Mastering Leadership Alignment:
Linking Value Creation to Cash Flow
By Vanguard Resource Group Experts
Jahn Ballard and Andrew Bargerstock
Authors Jahn Ballard and Andrew Bargertsock reveal the CashCommand™ methodology through 10 specific real-world client cases from 2001-12 with the prime case study at Maryland Association of CPAs.
The MACPA case reveals how a few focused activity and cash measures unite into a whole system with a prioritized map that makes sense to everyone because it clearly reveals the totality of the relevant facts of financial transactions and activity transactions in any given period.
How To Get The Most Out Of This Book
We have written this book primarily for four groups of business professionals:
senior leaders motivated to guide their core team toward unanimity and beyond
trusted advisors to senior leaders and their direct reports
facilitators who work with senior leaders on change management initiatives, and
any student of business who is building competencies for the day they will participate in senior leadership activities.
The seven assumptions that shape how we go about aligning senior teams to move their enterprise toward greater levels of adept business execution open this outline. We then summarize each chapter. Finally, we include key sources informing the evolution of each of those Seven Assumptions.
This book conveys a powerful story and method for guiding Senior Leadership to dramatically improving organizational results. We refer to this method as Ballard's Alignment and Reporting Disciplines (BARD).
Seven Assumptions Shaping BARD
Existing unanimity about value creation is hidden in financials.
In every enterprise, senior leaders desire a coherent unanimity of purpose and priorities that is often not realized. Undocumented, invisible, this unexpressed agreement remains consistently stranded. Yet, when sufficiently awakened, the coherent voice of senior leaders crystallizes into a significant enterprise asset. The financial statements' potential as a centerpiece for strengthening unanimity is often underutilized. The statements contain a core set of facts that can be discovered collaboratively, especially when linked and documented with a shared glossary (a common language) about total value creation.
CEO and CFO roles have a built-in structure that generates dissonance.
Built-in structural dissonance can consistently thwart the CEO and CFO roles because of differences in business language and functional mindsets. These differences create dissonance, detracting from the potential of a shared and fully aligned business framework. We address this condition by developing basic measurement maturity skills for all enterprise leaders, while simultaneously applying the skills directly to serving current mandates. The CEO and CFO can find their whole-hearted unanimity on their core facts in a matter of hours.
Alignment begins with Senior Leaders and cascades downwards.
The leadership team can discover and document their own agreement on value creation, key drivers, and a core set of unarguable facts. They can then continue to build ever-widening circles of aligned staff, who together can share and document increasingly complete and whole-hearted unanimity.
Over 50 percent of enterprise value-creating assets reside in staff job knowledge.
Implicit, tribal, and invisible wisdom can be harvested, documented, reported, and then integrated to guide staff excellence in value-creating activities. Deep Smarts (2005) from Harvard Business School Press asserts that at least 50 percent of the value-creating assets of any enterprise reside in staff's undocumented, inherent work experience and tacit job knowledge.
Whole-hearted unanimity springs from discovering core objective facts together.
When undocumented agreement gets recorded, whole-hearted unanimity can spring from the core objective facts discovered. Unanimity produces both a valuable foundation of leverage, and a strong point of departure toward enterprise-wide alignment and excellence.
Generally, there are one primary constraint and two to four secondary constraints in a complex work system.
In most organizations, effectiveness is thwarted by one primary constraint and two to four secondary constraints at any given time. A necessary prerequisite to identifying these few constraints (out of the total existing set of constraints) is first learning about where every one of the value-creating activities are breaking down. Once a total set of disconnects is assembled, collaborative analysis can begin.
Any senior leader with requisite skills can build senior team unanimity.
Any senior leaders with requisite professional skills and/or sufficient training as a facilitator could use this book as a catalyst to build whole-hearted senior team unanimity. However, in many cases, one may be well advised to enlist the shadow support of an experienced facilitator, coach, or process consultant to help with customizing BARD to fit with the enterprise culture as congruently as possible.