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Execution Reloaded

June 01, 2015
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“Getting things done” is most probably the most used explanation, what management should provide organizations with. Enterprises were perfectly managed; Universities and Business Schools had a lot to do teaching managers how to get things done. The increasing speed of growth pressure forced companies to find better ways to keep their employees motivated. Change Management Trainings dominated Executive Education Programs, organizations established Process- and Project Management to support the requested change. Market Segmentation Strategies and Customer Focus Initiatives lead to increasing organizational complexity. John P.Kotter published 1997 his book “Leading Change” emphasizing the need for leadership, taking the individual needs of employees into consideration. Employee satisfaction surveys and Engagement Studies proved that good managers are not automatically good leaders. The increasing share of Generation X and Y at the working force underlined the need for more leadership. The focus shifted over the past 20 years from management to leadership. Really?

Since the international financial crisis in 2008 all economies struggle to get back to their former growth rates. Rating agencies influencing company values at stock exchanges and the illusion of profit maximization drive more and more people into Burnout and Depression, the most expensive diseases nowadays.  

We are steering towards a big crash and I’m writing an article about Execution?
There is no better moment for it – without Execution we get even more stuck.

We need to answer only one question:
WHY has WHAT, HOW by WHOM until WHEN to be executed.

Execution starts in people’s minds. It means thinking in results. Whatever, whenever with whomever you do, it has to bring you closer to your desired result. Learning from management and combining it with leadership will lead to a new mindset of execution.

1. WHY
Let’s assume that the answer to the WHY is nurtured by a sense of urgency to change existing business models. The goal of an entrepreneur is not to maximize his profit.
He wants to add value to the society by producing/designing/inventing/….
It’s without saying that enterprises need to make profit in order to further invest and create wealth for the owner and employees. But how much of this wealth is healthy? Greed has always been the reason for the collapse of entire societies.
Could this be one of the major reasons why people are not engaged to contribute any longer to the illusion of profit maximization and refuse therefore to execute?
Give people the right reason and they will execute.
 

2. WHAT
What is your goal? Why should people pay for your product? What do you want to execute? What is the benefit for whom? What exactly is your desired result?
Leaders integrate their management knowledge and form it into tangible and measurable goals. They use the aims grid and formulate SMART goals. Do not start to execute, until you are absolutely confident, everybody bought into the goals.
Give people the right goals and they will execute.

 

3. HOW
What are the best three ideas for the execution? Did you plan enough resources? What are your alternative strategic options if one idea fails? Let your team come up with ideas; they have plenty of them – if they understood the WHY and WHAT. How much time did you plan to get a complete “buy-in”? Who will support you? Who is the winning coalition?
How do you plan to communicate? Which are the barriers and how will you remove them? How will you deal with the fear of the people of the unknown and potential personal disadvantages? Do not start to execute, until you are absolutely confident, you have answered all questions.
Give people the freedom to decide how they want to reach the goals and they will execute.

 

4. WHOM
What kinds of people do you need for a successful execution? What are supporting/hindering personality traits? How do you find it out? Are you prepared to separate from those who do not have the necessary traits? How much of the needed skills and competencies can you develop? How is the trust level towards you and amongst the team? How are your key people connected in the organization? Do not start to execute, until you are absolutely confident, you have really the necessary people on board.
Execution requests the right people!

 

5.WHEN
What is the realistic timeframe? How do you monitor? Who will coach you as an external sparring partner? Which are the installed processes to check progress? How much time reserve is planned? Do you have reserve budget to increase necessary resources? Are you prepared to absolutely prioritize and leave away other topics? Do not start to execute, until you are absolutely confident, you have really the time to achieve the planned result.
Execution calls for discipline!

Execution starts such as Leadership at the Top of an organization. It cannot be delegated - it has to be carried into the organization. It’s the mindset, which makes the difference.

 

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