• Business Execution

    Poor Business Execution is a Leadership Issue

    Rarely is the problem bad strategy. It’s usually crappy business execution.

    When we look at a business that’s not all that it could be, because the culture is toxic or customer are turning away, the root cause is rarely a poorly thought out strategy. It is almost always, no business execution. And that is a leadership issue.

    Poor Business Execution is a Leadership Issue

    We work with lots of organizations all over the world helping them develop strategies. We often walk away with the feeling of “Wow!” that is a very simple strategy that is going to take the business to greatness. Usually, one of two things happen…

    One is that the leadership team congratulates each other and goes back to their day jobs. They don’t share the vision, purpose or strategy with the entire organization – making sure that everyone from top to bottom completely understands their individual role in the execution of the plan. There is no identified way of keeping score so that everyone knows how they are doing. There is no ongoing (never-ending actually) communication. And finally, there is no governance to ensure that every aspect of the project (it is a project) is aligned and tasks are completed one-by-one. Business execution does not happen, and then some rocket scientist will stand up and say that the team failed to ‘understand’ the strategy.

    Simple Strategy Always Wins

    The other is an organization that understands that strategy needs to be simple – no more than 3 strategic objectives. Strategy comes from the military. Most military organizations are brilliant at executing on a plan because their plan is simple. Military leaders failed (Napoleon, Hitler, … ) because they had complicated plans and were operating on too many fronts. Resources get spread too thin and people don’t understand why they’re doing what they are doing.

    For Example…

    A best in class example is a major manufacturing company that I worked with in Canada. Led by a CEO that understands strategy and its need to be simple, they invested in making sure that every single person in their entire cross-country organization understood the strategy and their role.

    We saw magical things happen in the business with their team moving forward and creating amazing value for customers all over the world in a commodity market.

    There is rarely a bad strategy.  Most often it is leaders that want to prove how smart they are by creating too many complicated strategies and then failing to execute.

    Business execution takes vision, focus and a simple disciplined approach. Do you have it?

    Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    The audio version of Bob’s #1 best seller It’s Already Inside is now available on Audible.

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