I noticed very early in my career that there are people who talk about doing things, and then there are those who actually get them done. Today, as I work with organizations to improve business performance and results, it reinforces for me the core discipline of business execution.
According to Larry Bossidy, in his book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, “People think of execution as the tactical side of the business, something leaders delegate while they focus on the perceived ‘bigger’ issues. This idea is completely wrong. Execution is not just tactics – it is a discipline and a system. It has to be built into the company’s strategy, its goals and its culture. And the leader of the organization must be deeply engaged in it.” This “system-thinking” is key: execution must be built into the entire ecosystem of the organization.
I have participated in many strategic planning sessions only to see the PowerPoint charts filed away and dusted off when reviewed the following year. Without leadership commitment and drive to create the day-to-day linkages between the strategy and execution of the company, it can be wasted effort. The strategy must be held together with commonly understood processes and culture that reinforce the goals of the organization and the accountability required of its business leaders.
To develop a culture of business execution levering your strategic plan, create a framework based on these three core pillars: strategy, people and operations.
Develop these linkages through an operating methodology and manage with focus, discipline and enthusiasm. It takes discipline and rigor to maintain the focus and embed it into the culture, however the results will be rewarding – guaranteed!
Colleen Kelley is President of Stratford Management Consulting at Stratford Group. She is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in both high-tech OEM and contract manufacturing sectors. She is an engaging leader with substantive skill in profit and loss management, customer orientation, program management and supply chain management. Colleen also brings significant experience in merger and acquisition activities, as well as leading organizations through substantial transition.