When Failure is not an Option in Business Execution
Our expectation for consistent, immediate and high-quality service and business execution is at a level never before seen in human history. But can we ever truly live up to these incredibly high standards? Can we ever truly score “100%”?
In this webinar, Thor takes data and experiences from several large corporations te demonstrate how critically important it is to remain impeccable in your execution.
Click the image above to viwe the full 45-minute webinar
Achieving impeccable performance
Recently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) suffered an outage that lasted four hours and affected thousands of customers. The servers at AWS have been up and running well over 99% of the time. But 99% is clearly not good enough. The 4-hour AWS outage made front page news across the globe and even caused the Amazon stock price to drop.
Impeccable means that you operate within the clearly defined constraints of mission success. In my experience as a pilot, impeccable means that although we will make countless errors while flying, we will ensure that our flights are safe and effective above all else. The same holds true for business execution.
So, do you work in one of the growing number of markets that expect “impeccable” performance? Here’s how you can use the same techniques taught by Afterburner to achieve incredibly high standards:
1. Define “Impeccable”
2. Identify the errors early
3. Iterate to create agility
In order to build a team that achieves “impeccable” results, you must first define the term as it relates to your market. Define what impeccable service could mean for your market.
As one senior leader of a Fortune 100 company told me recently, “If we rebuild the culture and set a new standard for execution, we could go from being a cost center to a competitive advantage.” The biggest challenge he faced was a team that had antiquated definitions for what “impeccable meant”. As he put it, “They were perfectly happy with 96% reliability, as that had been the standard for decades. The only problem was, our customers expected 100%.”
Shift your team’s definition of impeccable by defining the new standard, what it could mean for the organization if we achieved that standard, and also define what will happen if we don’t change. In other words, what’s the cost of inactivity?
Identify the errors early
If we are asking our team to execute at an impeccable level, it is important to let them know that mistakes are an inevitable part of that journey.
Mistakes can’t be hidden or brushed under the rug – any errors we make in execution need to be immediately identified and Debriefed to discover the root cause for that misstep.
Iterate to create agility
In order to maintain a team that consistently meets levels of impeccable execution, we need to establish a learning culture that iterates and improves organically over time. Once we’ve defined our impeccable standard and used the Debrief methods to identify the errors, we need to create lessons learned from that experience to scale best practices and never repeat mistakes.
These lessons learned should be clear and specific. For example, if “poor communication” is a recurring root cause identified from our Debriefs, it’s not enough to tell the team to “communicate better.” Tell them specifically what behaviors to adopt to achieve the intended effect of better team communication. Does our team need to meet once a week? Once a day? For how long? What should the agenda look like? Iterate in specific ways after each Debrief to improve the team’s future performance.
About the Speaker:
Joel “Thor” Neeb, leads the Afterburner team of more than 60 elite military professionals. His experiences in executive leadership within the military and at Afterburner have helped him accelerate business execution performance for Fortune 100 companies within all industries including tech, pharmaceuticals, finance, retail apparel and several NFL teams. Thor will share his unique insight on remaining impeccable when flying fighter jets and in business.