Thomas Edison once said “Having a vision for what you want is not enough. Vision without execution is hallucination.” That may sound a bit harsh, but I believe it’s true. As I’m researching for this post, I’m seeing statistic after statistic. Quote after quote from Steve Jobs, Gary Vaynerchuk, Steven Covey, and a host of others. They all say essentially the same thing. Having a great strategy without great execution will get you nowhere.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in designing the “perfect strategy”. But your strategy will be shaped by its execution. You can’t know at the beginning what factors will influence your final strategy. It’s in the execution that you will discover the strengths and weaknesses of your strategy.
Execution is another word for follow-up. Taking care of the small details in your plan will help ensure its long-term success. But it’s more than just taking action. Great execution happens when you focus on actions that work toward achieving a strategic goal.
Five things that will improve your company’s execution
- Keep things simple. Don’t overcomplicate your strategy, keep it lean and simple.
- Make sure you are aiming for the right target. Setting clear, relevant goals is essential to achieving great execution
- Track everything and hold yourself accountable. If you aren’t tracking all of your key metrics it is easy to allow things to fall through the cracks. Analyze your company’s performance and find out why you missed a target and hold your team accountable.
- Attract the best talent. Create an environment and culture that attracts the best talent. Reward the best performers and work with those who aren’t delivering to improve their performance.
- Sweat the small stuff. It’s often the small things that get missed or overlooked. But those small things can have a huge impact on your overall execution.
Articulate your vision
There are several ways to achieve optimum execution. First, articulate your vision. Communication between your leaders and the rest of the team is critical. Everyone on the team must have a clear understanding of the actions for which they are responsible. Then make sure competitive information gets to the top leaders quickly and crosses all internal boundaries.
Inform your decisions
Make sure that the line managers responsible for making things happen have all of the data and metrics they need to make good decisions. And once a decision is made, resist the urge to second guess it. Ensure that everyone on the team is involved in making decisions.
Any successful strategy will evolve over time. What seems like the perfect plan on day one, will likely look drastically different when it’s implemented. Monitoring the key metrics will inform you if the plan is working or if it needs to be tweaked. It is important that leaders understand this and have the fortitude to change plans that aren’t delivering.
It’s very important that you stop and celebrate the small wins along the path to ultimate execution. These small celebrations show your team that you appreciate their work and dedication to achieving your strategic goals. Great companies have both a solid, well-defined strategy and great execution. As Gary Vaynerchuk said, “When it comes down to it, nothing trumps execution.” So, make great execution job one at your company and you will up your chances for success by several orders of magnitude.
Does your sales structure need a tune-up? Is your CRM set up to capture each interaction with every prospect and customer? Is your sales pipeline efficient? It would be my pleasure to review your structure and provide you with suggestions to improve it. Book a no-obligation, no-cost consultation and let’s take a look together.