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“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison
“Strategy is a commodity; execution is an art.” –Peter Drucker
By: Gina Angeli, Bay Tek Games
This is the time of year when just about everyone is in planning mode. They (and probably you) are doing budgets and year-end day long planning sessions where you talk capital expenditures, sales forecasts, market changes and ultimately develop your goals for next year. Some of you are actually engaging in full on strategic planning where you are looking towards the future and engaging in conversation to, as best as one can, leverage the strengths of your organization in the markets you play in over the next three to five years. At the very least, let’s just say, a lot of documents get created. At best, these conversations can serve as the foundation for real organizational performance.
What is the difference between creating a plan that is quite literally just put on a shelf (or in a folder on your system) not to be revisited again until next year’s “planning session” and something that creates alignment, energy and results? Chris McChesney works to help us to understand the process that delivers an organization that becomes great at executing the things that will truly make a difference in the organization. Mr. McChesney is the Wall Street Journal #1 national bestselling author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution and is the Global Practice Leader of Execution for Franklin Covey. He describes the four disciplines of execution (which he simplifies to ‘changing behavior’) as focus, leverage, engagement and accountability.
You must get the first step right or you have no hope of successful execution/behavior change. As a leader it is critical to recognize the difference between “the whirlwind” of everyday running the business activity and important change. Keeping focus on what is most important is helped by being realistic about how many things can change at one time- especially as everyone also has a “day job.” Mr. McChesney believes that teams should focus on only one “Wildly Important Goal” (WIGs) at any one time. They must be the ones to identify the “battles” that need to be fought and the measures by which they will gain success.
Ultimately, execution loves simplicity. People love to feel like they can win and make a difference. Marry the two and your organization begins to develop the traction for performance.