Pete Wilkinson is the Founder and CEO of Reclaro 1-3-5, a company focused on helping ambitious CEOs and MDs accelerate their business results using beautifully presented software. Read how he discusses ways OKRs can speed up business success, how to develop persistence in business, and ways to build an unstoppable attitude. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

In this episode of The Management Blueprint podcast, Steve Preda interviews Pete Wilkinson, the founder and CEO of Reclaro, a company focused on helping ambitious CEOs and MDs accelerate their business results by using beautifully presented software. Wilkinson discusses ways that OKR can speed up business success and how Reclaro provides expertise that helps business leaders set and cascade their strategic visions throughout their organization. Wilkinson talks about his journey and how he developed a system called 1-3-5 to help people execute better. This system emphasizes the importance of execution in achieving goals and overcoming the shortcomings of strategic planning alone. Wilkinson believes that the concept of vision plays a critical role in achieving success in both sports and business.

Wilkinson started his career in various businesses from different industries. He then joined Northern Electric, a big energy P L C, where he learned about management and leadership. Later, he ran his own retail business and then started speaking and consulting in 2013. He designed the 1-3-5 system to address the issue of insufficient emphasis on execution in strategic planning. The 1-3-5 system is simple and effective, and Wilkinson tested it by using it to prepare for his first Ironman event.

The 1-3-5 system was initially in PDF format, but Wilkinson realized that the lack of a live system was a shortcoming. He built the first version of Reclaro in 2017 as a minimal viable product. In 2019, he onboarded new people, and in 2020, he transitioned to the full-time role of founder and CEO, building up the team and gaining traction.

The 1-3-5 system is based on the idea that execution is critical to success, and the vision is the foundation of execution. In triathlons and other sports, the vision is the goal, and execution involves following a plan or strategy. In business, the vision is the strategic vision, and execution involves developing a system or process to execute that vision.

In Wilkinson’s test of the 1-3-5 system using an Ironman event, he emphasizes the importance of breaking down big goals into smaller achievable objectives, measuring progress, and building mental strength. He shares how he had to work on leg strength, technique, endurance, and mental toughness to be able to complete an Ironman triathlon. Wilkinson also highlights the importance of having hope and faith in achieving one’s goals, even when progress is slow or not immediately visible. He suggests that the skills and approach needed to complete an endurance sport like Ironman can be applied to achieve success in business by breaking down tasks, measuring progress, and persevering in the face of challenges. He also shares a tip about focusing on the next three milestones to trick the mind and keep moving forward. Wilkinson’s experience and insights can be inspiring and helpful to anyone looking to achieve big goals in their personal or professional life.

Another aspect of business success is building a great team. Many companies aspire to build high-performance teams, but what does that mean? How do you measure it? What would be the outcome of a high-performance team? Would they grow at 21% if the company grows at 10% per year? What does it mean to have a high-performance team, and how do you measure it? To answer these questions, you need tangible benchmarks to measure success.

One way to define a high-performance team is by having team members with a minimum rating of eight out of ten on a ten-point scale. Additionally, the team should deliver a benchmarkable best-in-practice profit level or revenue per full-time equivalent. If the team is delivering a record-breaking net promoter score, five percentage points above the industry benchmark, it shows that they are in fact a high-performance team.

Pete Wilkinson challenged the idea of having a high-performance team without a clear outcome in mind. Having a tangible measure of success is crucial in determining whether a team is truly high-performing. Click To Tweet

Measuring high-performance in business is slightly more challenging than in sports, where there are clear benchmarks. However, it’s still possible to define and measure high-performance in business. For example, a high-performance team could be defined by the operation’s efficiency, effectiveness, and quality judged by the customer. This could be measured by net promoter score, case studies, and the impact customers experience when they interact with the business.

When defining the objectives for a high-performance team, Wilkinson discusses a simple framework. First, set a big strategic objective for the year that aligns with the company’s vision. Second, identify the three areas of focus: strategy, operation, and people. Third, define five critical objectives in each area, resulting in a total of 15 critical objectives.

While it may seem like 15 objectives are too many, it’s essential to break them down into smaller, actionable steps. For example, launching a business in a new country requires multiple objectives such as selecting the right market, pricing strategy, alliances, and more.

To build a high-performance team, it’s essential to define what that means and how to measure it. You need tangible benchmarks and clear objectives that align with the company’s vision. By breaking down the objectives into smaller, actionable steps, you can achieve success and build a high-performance team that delivers real results. Wilkinson believes in the need to have an “Ironman” attitude or an unstoppable attitude to reach these successes.

Pete Wilkinson’s 1-3-5 system emphasizes the importance of execution in achieving success in both sports and business. His journey and experience illustrate the value of developing a system or process to execute a strategic vision. Wilkinson’s insights can help business leaders achieve focus, alignment, and accountability for high performance and faster growth. Reclaro’s OKR system and expertise can help businesses execute their strategic visions effectively and efficiently.

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