In a rapidly changing corporate environment it is absolutely essential to continually adapt the organization´s strategy. However, studies have shown that 90% of corporate initiatives do not fail as a consequence of strategic change but due to negligent or deficient execution. Execution implies implementing the “right” things for the organization´s success.
In the following photo story leadership expert Gunter Fürstberger explains the four key steps in making execution of the “right” things easier.
Step #1: Prioritize
Encouraging employees to execute the “right” things represents a great challenge for many leaders. How can one make this easier and simpler?
Gunther: To execute successfully you have to follow four steps: 1 – Prioritize, 2 – Measure your success, 3 – Make a plan, 4 – Execute and follow-up. First of all, make sure that you focus only on topics which are important for your business. To prioritize ask yourself “Why?”. For example: “Why are we doing that?” If you ask yourself this question several times, you will identify higher-ranking corporate objectives. This way, you make sure that you head in the right direction and that all your actions are adjusted and well-coordinated.
Step #2: Measure your success
The next step is all about measuring success. What does one need to keep in mind?
Gunther: Measuring success builds the bridge between a challenge and its performed solution. Input as well as output indicators may be applied. Imagine a production company that wants to measure the number of accidents per year (= output). To improve this specific key figure you might measure, for example, how many employees wear safety glasses (= input). While input is usually hard to measure on the one hand, it is relatively easy to influence on the other hand. With output it is the other way round – easy to measure but harder to influence.
Step #3: Make a plan – Define actions and responsibilities
The third step you mentioned was making a plan. What does one need to consider?
Gunther: Planning is all about defining actions and related responsibilities. You have to decide what to do yourself and what to delegate. Normally, the more you ask for help the more you can achieve in the end – provided always that you choose the right partners to work with and that you delegate in an effective way.
Step #4: Execution and follow-up
The first three steps focus on preparation. In reality, we all know that execution corresponding to a priorly made plan often fails. How can we optimize the execution of business tasks?
Gunther: By leading ourselves and others effectively. For example, it is helpful to announce a follow-up immediately when you delegate a task. By doing so you avoid negative emotions which might emerge when asking for the follow-up later on. “Contribution and Accountability Meetings” are another useful tool. Once a week all team members report 2-3 essential current tasks which contribute to reach the specified aims and measuring criteria.
Have success at executing the “right” things and we’d be glad if you share your experience with us.