Activate Strategy: Ownership

Let's take a moment to talk about ownership, not ownership of a company but ownership of milestones. You’ve begun to activate your strategic map. You've identified the actions you need to take for future success. You’ve clearly articulated those with simple, measurable, demonstrable milestones. Nice work!

Your next step is to ensure that total responsibility for the delivery of a milestone lies with a single individual. One person. Your role as a leader of the team is to ensure that the capabilities of the milestone owner, mirror the needs in the milestone. For example, a people related milestone should obviously sit with someone in Human Resources.

Spreading milestone ownership across the leadership team, and with other key individuals, allows a broad front of action to occur. It means you can achieve a lot in a hurry.

People own what they help to create, and when they are given responsibility for what they have had input into, you double down on ownership. This creates high levels of engagement and subsequently productivity. Do this across the team and you get strong momentum.

When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problem gets solved. It is true on the battlefield, it is true in business, and it is true in life. According to Jocko Willink. I think he’s onto something.

Clear allocation of ownership of milestones avoids several frustrations. Questions like, who was going to do that, confusion between roles, and responsibilities overlapping. When you have one person responsible for a milestone, in a highly transparent environment, there is a level of accountability that brings results.

What you want as a leader is clear ownership with responsibility and accountability. Whilst the person who owns the milestone may not do all the actual work, they are solely responsible for delivering the outcome.

If you get this right, stand back and don't get in the way; you'll get a lot done in a hurry. But without clear responsibilities and ownership, you get confusion and bogged down, as tasks fall between roles and blame his shuffled around.

The principle here is, ownership with accountability produces productivity. In short stuff gets done.

It's the famous egg and bacon difference. In this breakfast metaphor the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. Big difference.

In the turnaround Gloria Jeans Coffees the vast majority of the people involved and all the ideas, already existed in the organisation. My role as a catalyst leader was to create an environment and simple set of agreed milestones, where things could get done. It was a simple set of nine milestones and two years activating them, that unlocked over $100 Million Dollars of additional value.

Once you have your milestones and have allocated them to the right owners, give them the responsibility to deliver and the space to do so. Ensuring the right people and the right resource are available, is the fuel for the fire.

In short, milestones with the right ownership and available resources get done.

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