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On a casual reading of the above topic, it looks simple. After all, a culture of
execution is where you “walk to talk”. But then in real life it is really not so. There is
always a gap between expectations and achievements goals and ends and
objectives and results.
What causes this Gap? Is it lack of planning, absence of systems, paucity of efforts
or inadequacy of training? Were wrong people put on the job, was the operating
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environment not conducive, were the support systems inaccurate, the interaction
and integration of objectives, functions and tasks poorly done, leadership not
inspiring, follow through inadequate etc. etc. The answers to these questions
would emerge in the post mortem of failure in all cases Companies would realize
why and where they went wrong by asking the right questions- but alas at the
wrong time. They will learn from their mistakes- hopefully-or else will disappear
from the corporate landscape sooner than later.
Companies with an Execution Culture address all these issues BEFOREHAND and
hence ENSURE achievement of the desired results.
What is the Execution culture, what are its components, inter-linkages and how to
build such culture is the challenge the companies have in hand
The Changing face of Strategy
Strategy in intellectual domain Strategy in action domain
Strategy separated from Strategy is execution
Strategy dictated execution Execution dictates strategy
A winner was one with good A winner is a good executor
What is Execution ?
The art of “GETTING THINGS DONE”
Science with clear INPUTS, PROCESSES & OUTPUTS
Bridges the gap between
“Promises & Results”
Walk the Talk
Execution is not
•Distinct from Strategy, People & Operations, but central to
• Mere Compliance / Conformity
• Mere intellectual capability to perceive, but the power of
li b t produce
• Keeping pace with the Organization but sets the pace at
which Organizations move
Then why this is neglected
• Not intellectually challenging
• Confused with micro Management &“Do it yourself”
• Considered subservient to strategy
Focus & Synergy
Clarity –Do they know what is most important ?
Commitment – Do they want to do it ?
Translation –Do they know how to do it ?
Discipline –Do they sustain the course ?
Synergy – Do they work together ?
Three building blocks of Execution
Having Right people in Right Place 3
Creating Execution Culture 2
Leader’s 7 essential behaviors
Building Block -1
Leader’s 7 essential behaviors
Know your People & Business
Leaders have to live their business.
In companies that don’t execute the leaders are usually out
don t execute,
of touch with the day-to-day realities
The bulk of the information that reaches them is filtered-
presented by their direct reports with their own perceptions
Insist on Realism The reality Check
Realism is the heart of execution,
but many organizations are full of
people who are trying to avoid or
shade reality because it is
uncomfortable or too revealing of
the mistakes made
Start by being realistic yourself.
Then make sure realism is the
goal of all dialogues in the
Set Goals & Priorities
Leaders who execute focus on a very few clear
priorities th t everyone can grasp
i iti that
Focusing on three of four priorities will produce the
best results for the resources at hand
People in contemporary
organizations need a small
number of clear priorities to
Clear, simple goals don’t mean much if nobody
takes them seriously
The failure to follow through is widespread in
business, and a major cause of poor execution
Leaders must surface
conflicts that stand in the
way of achieving results &
Reward the Doers
If you want people to produce specific results, you
d them accordingly.
This fact seem so obvious, yet many corporation do
such a poor job of linking rewards to performance that
there’s little correlation at all
When companies don’t
execute, chances are they
don t measure, don t reward,
don’t measure don’t reward
and don’t promote people
who know how to get things
Enhance People’s Capabilities via Coaching
• As a leader, you’ve acquired a lot of knowledge and
experience – even wisdom – along the way Your job is
passing it on the next generation of leaders.
• This is how you expand th capabilities of everyone else i
Thi i h d the biliti f l in
your organization, collectively and individually.
Without emotional fortitude, you can’t be honest with yourself,
deal honestly with b i
d l h tl ith business & organizational realities, or give
i ti l liti i
people forthright assessments.
fortitude is comprised of
4 core qualities:
Jack Welch’s Hands-On Management
Welch s Hands On
In the mid-1990s, a friend told Jack Welch, General Electric’s CEO, about a new
methodology for making a quantum increase in inventory turns in manufacturing
operations. It was thought that GE could generate cash if it could increase its
inventory turns across the company. The leading practitioner of the methodology
was American Standard whose plants had achieved as high as 40 inventory turns
per plant, compared to the average of four at most companies.
Welch wasn’t content to just get the concept, or to send some of his manufacturing
people out to investigate it. Instead, he paid American Standard CEO Emmanuel
Kampouris a visit, i order t understand th workings personally. H also
K i i it in d to d t d the ki ll He l
accepted an invitation to speak at the company, and spent the better part of one
evening’s dinner querying two successful American Standard plant managers
about the details of their respective operations — the tools, the social architecture,
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and how they overcame resistance to the new methodology. By involving himself
deeply and personally with the subject, Welch learned what it would take to
execute such an initiative at GE, and was able to get the necessary changes rolling
quickly throughout his huge company By the time of his retirement in 2001 Welch
saw GE’s inventory turns double.
