BLOG 233 – Make structure work for your business just like Alan Mulally did for Ford Motor Company

Your business will not be the success you want it to be unless you address the destructive habits within it (the behaviours holding your business back), and then replace them with the constructive habits that can drive your business forwards.

Depletion is your enemy, if, by then end of the day, you are tired and stressed, this will affect behavioural discipline and expose bad judgement and undesirable actions.

It also means that you and your team fall into habitual behaviour, good and bad, and this behaviour without intervention will be repeated day in and day out thereby hard-wiring the habit.

So how do you change this?

You change the working structure triggers in your business.

Introduce new meetings, different processes, visible accountability and reporting, create structure through checklists and projects.

You change the destructive malaise and replace it with opportunities for improvement.

In his book ‘Triggers’ Marshall Goldsmith shares a great landmark tale about structure.

Alan Mulally was the president of Boeing Commercial Aircraft. In 2006 he became the CEO of Ford Motor Company. When he retired in 2014 Fortune Magazine ranked him as the third greatest leader in the world!

Goldsmith wrote “No idea looms bigger in Alan’s mind than the importance of structure in turning around an organization and its people.”

When Alan arrived at Ford, he instituted a weekly Thursday morning meeting, known as the Business Plan Review (BPR) with his 16 top executives. Attendance was mandatory, no exceptions, no side discussions, no jokes, no interruptions, no phones, no delegation.

Each executive was expected to articulate his group’s plan, status, forecast and areas in need of attention. Each leader had a mission to help – not judge – the other people in the room.

Mulally managed the work triggers by structuring the meeting tightly and therefore limiting the options the executives at Ford could use.

What would happen if you applied the same structure to a weekly meeting in your business?

Why would any of your team say no to a little more structure and remember the simpler the structure the more likely it is that you and the team will stick to it.

Click here to read more about Alan Mulally and the success that one meeting brought to Ford Motor Company.  Learn how simple structure can help you change the triggers and therefore the habits that are holding your business back.

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