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Leaders Letter 95 – Time For A Performance Panel

Good morning leaders, a quick pondering for you today. 

After speaking at a conference pre-pandemic, I was asked if I could join a panel discussion around how to improve business performance. My “role” was from a Growth perspective as there was already a CEO and a COO on the panel and the original panellist couldn’t make the event. 

A theme of questions arose from the attendees, what do you do to improve performance or receive fresh ideas and perspectives when performance maybe stagnates. 

The others on the panel provided good answers and offered ways to trust internal staff and double down on what got them there. 

I recommended something different.

A performance panel

The panel is not too dissimilar to what you likely have internally, a group of people who analyse and discuss performance, review the data and make recommendations on the next set of actions. 

My difference, you introduce formal external advisors to your panel. 

Why? 

  • Not stuck to doing it way its always done 
  • Not restricted by knowing details of the roadmap constraints
  • Help with getting out of the weeds 
  • External intel, often knowing what others are struggling with and if there are changes your internal team are unfamiliar with 
  • Less panic = less stress. Calmer environment to review and attack potential issues 
  • New ideas – fresh approaches often help 
  • If you are a department lead you spend too much fighting on behalf of your team, external assistance and expertise will greatly help support or guide 

This can work across the board, it can work from adding Operations, Marketing, Growth, Product, Technical, HR and company culture representatives.  

You will have to onboard the panellists, you will have to brief them well and allow access, the formal agreements can work like non-executive directors and can be formalised to a few days per month. 

For the existing department leads, ensure they are prepared to share insights, they are comfortable in asking for help, curious about what is recommended, and take some time to build the connection and trust, this will be key when they look to roll out the recommendations of your panellists. 

This week consider how you could improve not only performance when there is a dip but company-wide performance when there are opportunities to grow, hire smarter and develop departmental plans and your company-wide strategy with external advisors. 

Thanks,

Danny Denhard