The way we do things
Amalgam of shared beliefs
CULTURE Second nature
Philosophy, Process &
Execution Culture is
• Where everyone knows
• What to do
• When to do
• How to do
• With available resources
• U d t di i t d
Understanding interdependence of t k
d f tasks
• Moving the organization towards its goals
The basic premise is simple:
Culture change gets real when your aim
You don’t need a lot of
complex theory or
employee surveys to
p y y
use this approach.
You just need to
behavior so that they
First, you tell your team clearly
Fi ll l l
what results you’re looking for
you re for.
Then discuss h
Th di how t get th
to t those
results as a key element of
the coaching process.
Then you reward people for
producing the results. If they
come up short, you provide
additional coaching withdraw
rewards, give other jobs, or
let them go.
When you do these things
consistently, you create a
culture of getting things done!
Execution Culture Evolution
I’LL DO IT
WE’LL DO IT
WILL TO DO IT WELL
Institutionalization – Th Stages
I tit ti li ti The St
Should be aligned to
Institutionalization – The Stages
Whi h again should b aligned to
i h ld be li d
Building Block -3
The Job no Leader should
Right People Right Place
Why the Ri ht People A ’t i
Wh th Right P l Aren’t in
the Right Jobs?
The leaders may not know enough about the people
The leaders may pick people with whom they’re
comfortable (ps chological comfort) rather than others
who have better skills for the job
Th l d
The leaders may not h
t have th courage t di i i t
the to discriminate
strong and weak performers and take the necessary
Why right people are not in right job
Lack of knowledge
Leaders often rely on sometimes fuzzy or prejudiced staff
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appraisals when placing people into positions.
They should, instead, define the job in terms of its three or four
nonnegotiable criteria —things the person must be able to do to
Lack of courage
Innumerable cases of the wrong person being kept in the wrong
job, simply because the person’s leader doesn’t have the
emotional fortitude to take decisive action confront the person
and make a change.
Such failures do considerable damage to a business; indeed, if
the non-performer is high enough in the organization he or she
can be particularly destructive.
Why right people are not in right job
The psychological comfort factor
Many jobs are filled with the wrong people because the
leaders who promote them are comfortable with them,
and the employees are loyal to those leaders.
H However, if th t l
that loyalty i b
lt is based on th wrong f t
d the factors
(social reasons, rather than professional, etc.), it could
Often, breaking free of this comfort factor is exactly
What a leader must do to bring about change
When Reginald Jones — a cerebral, well-spoken person — selected Jack Welch —
a blunt, irreverent, from-the-gut leader — to replace him as CEO of General
Electric, many questioned the move. Jones, however, knew GE had to change, and
that Welch possessed the right kind of personality and professional approach to get
the job done. J
th j b d Jones b k f
broke free of th comfort f t t th b
f the f t factor, to the benefit of th company
fit f the
and its shareholders.
Performance - Behavior Matrix
Attit di l Change Succession D th
S i Depth
Separation Skill C
Core Process of Execution
St t P
Defines where a bus ess wants to go
e es e e business a ts
Strong Strategic Plan must address the following
What is the assessment of the external environment?
How well do you understand the existing customers and
What are the critical issues facing the business?
What is the best way to grow business profitably?
Can the business execute the strategy?
What are the important milestones for executing the
Strategy Execution Review Questions
How strong is the
to execute the strategy?
Is the plan scattered or
Are the linkages with
people and operations
P l P
Defines who’s going to get it there
Robust People Process
A robust people process provides a powerful
framework for determining the organization’s talent
needs over time, and for planning action that will
meet those needs
Linking to strategic plan and business results
Developing the leadership pipeline though
continuous improvement, succession depth, and
reducing retention risk
Deciding what to do about non-performers
leader devotes an
i di t amount of ti
t f time
and emotional energy to
hiring, providing the right
experiences for, and
O ti P
Provides the path for those people
A robust operation process focuses on an
operating plan that links strategy and
people to results.
Operating plan includes the programs your
p gp p g y
business is going to complete within one
year to reach the desired levels of such
objectives as earnings, sales, margins,
and cash flow
Leaders are central to execution.
Be engaged in both the “whats and hows.”
Be honest about all realities.
Promote ongoing honest dialogue
Create and maintain an execution culture
Translate visions and goals into tangible
deliverables and actions.
Put the “right” people in the “right” places.
Be involved in selections
Reward the doers.
Expand the capabilities through coaching
Put processes and mechanisms in place to
effectively operationalize execution.
Strategic plan – stretch goals.
Realistic resources and budgets.
What Can I do to execute
“Leadership without the discipline of execution is
incomplete and i ff ti
i l t d ineffective. With t th ability t
Without the bilit to
execute all other attributes of leadership become
Larry Bossidy Chairman, Honeywell International
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