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Our Story

why we’re doing this

I founded Leaderkit in 2011 with the conviction that there had to be a better way for executive teams to lead their companies forward. On my startup journey I found that management teams lack the right systems to execute strategy. While marketing automation, CRM, ERP and financial software bring sophistication and discipline to operations, strategic priorities are left to spreadsheets and ad hoc processes. Is it any wonder that 70% of management strategies fail?

This lack led us to create the vision for strategy delivery through executive workflow and to develop Leaderkit’s platform to support it. Executive teams can now simplify their strategy and embed it in meetings, one–to–ones and reporting – easily and intuitively in the cloud.

Leaderkit is on a mission to workflow the executive world and help flip strategy delivery from less then 30% to more than 70%.

the bigger story

RAISE YOUR HAND if your business needs to deliver most of its key strategies this year? Chances are your hand is up. We all know today’s market place is more dynamic and competitive than ever. And for most of us, executing our strategies is critical for driving growth and creating long term value.

Now, raise your hand if you have a regular forum to manage progress on your key strategic initiatives? Do you have a simple accessible plan that every manager understands? And tools to manage it easily? No hands up? Turns out you’re not alone because less than 30% of strategies are ever executed.

The problem is that our working world is rich with systems and workflows for delivering operational outcomes but strategy has been left behind. Is it any wonder we just get on with what’s in front of us – the day–to–day operational stuff and let strategy slip below the line?

our part in the story

Brett HerktIn late 2009, I’d finished my first CEO role. I’d led Maxnet – an ICT company in a monopolistic industry – into a good niche and grown revenue streams that resulted in a healthy exit for shareholders.

But I wasn’t satisfied. While it was good… it wasn’t great. I was convinced that our executive team could have been more effective, especially in the area of strategy execution. As CEO the responsibility for that rested squarely with me. I left Maxnet determined to figure out how to do that better.

After extensive research on management and strategic best practice methodologies, I attempted to create a holistic and visual model to codify business success. Progress became something of an obsession, and three months and 9 drafts later I had a one–page visualization of a business in its market place including its strategy. I was rather proud of it – a tool that much improved the way I could think about a business and set its priorities.

By 2011, I was getting excited about a possible software business so started building the prototype of our Business 360 tool and validating the concept (yes, wrong order, I know). I started showing it to CEOs. The feedback I received was “Brett, that’s a nice looking tool but what about execution?”.

Of course! While it’s important to have a strategy, and know the priorities, the execution can take months or years, so how do you monitor progress along the way? How do you ensure your priorities are driven from the top down, and not bottom up?

The fruit of this discussion led to developing the Roadmap tool – a one–page business plan complete with key action list. It provides executive leadership teams with a single view of the company’s purpose, vision, long–term goals, short–term goals and the key actions required to achieve it.

We are building our way forward into something special.

executive workflow  – the way to keep strategy alive

In our three years of assisting companies with strategy execution, we have found that for most organisations, strategy is fundamentally a one–off event. It’s an annual exercise with a presentation or two, a budget, an approval process – then it’s back to the business of running the company operations. Excitement for the plan gradually fades, and, day by day, slips into the back seat. One or two hardy souls, the CEO, CFO or the strategy officer surface it for review on a quarterly basis. But it all seems quite hard in the face of market challenges, that person resigning and all the other daily urgencies.

toolbox_with_mouseTo keep strategy in the front seat, it needs its own workflow. Just as production, customer services, finances and sales and marketing have workflows, the executive team need workflows for delivering the company’s purpose and vision. Strategy needs a forum for regular, intelligent and focused attention. Strategy needs tools that make complex concepts understandable, and common direction and priorities visible and actionable, across the organisation.

If sales force automation is the process of maximizing the efficiency of the repeatable processes a sales person performs, we have coined the phrase “executive workflow automation” – the process of maximizing the efficiency of the repeatable processes an executive performs.

onto something big

We think we’re onto something big – more than just a new product category and maybe even a movement. We’ve had the privilege of looking inside hundreds of businesses now and there’s an obvious gap to be filled in organisations, from small to large. For all the strength of business software like CRM, ERP and financial analytics, it’s clear they don’t adequately handle strategy and the workflows around strategy.

Filling that gap is important because it means our businesses will get the right things done more often and drive greater value for everyone, from customer to shareholder.

We’re most grateful to our shareholders, customers, partners and fans that support our developing mission to workflow the management world.

Thanks for reading our story. I hope you will benefit from what we have learned, and that the products and services we have developed will enable you to succeed, professionally and corporately.

 

Brett Herkt
Founder, Leaderkit