Process Map, as it gets into more detailed analysis of who, what, and when.

You will need a way to document the Business Process Maps that result from your Process Improvement Plan. We have two options for you to consider. First, you can use several PowerPoint templates from the SlideModel.com website. The second option is yEd, a free process mapping tool provided by yWorks. Ian James, The Process Consultant, offers the yEd Free Process Mapping Tutorial Course on his website to help you learn and apply this tool.

We also recommend reviewing more of the content on The Process Consultant website. There are several excellent blog posts and articles, including:

We have one last coaching tip. Be sure to identify an “owner” for each of the processes you’ve included in your Process Improvement Plan. These owners have a fundamental responsibility to develop, document, and improve Business Process Maps. They also have a responsibility to train (or cross-train) team members using process documentation in your web-based Business Process Library (subject of the next Activity). To help members of your team perform in this role, consult Implementation Resources in the BIA Library.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Do we understand the requirements for effective process mapping and improvement?
  2. Did we create a Process Improvement Plan for our business or social enterprise and identify the top ten process improvement opportunities?
  3. Is our marketing and sales process aligned with the needs, expectations, and emotions identified in our Customer Persona and Journey Maps? Did we include this improvement opportunity in our Process Improvement Plan?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 2–3 hours to review the videos from The Process Consultant and another 2–3 hours for a small work group to develop a Process Improvement Plan.

Featured Certified B Corporation:

Little Sun

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about improving business processes, we recommend the following:

Next Step

Business Process Maps and Library

Business Process Maps and Library

Required Materials:

To create Business Process Maps and a Business Process Library, you will need to visit the website of The Process Consultant. You will also need your Process Improvement Plan and list of top ten improvement opportunities.

To Do List:

There are four actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Watch a short video titled “Is Your Process Documentation a Mess?” and learn about the Process Discovery solution provided by Ian James, The Process Consultant.
  2. Schedule and conduct a Skype conference with Mr. James to learn more about his Process Discovery program.
  3. Incorporate Process Discovery expenses into the current operating budget or the growth capital requirements of your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.
  4. Start implementation of the Process Discovery program and establish your Business Process Library to accelerate learning and performance at the frontline of your enterprise.

Coaching Tips:

This part of Simplify Internal Processes focuses on Skills, the fourth “S” of the 4S Model. As you’ll recall, 4S stands for (1) Strategy, (2) Structure, (3) Systems, and (4) Skills. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is your responsibility to ensure you’re not “putting good performers in a bad system.”

Yet, this often happens in organizations. Frontline team members are not provided the tools, training, and resources to perform confidently or proficiently. In many cases, management offers a “sink-or-swim” employee proposition that results in bad service, low productivity, and customers who leave and never return. If this situation is taking place in your organization, then you may be setting yourself up for some painful lessons as you try to scale and grow.

Previously, you learned about the work of Ian James, The Process Consultant. In this section, we’ll continue diving into the tools provided on The Process Consultant website. You’ll learn how to achieve a quick-start to your business process improvement efforts as well as establish a Business Process Library to ensure process maps and documentation become a permanent feature of your frontline operations.

To start, visit The Process Consultant website and listen to a short video from Ian James titled Is Your Process Documentation a Mess? In the video, James makes these comments:

“Even large and sophisticated organizations struggle with their processes. And a big part of the problem is lack of business process documentation.”

Process Discovery

As a counter-measure, James has created a solution he calls Process Discovery. You can learn more about Process Discovery on his website.

Plan to reach out to Ian James through his contact form on The Process Consultant website and request a Skype conference to discuss the Process Discovery program.

You can frame the Process Discovery program with your team as a quick-start process to get the enterprise up and running in developing Business Process Maps and a Business Process Library. Share the top 10 list of processes in your Process Improvement Plan with Mr. James and identify the process you believe would be well-suited for a pilot test.

You can incorporate expenses of the Process Discovery program into your current operating budget. Or, include this cost as a line item in the Growth Capital Requirements section of your Business Plan if you are planning a 3X-in-10™ Growth Capital Campaign.

What is the ROI?

