|Historical Context – The State of the Union Address
The framers of the constitution believed the President should periodically “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” On January 8, 1790 George Washington gave the first State of the Union address to congress. Most Presidents after Washington fulfilled the requirement through the delivery of a written report to congress, until Woodrow Wilson in 1913 began the now regular practice of delivering an annual in person speech to Congress.
State of the Company
Just as Presidents typically use their annual State of the Union to lay out their legislative agenda, and vision they have for the country for the next year and beyond, CEOs should utilize quarterly State of the Company (“SOC”) presentations to help ensure that everyone in their company knows how the company will make collective progress on the articulated vision over the next 90 days and beyond.
State of the Company – Definition
State of the Company is a speech or presentation made by leadership team members, including the Visionary & Integrator, at least quarterly, to everyone in the company. The State of the Company should ideally occur within 7 to 10 days of the EOS ® Quarterly Pulsing or Annual Planning session and incorporate the results of departmental planning and Rock setting. 45 minutes is adequate. State of the Company can be either delivered to everyone in the company at the same time, or due to various reasons such as multiple locations or shifts, the presentation can be made to different subsets of the company at different times.
State of the Company – Format
State of the Company presentations typically have the following five sections:
Part 1: Where We’ve Been
Begin the presentation with bringing everyone up to speed on the past:
· 1-Year Plan: update progress toward accomplishing the company’s 3 to 7 Annual Goals
· Rocks: report the completion of the most recent quarter’s Rocks
· Measurables: report actual vs. goal for past quarter’s results (revenue & profit) & other key Measurables
· Other historical context: give a ‘blast from the past’ to show how the far the company has come and grown, such as sharing an early V/TO, or photograph from the early days of the company.
Part 2: Where We’re Now
Continue the presentation by describing the most pertinent aspects of the business everyone needs to know:
· Key Current Highlights: such as big internal or client projects underway or completed
· Recognition of Individuals: highlight milestones of your team outside of work – such as engagements, weddings, babies born, running a marathon; also consider sharing work anniversaries.
· Recognition of Departments and Teams: such as achievement of record breaking Measurables, particularly noteworthy project or client work,
· Information Everyone Needs to Know: examples include search for a new position, opening a new location, updated Core Process, and the next steps in EOS® Rollout.
Part 3: Where We’re Going
This is an opportunity to remind everyone of the fuller vision of the company and preview the priorities of the next 90 days:
· Walk through all 8 Questions in the V/TO™. Remember, many people in your company may be hearing the answers for the first time, and almost everyone will need help understanding for instance what “Core Focus” means, and why it’s important we have it articulated the way we do, and the implications of such an answer.
Part 4: Q&A
Allow enough time to take questions from your team.
Part 5: Conclusion
Great presentations have an overall theme, and a thread running throughout the presentation from beginning to the conclusion – so end strong! Get your entire team in the right head space for the next 90 days.
The Leadership Teams of companies running on EOS® have clarified and simplified their vision by working through answering all 8 Questions in their V/TO™. But that doesn’t mean the Vision is “Shared By All”. Quarterly State of the Company presentations play a vital role in ensuring that everyone, that is 100% of the people in your company understand, buy-in and are willing to help you achieve the vision in order for it to become reality. Everyone needs to hear the vision repeatedly, consistently and frequently. And since it often takes people seven time to hear something for the first time, consistently giving a quarterly State of the Company presentation will greatly decrease the amount time required before everyone in your company is helping achieve the vision.
Visit NavigateTheJourney.com and schedule a call with Tom Barrett to discuss how he helps entrepreneurs and their leadership teams clarify, simplify and achieve their vision.
About The Author
Tom Barrett is a Nashville-based Certified EOS Implementer™, and Co-Founder & CEO of Navigate the Journey, a consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs get what they want from their business.