Many companies speak glowingly of being driven by making customers successful, providing a superior customer experience or creating raving fans. Do you want to know what really drives your company? Reviewing your mission statement or reading the positioning on your web site won’t tell you. These may describe what your company aspires to or how your company would like people to think of it. What really drives your company is found in observing behavior from a management standpoint and one of the best places to do that is in your quarterly reviews.
The agenda and attendees of the meeting, the depth of discussion and the resulting action items are good indicators of the perspective that really drives your company. What questions does the CEO ask? What data is presented and what topics are only argued on opinions? If you spend a lot of time on new product definition and project schedules, you’re probably product
driven. You’re sales driven if the majority of the time is spent reviewing the sales funnel and planning actions to close specific orders. Close attention to productivity, inventory and supply chain issues points to being production driven. If you are driven by delivering profitable value, important topics will be customer satisfaction measures, customer retention and loyalty, delivering a
whole product, alternatives customers may consider, and improving the total customer experience.

All of these topics, i.e. products, sales, operations and value, should be covered to some degree. The true test is which ones get the highest priority and the most energy. Conversely, which topic gets a cursory review or worse yet gets bumped if you run out of time? So the next time you’ve completed a quarterly review, ask yourself, based on the behavior observed in the meeting, what’s driving your company?

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