As we all head into the home stretch of 2023, a year that held many challenges for businesses and CEOs but also many possibilities from learning and growth, we have the opportunity to start looking back over the year.
With this step-back, we are able to look at patterns.
In the world of Total Business Performance, patterns are important. The financial statements of a business tell a very thin slice of an overall picture and spotting patterns across your business ‘system’ (if you’ve read my missives before, you’ll be familiar with the importance of thinking systemically) fills in the remainder of that picture.
A CEO can only truly lead a business accurately by noticing patterns as they play out. They are not always easy to spot, but it’s a muscle that builds over time and many of the CEOs I’ve worked with in the past are now excellent pattern recognisers.
This enables them to see where their CEOship is required before the time to act, thus making them very front-footed in their business leadership. This is because patterns emerge, rather than suddenly appear.
Some examples of patterns include:
- Where allocated capital has worked, and where it hasn’t
- Alignment levels across the business: tight or loose
- Whether customers are clamouring for your offering, or whether they are ambivalent about it
- How fired up (or not) your people are with the ‘mission’ of your business
- Whether you talent is sufficiently able/developed to deliver on your promise
- Whether your leaders are trusted enough to extract the core yields from their followers (those being: ambition, hope, generosity and willingness)
These are some of the meta-patterns that CEOs often miss due to the busyness of the role. But they truly matter if Total Business Performance is your aim.