You may be wondering if this investment is worth it. Here’s our point of view. In the Evaluate Customer Engagement activity of Module 1, you answered this question: “Do you know the lifetime value of your customers?” You can also ask this question in a different way: “Do you know the long-term revenue loss your enterprise will suffer if your most valuable customers decide to stop doing business with you?” Armed with this information, you should be able to calculate a quick return-on-investment related to investing in the Rapid Process Discovery program.

However, the added-value is not only in producing new or improved process maps, training new process owners, or establishing an online portal of learning materials to accelerate performance. The real value is embedding “process thinking” at every level of your organization. If you reviewed the four videos from The Process Consultant website in the previous part of this Module, you realized how important it is to “align” Customer Journey Maps with Business Process Maps. This type of thinking and action needs to be replicated and orchestrated throughout your entire organization if you want to achieve high customer retention rates, grow brand advocates, and ensure recurring revenue streams to meet your 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing obligations.

One final note: be sure to add the Process Discovery program to your One Page Strategy Map and Plan in the far right column. Implementing this program will be one of the most important strategic projects going forward to generate business impact and ensure delivery of sustainable results and impact.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. In what shape is our process documentation? What do we need to improve?
  2. Do we know how long it takes new employees to reach proficiency in each position of our enterprise?
  3. Do we have a secure portal of job aids and other learning materials for the operation of our critical systems, business processes, and workflows?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 2–3 hours to review information about the Rapid Process Discovery program, including discussion within the team and Skype conference call with Ian James.

Featured Certified B Corporation:  

Spark Strategy

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about mapping, documenting, and improving business processes, we recommend the following:

Next Step

Become a Certified B Corporation

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will continue progress toward achieving B Corp Certification. You’ll do this by developing an Annual B Impact Improvement Plan and incorporating it in your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and One Page Strategy Map and Plan.

Gaining recognition as a Certified B Corporation is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy©, Positive Impact is rapidly becoming a driver of competitive advantage. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is incumbent on you to differentiate your organization from competitors focused only on short-term profit.

Annual B Impact Improvement Plan will help your enterprise achieve and/or sustain B Corp Certification and build a sustainable brand recognized as a “force for good.”

Annual B Impact Improvement Plan

Required Materials:

To develop an Annual B Impact Improvement Plan, you will need to visit the website and YouTube Channel of B Lab. Also, you will need Change Accelerator and your current B Impact Assessment Report and Improvement Plan.

To Do List:

There are four actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review your current B Impact Assessment score and determine how close your business or social enterprise is to the minimum certification requirement of 80 points (out of 200).
  2. Review the progress you’ve made in the last 6–12 months by examining your current B Impact Assessment Report and most recent Improvement Plan.
  3. Develop an Annual B Impact Improvement Plan and include it within your One Page Strategy Map and Plan and/or Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan.
  4. Continue updating quarterly and annual improvement plans and when your organization is ready, complete the five-step process outlined on the B Lab website for obtaining B Corp Certification.

Coaching Tips:

This Activity is a continuation of work you and your team started in Modules 1 and 2 of Business Impact Accelerator©. The main difference here is that you will be developing an Annual B Impact Improvement Plan instead of the short-term plans you and your team have been implementing every 90 days. This Annual Plan is the one you will reference in your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and One Page Strategy Map and Plan as appropriate.

To develop this Annual Plan, you’ll first need to access your current B Impact Assessment Report. You can find this report at the B Impact Assessment platform. Bring the entire team together to review your current assessment score. How close is your enterprise to the minimum certification requirement of 80 points (out of 200)? Bring your team together and facilitate a discussion of the progress made in the last 6–12 months to improve the social and environmental impact of your enterprise.

Use the Action Plan template from Change Accelerator to develop an Annual B Impact Improvement Plan. Think through the priority areas where you could improve your B Impact Assessment score in the next twelve months. However, be sure the work you’re planning to do is in alignment with the strategic priorities on your One Page Strategy Map and Plan and of course, the financial and human resources available to your enterprise.

