The Key to Implementing and
Achieving Your Goals
The most important step in executing well is to build a bridge that connects the vision and the strategy to the execution plan.
Thomas Edison famously said, "Vision without execution is hallucination." It's true. As countless CEOs have proved, knowing what you want to do and where you want the company to go may be less than half the battle.
Not so many years ago strategy was king. Leaders immersed themselves in planning how best to achieve their company's goals. They assumed that this strategizing would pay off. And yet, for too many organizations, results from these well-crafted visions were very few and far between. Quite simply, they couldn't execute.
Now the business world has shifted its focus to execution - execution of initiatives and the consistent delivery of results. If an organization can't execute, nothing else matters: not the most solid, well thought out strategy, not the most innovative business model, not even the invention of technology that could transform an industry.
So, given the buzz about having a clear and compelling vision and a realistic strategy, why can't some leaders execute despite having a sound strategic planning process in place.
A staggering 64 percent of CEOs who indicated that there was an execution gap also lacked confidence that it could be closed. Most organizations simply aren't set up to execute well.
If you're like many CEOs, you've bought into the conventional wisdom about strategy execution. It goes something like this: communicate an inspiring vision and realistic strategies, make sure you have an engaged and committed team with the right skills, and focus on the customer to ensure success. But while it sounds good, evidence indicates that something is missing from the equation.
The Key to Execution
We discovered that there are five factors that set apart the companies with the best performance results and those that are more effective at execution.
In companies whose CEOs or business owners did report gaps, the presence of these factors contributed to a confidence that the gap could be closed. If you have them in place in your company, you are more likely to be able to keep the strategy-execution gap from forming, or to close the gap once it exists. The five keys are as follows:
1. The Ability to Manage Change. We all know that change is inevitable. However, despite their best efforts, many companies can't seem to translate that knowledge into positive action. That's a dangerous shortcoming. Embracing the spirit of innovation and change can help you reach new levels of success, while being rigid and unwilling to change can cause serious, perhaps irreparable harm.
2. A Structure That Supports Execution. Don't assume that organizational structure is just about efficiency. The right structure can also enhance accountability, coordination and communication, and ensure that decisions are being made close to the action. These are key components of getting things done.
3. Involve the Right People In The Right Decisions. Involving employees or advisors in decision-making is important, sometimes critical. Some CEOs view it as a sign of weakness while others fear giving up control. In reality, the world is too complex for any CEO to go it alone. To make good decisions, you must seek out the perspectives of others. Involving people in decisions gets them focused on generating solutions to problems rather than complaining or waiting to be told what to do.
4. Accountability and Alignment Between Leaders and Company Priorities. No company should ever have two sets of goals and priorities, one for the leader(s) and one for the employees. When leaders say one thing and do another, business suffers. It might surprise you to learn exactly how much execution depends on the consistency of a CEO's behavior with the company's goals and priorities. Accountability and discipline is a critical factor.
5. Company-wide Discipline and Cooperation. Most employees have good intentions. They want to cooperate with colleagues. Yet ensuring that decisions and actions are coordinated in a disciplined manner across the company requires more than words. It takes shared goals and clearly defined roles.
In addition, people must be held accountable for fulfilling commitments and taking responsibility for doing their jobs properly. This requires a combination of direct leadership and systems that encourage and reinforce the appropriate behavior.
CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise and experience to grow your business to the next level. Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 759-8676 in So. California, or (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro area, by email at info@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.