PART III – GOVERNANCE – For Best-in-Class Organization for Solution and Value Added Providers

Howard Highsmith, CMC is the Founder of B2B Institute.  A Certified Management Consultant; Howard helps organizations operating in complex sales environments achieve their revenue goals.

Note:  This is the last post in the three-part series about three principles that are the imperatives to organizations’ becoming Best-in-Class.  The first post was Organizational Excellence, published 12/17/10 and explores the critical role that business acumen plays through individual sales initiatives and accountability leading to goal attainment.  The second post Managing To Goal, published 1/21/11 is about pipeline management and forecasting using a defined methodology and business model for managing a revenue generation strategy. 

The last in the series Governance is the shortest and in many ways the most critical element in building a best-in-class organization.  In my management consulting practice Governance is a time-driven engagement for proving the model and for participants being held accountable for results – PLEASE READ ON…

Making a commitment to move from a laggard organization to become industry average or to achieve a best-in-class organizational status is not some light switch you just turn on or some best practice solution that you can purchase.  In addition to an all-important executive commitment; it takes a clearly defined revenue generation strategy and it takes an investment in time by all parties, hard work, persistence, working smart, focus and more.  This transition process must include accountability at specific levels of the strategy or you will have simply traded one set of issues for another.  This is frequently the missing link to B2B Revenue Performance.
In sales, most best practice solutions are event driven.  That is to say; an assessment is made, a best practice solution is proposed and if agreed, an implementation takes place.  This process can be defined in weeks of time.  Governance is a time-driven engagement, typically six months, that is founded on three objectives: 1) prove the sustainability of the model, 2) manage the transition process to convert ‘knowing into doing’ and 3) holding persons accountable for attainment of specific elements of the strategy.

“BEST PRACTICE,” the endgame in a complex sales environment?
Over the past several decades ‘Best Practice’ has become the universal term for describing  a solution to buy that will improve performance and more.  Doing business in today’s business to business environment has become too complicated for most single, ‘best practice’ solutions to ensure sustained results.
Best-in-Class organizations must also adopt a Deliberate Practices Regimen that becomes the nucleus of the strategy for doing business in the current on demand era.  In October 2006 Geoffrey Colvin, senior editor-at-large for Fortune Magazine’s Secrets of Greatness wrote a game changing article entitled: WHAT IT TAKES TO BE GREAT.  In his article Colvin states; “Research now shows that the lack of natural talent is irrelevant to great success.  The secret?  Painful and demanding practice and hard work.”  He goes on to say; “Practice makes perfect – the best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to what the researchers call deliberate practice.  Its activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence provides feedback on results and involves high levels of repetition, Colvin said.”

We believe Colvin’s assumptions accurately reflect the times we are operating in.  Take a look at professional sports figures and ask yourself if they did only one thing well they could be said to be best in their class.

Good Luck and Good Selling.

Howard Highsmith, CMC
B2B Institute