The Enemy of Effective Execution
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There are a lot
of smart people in the business world and they come up with plenty of
good strategies to grow revenues, to gain market share, to increase
productivity and to improve profitability. And most
executives also create a plan which details the tactics that need to be
executed in order to achieve that strategy. But as we all
know, there is a big difference between creating a good strategic plan
and executing it effectively.
The strategic plans that are developed generally make sense,
but often get derailed by a couple of realities. To begin
with, a new strategy often requires a change in perspective and a
change in direction. It is essential that everyone on the
team makes these shifts. In addition, a sense of urgency is often
needed to achieve the objective of the strategy and gain the advantage
the strategy offers. This urgency requires a certain amount
of intensity and persistence.
And if those realities weren’t challenging enough, the final
truth is that the business landscape is perpetually changing.
The specifics that make sense at the start of execution may
no longer make sense as the plan unfolds. In order to keep
things moving forward smoothly and quickly, plans must change and
tactics must be modified. New, creative solutions must be
developed to overcome obstacles that arise. Attitudes must remain
positive in the face of difficulties. With the right team,
strategies can be executed, but to be executed effectively, there needs
to be one more important piece in place.
One more piece needs to be in place because the enemy of
effective execution is a workforce that isn’t very engaged. A
poorly engaged workforce won’t be as flexible as it needs to be.
A workforce that isn’t engaged won’t be especially
productive, nor will it be as persistent as it needs to be.
Weak engagement causes people to focus on obstacles rather
than solutions and it dampens the creative spark needed to solve the
problems that arise. The enemy of effective execution is weak
How do you elevate employee engagement? Employee
engagement can be improved, but can’t be improved overnight.
Improved engagement is something that needs to be attained
before the need for execution exists. It’s analogous to
digging a well for water. The best time to dig a well is before you
need the water. Additionally, engagement is not something you
“do” to employees. Instead, it’s the result of effective
leadership and an effective culture.
If you’ve hired correctly, people are already engaged when
they come to work for you. They don’t need to “become
engaged”. The fact is that the key to high employee
engagement is to avoid the disengagement that occurs when leaders and
managers treat people poorly, when they don’t respect and value people,
and when they treat people like “things” rather than like people.
Conversely, effective leadership and culture will keep a team
engaged and will bring out the best in people.
Strategies can be effectively executed, but it takes an
engaged workforce, focus, persistence, flexibility, creativity, and a
desire to succeed. If you’d like help evaluating the current
state of engagement within your workforce or would like help setting
the stage for effectively executing your strategies, please give us a
About the Author
by Michael Beck, an Executive Coach and Strategist specializing in
employee engagement, executive development, and leadership
effectiveness. Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mjbeck
and visit www.michaeljbeck.com
to learn more.
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