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Execution or Exit

Aug 17, 2007
After Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan published Execution - The discipline of getting things done (ISBN 0-609-61057-0), in 2002, every business on this planet rushed out and dropped copies off to their managers and said "Execute" the quieter implication was, "...or exit."

Why did this happen? Well most managers realize that there is a gap between where they are and where they'd like to be.

So did handing out gazillions of copies of the book suddenly turn us into a world of executioners? No, of course not. If the managers who passed around the book had taken the time to read more than the title they would have realized there is a mountain of work to do to become execution focused. Many businesses are not at the point where managers and staff can actually execute.

Developing a shared vision is one thing. Living that vision in ones daily life is quite another. Companies that execute do just that. Having values and living your values, is another thing. Culture, what does that mean to you? Are you execution focused or trying to keep the boss out of your hair? Do you know what you should be doing?

This is it in a nutshell. What are the top 10 most important things for you to be doing in any given period? Do you know? Do your staff? Your boss, if you have one? Your board if you think you don't?

Here's the test. Figure out what makes you and your business, or your department, great. What makes it suck? How can you improve on both? What values do you need to apply to be consistent with your 'inner voice'? Now take the exercise to your team and when you have 200 of the best ideas select just 10 and make them the focus of your business for the next year.

Sound simple? It is, BUT... It will take some work figuring our the metrics of each idea or goals, determine an owner and report on it weekly and monthly don't let it slip too far below your desires or you'll never catch up and you will all lose motivation and enthusiasm for the execution. If you really can't achieve it after three months, you probably have a functional problem that needs attention. Resolve it soon, before the end of the year and you still will have some wild success that you never had before.

Go on, make your day! Make the next year yours.
About the Author
Graeme Nichol Arcturus Advisors (http://www.arcturusadvisors.com)works with business leaders and their teams to close the gap between great strategies and mediocre results. (Newsletter arcturusadvisor@aweber.com)
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