Research tells us that close to 90% of businesses fail to achieve stated goals in the timeframe originally committed to. Why is execution so challenging for business leaders?
Don’t let a good strategy go to waste. That’s what I tell my clients. Management teams invest precious time and energy into developing a plan for the future and then cross their collective fingers hoping the people in the business can deliver. A receipe for success? Hardly.
Fundamentally, the reason execution is so allusive is that it is multi-dimensional. It’s the rubik’s cube of leadership. Achieving bold strategies is not about getting one thing right. It’s about being excellent at many elements of an execution framework. Think about what occurs on the heels of a senior team planning session. Company executives just spent 2 or more days designing the future of the business. They leave the offsite session and return to the office. Then what? It’s at this juncture that many management teams lose altitude. They expect to deliver on new strategic initiatives with the same people, processes and protocol as last year…and the year before that. Status quo is a death knell for a business striving to accelerate growth.
Smart leaders begin assembling the execution framework while in the planning stage. As strategies are decided upon, begin thinking about strategy owners, execution team make-up, metrics and milestones. Also invest in creating a culture of accountability. Strategies are successfully delivered through a series of tactical actions. This means the experts in the trenches need to know what to do and have the resources to make it happen. This is the power of the execution team.
Install dashboards with leading metrics to track progress. Keep the work being done in the trenches visible to senior management. This reinforces accountability and sets up an early warning system if execution gets off-track.
Remember, the exection framework is multi-dimensional. Identify each dimension and make it a strength. You will build new organizational muscle and attain new levels of success.