Thirteeners provides leaders and business owners guidance on ways to foster innovative business culture and engaged employees.
“Thirteeners: Why Only 13 Percent of Companies Successfully Execute Their Strategy–and How Yours Can Be One of Them” is an odd title for a book, but it points to a “normal” problem that businesses have, strategy implementation.
There are thousands (probably millions) of books demonstrating how to select the appropriate business strategy to fit your objectives. There are even more books helping you select your objectives. With all of this information, it would seem that every business would be a highly efficient and profitable business.
Sadly, it’s not the case.
According to Daniel Prosser, author of Thirteeners, most companies – 87 percent, to be exact fail – to really tap into their potential. Prosser claims that it is not for a lack of trying. Just about every business has some plan for their business, but this isn’t what has Prosser concerned. It’s the lack of follow-through on those plans that causes the concern.
Put People Back into the Company Plan, Put Creative Back in Creating
Thirteeners argues that companies have all of the tools to transform their business at their disposal, but fail to use them because of perspective.
When planning a business’s future, most of us identify some targets and goals and then steer the company toward those goals. While this may seem efficient, it does not take into account one thing, people.
No matter what you put on paper, people (employees and business partners) actually implement the strategies you set. The relationships you foster and conversations you have actually form the basis of everything a business does. In Thirteeners, Prosser wants to steer the focus of strategic planning away from strategy and include a stronger focus on connection.
Another thing that the Thirteeners touch on is the lack of engagement.
Prosser suggests that many business owners don’t shoot for powerful goals that can really transform their business. Instead of choosing a powerful goal and take powerful steps to get there, many business owners stick with safe goals often in a culture where everyone is afraid to rock the boat. This kind of environment stifles creativity and open dialogue, which are the cornerstones to a business’s transformation into a great company.
The Promise of Thirteeners
In response to all of this, Prosser offers a four-stage process for beginning the process to improve relationships and foster a culture where open dialogue and discussion is encouraged and innovation is actually nurtured.
While the idea of mapping out a strategy to new business outcomes isn’t new, Prosser provides unique steps and recommendations for business leaders that focus on relationship building and engagement that aren’t discussed in other books. His word choice and content focus on urging readers to choose bigger goals and better outcomes. He also spends quite a bit of time discussing communication and relationships, especially in the earliest portions of the book. This focus is deeper than the typical “make your employees happy” rhetoric in books. Prosser really emphasizes the assets inherent in relationships and urges business owners to help grow those relationships.
Thirteeners is uniquely targeted to people in charge of planning and guiding a business toward a plan. If you are a business owner or executive management who has trouble implementing the strategies you have already created, this book might be a resource to help strengthen relationships with your employees and provide ideas for creating a culture of innovation.
If you don’t believe your goals and objectives are bold enough, this book can provide an alternate perspective for thinking about that problem. Thirteeners may also be of benefit for individuals, contemplating behavior or habit change. The advice that Prosser gives, while directed to organizations, can also be used by anyone who wants to chart a brand new future without staying tied to the past.
About the Author
Daniel Prosser is an author, consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur who can be found at his website. Thirteeners will be available on March 3, 2015. This review is based on an electronic version of the book given for reviewing purposes.