The Power of “3 and 3”

Posted by: in executive insights, Thought Leadership on March 19, 2013

When we are planning “what’s next”, we are really looking to transform how we work, how our team works and how our company or brand is shaped.

I’ve found that the power of 3 and 3 is very helpful in thinking through how to stay true to your vision, yet execute today.

Here is more on what I mean.

Each leader needs to be thinking of “3 and 3” as they go to work.

  • What is their 3 year vision to transform their function and their individual capabilities?
  • What is their 3 month plan to accomplish this goal?

This is a very simple concept, yet it is proving powerful as I speak with leaders.  Here is why.

Most leaders rely on their company to tell them what the vision should be for their area…they don’t realize they need to participate 100% and ensure they are building the most powerful business.  If you do this, you realize you have to terminate certain processes, add certain skills you don’t have and much more.  And, if your 3 month plan doesn’t get you to your 3 year vision, then you are just working, not working smart.

If leaders buy into the vision for their company, they have achieved the easiest goal on earth.  Intellectual buy-in happens first and is relatively easy.  Physical change often takes 6-12 months to start to take hold.

So, to avoid this wait, we ask leaders to think of what they will do each quarter, in granular detail, listing out what they will do each week to transform their team.

Related to this is how leaders transform themselves.  In addition to the 3 and 3, we should ask ourselves these questions:

What new information will I read to learn?…..or will I keep reading the same information you have for years?

  • What new skill will I improve?…..or will I just assume we will all transform magically?
  • Will I play the role of detective with our team and ask them questions, continually, to help them open their minds?…or will I be quickly satisfied if everything is fine and avoid stretching yourself and your team to think differently?
  • Will I imagine competitors preparing to eliminate the need for us in the market?….or will I just assume everything will work out because it always does?

It’s actually quite exciting and liberating to know that transformations are all about what we choose to do.

An equally important point is to relate what holds people back.  When leaders choose not to lead, they manifest behavior that sounds and looks like this.

We would move forward, but the vision isn’t clear.

We’d like to get that done, but this place is too bureacratic

I’m not sure my boss is on board

If we just had X or Y, we would go do this.

These are the actions and statements of the mediocre manager, not the leader.  They occur in every size company.  I hear them too often.

My message back is the above….take control and be the agent of change.  Stop waiting for someone else to do something.

The ability to transform yourself and your team is completely in your control.

All the best, Bob

By: Bob Pearson

Bob is the President of W2O Group, an independent network of digital communications and marketing companies. He is an author, frequent speaker and instructor for Rutgers center for management development. After the success of his book Pre-Commerce, Bob is currently working on a new book on the future of media titled Storytizing that will be available in 2014. Prior to W2O Group, Bob worked as VP of Communities and Conversations at Dell to develop the Fortune 500’s first global social media function -- an industry-leading approach to the use of social media, as highlighted in the best seller, GroundSwell. Before Dell, Bob was Head of Global Corporate Communications and Head of Global Pharma Communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland, where he served on the Pharma Executive Committee. He also serves on a variety of Boards in health and technology. Highlights include serving as an original member of the P&G digital advisory board and being appointed by the Governor of Texas to serve as chair and vice chair of the emerging technology fund for the State of Texas.

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Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on! Join the conversation #precommerce.

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