Despite the emphasis on taking massive action and getting things done as the cornerstone of success, we continue to make new year’s resolutions that dissipate within a few weeks of starting the new year. Individuals and corporations find it difficult to effectively execute personal and strategic initiatives. Although we have clear goals and objectives, detailed plans and the commitment to achieve the results we want, we continue to struggle with effective implementation. Therefore, what can we do to implement effective execution in our personal and business lives?
Gilbert, Buchel and Davidson in their book “Smarter Execution: Seven Steps to Getting Results” identify seven steps to achieving effective execution:
- Focus first – Focus can provide clarity and at the same time magnification of the tasks we want to achieve. If we focus on the high value tasks that will make the difference in our work and personal lives, then we can easily execute our plans.
- Pick the best possible team (resources) – You need to have the right skills and capabilities for effective execution. If you are assembling a team of people ensure that you have the correct alignment of skills with the tasks required. If the skill set is not available internally then it should be outsourced.
- Set the course – You need to set a clear direction of where we want to go and develop clear execution steps that remove confusion.
- Play to win – The team and its members need to possess a winning spirit. Strong personal motives can drive projects and tasks to successful completion.
- Think it through – You need to think through the foreseeable future steps and have in place alternative courses of action. Mental rehearsal provides a clear pathway but at the same time can anticipate potential impediments that can be overcome in advance. It is important to think through the resources required, reviewing the key success factors and being prepared for any risks for the upcoming execution steps.
- Get all aboard – Every team member must be committed to the vision and direction of the project. Communication will be an important factor to ensure the team is informed of the progress against the agreed vision and direction. Any deviation should be evaluated, agreed and communicated to the team.
- Follow through – One of the critical steps in achieving effective execution is the follow through. The lack of follow through could certainly guarantee failure.
Wishing you a happy, prosperous and successful New Year 2013!
Dr John Kapeleris