Execution - A Book Summary
You've got the bright ideas and the smart people, and the
market is just ready for you. But why hasn't your business
taken off as you predicted? Maybe the problem is in your
execution. What does it really take to get a business
going? You need the right people combined with realistic
strategies to create effective operating procedures. Let
Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan tell you how.
A business leader's most important job is the execution of
plans, the "detail work," making sure that the staff is
getting results. This is the sort of responsibility that
cannot be delegated. It is the leader's primary duty to see
that every member of the team is carrying out his part
of the big plan to ensure the whole company's success.
There are no excuses for failure: the market will always
be tough. What spells the difference between successes and
failures is the ability to execute plans.
Too often, too much intellectualizing and philosophy occurs
at the planning level. The leaders are busy with their
dreams and plans for success but there is little focus on
implementation, thus the promised result is not delivered.
The emphasis on execution as an integral part of the
business process has not received enough attention in terms
of accumulated knowledge and literature.
The Building Blocks of Execution
The Leader's Seven Essential Behaviors
1. Know Your People and Your Business.
2. Insist on Realism.
3. Set Clear Goals and Priorities.
4. Follow Through.
5. Reward the Doers.
6. Expand People's Capabilities through Coaching.
7. Know Yourself.
Creating the Framework for Cultural Change
You can't just institute changes for the sake of shaking
things up at your company. Your changes must be geared
towards getting results. Be specific: what sort of
behavior is acceptable in your company? What's unacceptable? Change must begin at the top-level, to set an example down the line. Don't just expect it to happen either. Reward successful implementation of your plans to instigate change.
The Job No Leader Should Delegate-Having the Right People in the Right Jobs
Hiring the right people is as important as planning ahead; you need people who are not only capable, but also full of potential for growth as your business expands. Take time to focus on your staff, because in effect your business is in their hands. Take time to develop your staff's leadership capabilities so that they can bring results to your plans and visions. Assess individual capabilities and determine if you can further develop your employee through training, coaching
and exposure, or if he's better off elsewhere. If you can properly develop your people, you should be able to fill top administrative posts from within. Hire a talented person and she will hire a talented person.
The Processes of Execution
A. Linking People to Strategy and Operations
Break your strategy down into manageable near-, medium- and long-term goals. Determine kinds of skills you need for the upcoming goals and start laying the foundations early. Then design an action plan for each step of your big plan.
B. Developing the Leadership Pipeline Through Continuous Improvement, Succession Depth and Reducing Retention Risk
Meeting your goals depends on the quality of the people you have. Assess today those who can be leaders in the future through the following: The Leadership Assessment Summary, The Continuous Improvement Summary, Succession Depth, and Reducing Retention Risk Analysis.
C. Dealing with Non-performers
Non-performers are people who aren't meeting their established goals. This does not mean that they're unqualified or incapable. It just means they aren't performing at the level required for your company's success. Sometimes you just need to coach a person to get them better acquainted with a job. Sometimes they just need to be transferred to another division or responsibility that's better suited to their capabilities. Other times there's no choice but to let him go. However, do so in a manner that allows the person to keep his dignity.
D. Linking HR to Business Results
The role of the HR department in a company is different now. The HR function must set out to fill the positions that are and will be important as projects and plans progress over the upcoming months-even years. Use the HR division to keep track of your company's top people across the whole organization, to see who can be groomed, or even promoted already, for key positions. HR should not only be able to assess people in their current jobs but also the people below them-if one person is to be promoted, someone should be adequately qualified to fill the upcoming void.
Examine all your strategies and determine the sorts of skills you need for these plans. If you can't develop the right people in time, determine if you need to hire from outside. Identify which jobs are critical, and which ones will be critical down the line. Are they filled with the right people? Monitor also the top positions in the company and spell out criteria for filling them. If there is a sudden vacancy, is there someone you haven't considered who might be more than qualified? If you know your people and their capabilities, filling the vacancy
should be a small problem, especially if you've done your
job in developing them for leadership.
The Importance of Hows
Even brilliant strategies are bound to fail if not grounded in realities-regarding the competition, the capabilities of the company's own people, the market, the product offerings. When creating strategies, consider not only the current realities of all relevant factors, but also unexpected-if unlikely-turns of events. There must always be backup plans, or at least people who can quickly think up alternative plans to make the best of
a botched situation. Adaptability to change should always be a consideration: constantly review your plan to see if it is being executed properly, if current and future steps are still feasible, and if the people in charge are still getting results.
