Strategic Planning Expert

M Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Executive team building principles: What are some basics?  While one could write reams on executive team building, and indeed, many have, much of what shakes out of a deep analysis of the subject results in the whole thing being boiled down to some basic principles.  Although a short article like this can only skim the surface of the subject, here are some key points to consider.

First Principle: Have the right people on the team or, as Jim Collins wrote, “have the right people on the bus.”  This presumes you have developed a solid course and direction on which the bus should be driven. Many different attributes can be used to determine who those people are, and every company or organization will have its own definitions of what attributes pertain best to that organization.  In general terms, all need to be expert in their primary areas of responsibility.  All need to have sufficient experience to allow them to see and understand the perspectives of their teammates as well.  All must have the ability to communicate effectively both at the executive team level as well as in other layers of the organization.

By implication, having the right people on the bus also means getting the “wrong” people off the bus.  Nothing can throw a rock into the gears of an operation like having someone who simply doesn’t fit.  This definitely does not imply that anyone should be a “yes person”, but on occasion, people simply do not fit the culture of the organization at the top levels.

Second Principle: People at the top of an organization have no more hours available in the day than others in the organization.  To be effective, they should be concentrating on those vital activities which only they can do, and be willing and able to delegate effectively the rest to others in their part of the organization or consider not doing that part of the function at all.  An inability to delegate effectively will limit the productivity of the executive and hamper the results of the whole organization.

Third Principle: Monitor output and results tirelessly.  That does not mean that one should micro-manage.  It does imply that on a regular basis, with frequency determined by the importance of the project or duty, one should keep abreast of what progress is being made, what is scheduled to be done in the next time period, what problems have arisen and what is being done about solving the problems or even, changing the duty or project action plan to meet changing conditions.

If your team is having challenges with any of the principles above, you should first be sure your organization has a sound course and direction toward which you are aiming.  To do this, a comprehensive strategic plan with a robust execution process is vital.  We can help you achieve your strategic plan.  Give me a call at 616-575-3193 or email me at

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at:

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

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