Promise Nothing If You Can’t Execute

Execution is THE most critical determinant of an organization’s success. Few organizations, however, do it well, so it represents arguably the best opportunity to stand-out from others in a crowded marketplace of mediocre players.

Let’s face it, we are tired of promises; we hear them to the point where it is almost nauseating. They promise to delight us, create memories for us, give us the lowest prices and best service ever and provide us with the latest and greatest in technology.

My eyes glaze over when I hear this stuff.

What we really want are these “aspirational lobs” consistently delivered to us; otherwise the promise is white noise and meaningless vaporware.

We notice those who actually keep their promises. They stand-out from the herd of “mission belches.” They capture our hearts and minds. We talk about them to our friends and family. We actually care about what they stand for.

They have the advantage over their competitors because their words and music operate in prefect harmony.

Here are 4 essentials of creating execution as a core competency and YOUR competitive advantage:

1. Get your plan “just about right.”

Be ok with imperfection; the perfect plan is an illusion. Reduce the precision of determining exactly where you want to go. Spending another month trying to squeeze out another 10% of perfection is a colossal waste of time.

Trying to be perfect just slows you down and prevents you from making any progress at all. Perfection seeking is a great excuse for NOT delivering anything.

2. Cut the “crap.”

You can’t execute well if you are carrying baggage from the past; baggage that may have been important then, but not now.

You can’t rely on to what worked well for you yesterday if today’s challenges make it irrelevant. Stop doing the unnecessary grunge so you can execute the necessary.

And BEWARE of the “custodians of the past”; people who love to hang on and never let go of their pet projects regardless of whether they make a strategic contribution or not.

3. Focus on the critical few, NOT the possible many.

You don’t have sufficient resources to do both yesterday’s and tomorrow’s business. If you are mired in the “possible many” things you COULD do as opposed to the “critical few” things that you SHOULD do to make your strategy come alive, execution fails and zero progress is made.

“Few is good; fewer is better” is the mantra that drives effective plan execution. Determine the 3 things that you believe have an 80% impact on the success of your strategy and DO THEM.

Multitasking is deadly!

4. Plan on the run.

Plan – execute – learn – adjust – plan – execute… How many plans do you know work as originally intended? They never do; there too many unforeseen events and competitive moves make it impossible to predict the future and have a plan that works the first time. Plans need to be tweaked “on the run”; think about it as a draft and keep your feet moving.

Promise and deliver; the formula that will make you special and separate you from the herd.

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(About the Author:  Roy Osing (@RoyOsing) is a former executive vice-president and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.)

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photo credit: Send me adrift. via photopin cc

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