Building the Operating Plan
1. Set the targets: Keep your targets realistic. Base them on track records and histories.
2. Develop action and contingency plans: Study the possible outcomes that might leave the company most vulnerable and base your contingency plan on that. In other words, plan for the worst.
3. Get agreement and closure from all participants: Communicate agreed-upon goals to the people concerned after the meeting, to reiterate your expectations and what they promised to deliver.
Outcomes of the Operations Process
Think carefully: what does your business want to achieve? Think of this vis-à-vis what your company is likely to achieve. Watch how the operations affect your company, especially for the need to reallocate resources. Conduct quarterly reviews to see if you're still on track, who's keeping you there, and if you
should even be there in the first place.
By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
Regine Azurin is the President of BusinessSummaries.com, a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
"A Lot Of Great Books... Too Little Time To Read"
Free Book Summaries Of Latest Bestsellers for Busy
Executives and Entrepreneurs
BusinessSummaries is a BusinessSummaries.com service.
(c) Copyright 2001- 2005 ,BusinessSummaries.com - Wisdom In A Nutshell
Andrew Sean Greer's novel Less and James Forman Jr.'s book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America are among the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners, each of whom receives $15,000.
Pulitzer-watchers see Less as a surprise win given that it was not prominent on other award nomination and "best of year" lists.
Three judges for the Nobel literature prize have resigned. Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund released statements or letters Friday to Swedish media but gave few details. Englund wrote in a letter to the tabloid Aftonbladet that his decision was linked to the Swedish academy's decision late last year to cut ties with the head of a Stockholm cultural center who was accused of sexual misconduct. The academy asked a law firm to investigate what influence the man, whom it did not name, had on the academy.
UK bookstore chain Waterstones will likely be sold to hedge fund Elliott Advisors by the end of April, the end of the store's fiscal year, according to the Bookseller, which cited "a source with knowledge of the situation." Neither Waterstones nor Elliott Advisors has commented on the report.
Elliott Advisors is the U.K. arm of Elliott Management Corp., the investment management firm headed by Paul Singer, known for an interest in companies with heavy debt, for his financial support of the Republican Party and for his support of LGBTQ rights. Elliott Advisors is run by Singer's son Gordon Singer.
A new report from the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Civic Economics reveals the continuing and increasing loss of jobs and essential state and municipal revenue as a result of the growing retail dominance of Amazon.com. The report documents both Amazon's sales and, for the first time, the explosive growth of sales through its third-party Marketplace from 2014 to 2016. And the report makes clear that Amazon's sales tax avoidance strategy has continued despite well-publicized agreements with American states.
Joan Silber has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for her novel Improvement (which won the NBCC Award last month.)
All five finalists (Silber, Hernán Díaz, Samantha Hunt, Achy Obejas and Jesmyn Ward) will read from their work at the ceremony on May 5 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. Silber will receive $15,000; the other finalists will each receive $5,000.
When U.S. booksellers celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, their neighbors to the north will be taking part in Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, a "new look" version of Authors for Indies Day, which was launched in 2015 and had announced last fall that significant changes were in the works. Beginning this year, the Retail Council of Canada has adopted the project and renamed it Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.
The winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for "literature that confronts racism and examines diversity" are:
Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
Nonfiction: Bunk, by Kevin Young
Poetry: In the Language of My Captor, by Shane McCrae
Lifetime Achievement: N. Scott Momaday
Anita Shreve, author of 20 books including The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water, died of cancer Thursday at home in southern New Hampshire, she was 71. She had announced her illness almost a year ago,writing on Facebook: "This is a hard post to write. I have so been looking forward to going on book tour for my new novel, The Stars are Fire, and had hoped to meet many of you on my travels."
Jacqueline Woodson, author of 30 books including the National Book Prize winner Brown Girl Dreaming (a memoir of her childhood written in verse) has won The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest prize for children's writing. She will receive five million Swedish krona ($600,000) at a ceremony on 28 May in Stockholm.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has appointed Tracy K. Smith to serve a second term as the nation's 22nd poet laureate. During her second year, Smith plans to expand her outreach efforts to rural communities and unveil a new anthology to be published in the fall.