Quick wins seem like the antithesis of long-term performance. Yet strategic leaders realize that quick wins are in their arsenal of tactics, because it helps them achieve the holy grail of business leadership–sustainable long-term performance that beats the industry. As desirable as that is, less than 13% of businesses are able to sustain moderate single-digit growth for a decade or more. Quick wins are 1 way to keep the momentum moving in the right direction.
What is a quick win? They are outcomes that validate the long term strategic direction of the company by showing movement on the critical path toward success.
Consider that when the Apollo program committed to putting a man on the moon within a decade, there were many shorter term goals–validating the physics for lift off, determining the structure that can travel the distance and withstand the atmospheric pressures on the moon, and validating re-entry assumptions. It took years to complete the goal but along the way, they tested, learned, validated and built on what they learned. Each of those small successes led to the ultimate victory. Quick wins are valuable for 3 reasons:
- They provide proof that the organization (and the people who work for it) are on the right track, doing the right things and will see benefits from their efforts. That means buy-in to the plan and a much greater commitment on behalf of employees.
- They allow for testing of concepts early in the game when investment is less and potential fall-out significantly reduced. If something isn’t right, initiatives can be tweaked or junked entirely before the company takes any significant risks.
- If used throughout the journey to long-term goals, quick wins can pave the path over time, driving sustained effort and encouraging all to stay the course. They ensure that the team stays aligned against the goal and is motivated at each step along the way.
Please share an example of a quick win you have seen in your firm or others that helped light the way for future growth.
If you would like to learn more ways that strategic leaders enable long-term performance, check out our Strategic Leadership Roundtable videos below or get in touch at 816-350-7680.