Businesses fail; good ideas never see the light of day; business growth comes to a virtual standstill; the “get up and go” enthusiasm has left; these, along with other happenings that can be added to this list, are the results of a lack of execution.
What is the problem? Yes, the past decade has been rough on businesses. It’s hard to gage the economy, is it strong or weak? What direction is it heading? For those that want to succeed in their businesses, they face fierce competitors. There is also the challenge of “change”. Never in our history have we experienced such a rapid pace of “change”. Yet, in my opinion, none of these facts are the reason for not succeeding in a business.
The lack of execution is an illness found in many businesses, of all sizes. A business fails to deliver on its promise, the promise the business owner made when the business was started, the promises made to customers or investors. In my 25 years as a business consultant (coach and mentor) I came to the conclusion that the main reason for failure or stagnation is a lack of “doing what one knows has to be done”.
So who or what is responsible for this “lack of execution”? The following are the main factors I found that help answer the question.
- Lack of a clear strategic path. A business has to know where it is going and how it’s going to get there. The path has to be clearly marked and road blocks identified with detour options. A business plan that looks like a 300 page volume is not needed. A strategic path is a short action plan to reach a desired destination. It offers enough details to make the journey feasible.
- Leadership. The ultimate responsibility for success or failure rests with the person in charge. The excuse, “I gave it to my management team and they didn’t perform” is not acceptable.
- Last, and perhaps the most important, is the lack of accountability, the ability to see a plan to the end.
Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing how’s and what’s, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability. It includes making assumptions about the business environment, assessing the organization’s capabilities, linking strategy to operations and the people who are going to implement the strategy. It also includes mechanisms for changing assumptions as the environment changes and upgrading the company’s capabilities to meet the challenges of an ambitious strategy. In its most fundamental sense, execution is a systematic way of exposing reality and acting on it. From Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
The saying “No man is an island” applies equally to a business. I encourage you to be in business for yourself but have a consultant as a working partner.
If you develop the habits of success, you’ll make success a habit…………………… Michael Angier
Nick J. Petra CFP Your success in my number one priority. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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