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Books: What is a Thirteener?

By Jim Scott, CMA
November 1, 2016
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stack of books

Have you ever been part of a company that was unable to successfully meet its business plan? Or a company that failed because of flawed strategy and tactics? When only 13% of companies successfully execute their business strategy, there must be some common fault lines.

 

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With Thirteeners, Daniel Prosser draws on his real-world CEO experience to offer a blueprint for CEOs and managers to address these challenges. He outlines how and why companies should connect employees with the corporate vision and planning and personalize employees’ ownership of that vision and plan.

 

Every company has negative conversations and ideas—Prosser refers to them as viruses—that need to be identified and addressed. Most companies have more conversations and meetings about what needs to be done and how it should be done, but talking and planning aren’t the same as doing. Connected companies are populated by doers. A process can easily be “meetinged” to death. Prosser explains why most plans fail in the execution.

 

Planning fails, according to Prosser, because employees are disconnected from the plan—the “management owns it, not I,” mentality. By creating a vision for transforming a company and involving the team in planning for it, you create the groundwork for success. By being part of the planning and vision, everyone becomes a stakeholder. Employees know their part and are accountable for doing what they said they’d do. Management ensures open communication within the team and is accountable for specific results (not task management). The team wins or loses together, but each member of the team has full visibility of each other’s actions and contributions. A four-step blueprint late in the book gives an actionable overview of the process and how to implement it in your organization.

 

If you’re a CFO, share this book with the CEO. But it’s also written for anyone aspiring to career advancement. As a management accountant, you need to have more than technical expertise; you need to connect your reporting to the company operations, sales, and leadership teams. Prosser provides some great, executable ideas for improving the success of your company. “Invent the impossible,” and go for it!

 

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Jim Scott, CMA, is CFO for Early Growth Financial Services. He is a former member of the IMA® Technology Solutions and Practices Committee, a member of IMA’s North Jersey Shore Chapter, and president of IMA’s New Jersey Regional Council. You can contact Jim at thecfo@outlook.com.
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