In other words, this is not about scoring points to get certified. It’s about building a sustainable, high-impact enterprise that delivers compelling social and financial returns. Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a valuable goal to obtain, but it’s just one of many means you will deploy to achieve your ten-year Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact.

After finishing the Annual Plan, make sure it’s referenced in the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan titled Organization and People Strategy. The specific question is: “how will the Annual B Impact Improvement Plan advance your enterprises’ commitment to sustainable business and B Corp Certification?” You can include a copy of your Annual Plan in the Business Plan Appendix.

Why Get Certified?

Why should your business or social enterprise pursue formal certification and gain recognition as a Certified B Corporation? To answer this question, revisit the B Lab website and look for “Become a B Corp” in the main navigation bar. In the sub-menu are three links: (1) Why Become a B Corp?, (2) How to Become a B Corp and (3) Not Sure?

Click on the first link, Why Become a B Corp? Here, the B Lab provides eleven reasons. Be sure to click on the icon in the lower right of each reason to see more information. The eleven reasons are:

  • Lead a Movement
  • Differentiate from Pretenders
  • Pass Legislation
  • Attract Investors
  • Benchmark Performance
  • Generate Press
  • Save Money and Access Services
  • Attract and Engage Talent
  • Protect Mission
  • Participate in Ad Campaign
  • Partners with Peers
 Click on the image to enlarge.

Next, review the information in the “How to Become a B Corp” sub-menu. The team at B Lab has laid out a three-step process:

  • Step 1: Meet Performance Requirements
  • Step 2: Meet Legal Requirements
  • Step 3: Make it Official

In the “Meet Performance Requirements” section, you’ll see these five steps:

  1. Schedule an Assessment Review and Submit Supporting Documentation
  2. Complete the Assessment Review
  3. Submit Additional Documentation
  4. Complete Disclosure Questionnaire
  5. Background Checks

Note requirements for recertification as well as site visits (10% of companies annually). You may think these terms are onerous, but B Lab has been working diligently over the past decade to establish the global benchmark for certification as a sustainable business.

We think these terms and conditions are a small price to pay for differentiating your impact-driven business or social enterprise from competitors focused only on maximizing short-term profit. And we believe prospective investors will value your commitment to building a sustainable business when they review your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer on your crowdfund investment platform-of-choice.

Be sure to check out the B Lab’s YouTube Channel and online B the Change publication to learn more about how Certified B Corporations are using their certification to differentiate themselves in a world that prioritizes short-term profit and greed. The links are provided in the Recommended Resources section.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. How close are we to achieving the minimum score of 80 points?
  2. Are we making progress in sustainably improving our social and environmental impact?
  3. Are we building a workplace culture dedicated to sustainable business practices and Sustainable 10X Impact?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 3–4 hours (over 1–2 sessions) to develop an Annual B Impact Improvement Plan.

Featured Certified B Corporation:

Ecofiltro

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about the global B Corp Movement, we recommend the following:

Next Step

Module Four Review

Module Four Review

Module Four of Business Impact Accelerator© focused on these Deliverables and Outcomes:

  • Customer Journey Maps (create a branded customer experience)
  • Net Promoter® Surveys (strengthen and build customer relationships)
  • Company Service Aptitude Test (measure and improve the service level of your enterprise with the C-SAT)
  • One Page Strategy Map and Plan (focus and align everyone in your enterprise around strategic priorities and measures)
  • Strategy Reviews (engage frontline teams in helping you manage and improve performance)
  • Organization Chart of the Future (align the strategy and structure of your enterprise as it scales)
  • Process Improvement Plan (prioritize the work processes to simplify and improve)
  • Business Process Maps and Library (create an online portal of process documentation to accelerate learning and performance)
  • Annual B Impact Improvement Plan (achieve and/or sustain B Corp Certification)

So, how did you and your team do?  Were you able to complete all of these deliverables and generate these intended outcomes?

Now, on to Module 5, Accelerate Business Impact!

Published by Mark Livingston

Mark Livingston is President of The Social Impact Foundation and creator/author of the WIIN Learning Platform. He is also a Certified Pickleball Coach and Teaching Professional at Coach Mark LLC (www.coach-mark.com).

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