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Executing Strategy-The Challenge is to Execute

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By Bob Earley

I realize that there’s a redundancy in this blog’s title. However, so many people talk about vision, strategies, goals and objectives and yet so many fail one of the final steps: execute.

How many times have you sat in planning meetings (and meetings to talk about scheduling the planning meetings), taking copious notes and leave the meeting saying “that’s great. We’ve really got something.” And then, months later you’re frustrated because nothing has been done. And each subsequent strategy session may lead to less than enthusiastic cheerleading because the same thing happens, again and again.  There is a real challenge to execution: behavioral change.

To execute a goal, an objective, or a strategy, one must start doing things that have never been done before. And, in order to do that, buy-in throughout the organization must happen. As in the old phrase, “everyone must row in the same direction, or we’ll just go in circles”, everyone in the organization must believe in the message. Getting behavioral change is considered one of the greatest elements to executing strategy while “buy-in” will provide great chance of success. Furthermore, achieving a goal aligned within a strategy will provide some organizational benefits, which may include: morale improvement, lower absenteeism, operational consistency, improved customer experience and lower costs associated with higher quality/quality control to name just a few.

There are many resources on executing strategy: “The 4 Disciplines of Execution”, “The 7 Dysfunctions Of A Team”, “Execution: The Discipline Of Getting Things Done” and many, many more. What do you do first? Decide. Commit. Succeed.