Do you know what the right seats are for your bus? Do you have the right people in those seats? Are they doing the right things? How do you know?

“It is better to first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then figure out where to drive.” – Jim Collins, Good to Great 

Small to mid-sized companies often are challenged in designing and filling a well balanced and experienced executive team.  In order to scale up your company, you need be aware of who is filling what role/roles and match that with their experience and competence. This process can’t be done overnight.  The following are key points to consider when filling the right people in the right seats doing the right things:

1. Every Seat is Filled:

If you want an executive team rather than a random collection of people that report to the founder or CEO, you need to hold one another accountable, and to do that, you need to know who is accountable for what. If one person is sitting in too many seats, they’re doing multiple jobs, which means none of them are likely to be done well. This is unavoidable for small companies, but key questions to ask every quarter are “Which is the next role on the executive team that needs attention? When?”

2. One Person per Seat:

Another problem we see in most companies is two or more people sitting in the same seat. Examples of this are partners where it’s not clear who’s in the Head of the Company seat, or when we hear, “We’re all responsible for innovation.” Multiple people can be responsible for doing work in a particular area, but only one person can be accountable. This doesn’t mean that person needs to have a particular title on the organization chart; it just means everyone knows who to go to in order to find out how that area of the business is doing.

3. Each Seat has a KPI:

If you have a scoreboard and you can look at that scoreboard to see how each area is doing, that’s great. What if the scoreboard doesn’t get updated? The person you then go to is the accountable person.

Employees who work for organizations that struggle with the above problems often feel they have more than one boss. Organizational charts have dotted lines and employees feel pulled in multiple directions.  Are you thriving in that situation? What about your people? Could you improve their employee engagement and productivity by making things clearer?

If this resonates with you, it is time to act! Fill out the form below to access the Function Accountability Chart (FACe). Have any questions about the tool? Schedule a free coaching session to discuss your situation.