Edmonton Business Operations: Part 3: The Building Blocks of Execution

by Eileen Ashmore, MBA

With the alarming statistic that 20% of the top 200, Fortune 500 executives were removed in 2000, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan make their point that execution is critical to maintaining leadership. Now, let's move on to understanding their recommended building blocks for implementing an effective execution culture. They are as follows:

Building Block 1: The 7 Essential Behaviors of Leaders

They are - set clear goals & priorities and follow through. Insist on realism, reward the doers and expand your people's capabilities. Know your people and your business, and, KNOW YOURSELF!

Building Block 2: Creating the Framework for Culture Change

As exciting as they are, the impact of a new strategy and a new organizational structure can greatly be decreased if the corporate culture isn't aligned with these changes. For effective culture change, they are recommending implementing a set of processes which they call a ‘social operating mechanism' to assist workers change their beliefs and behaviors so that these beliefs and behaviors are tied directly to bottom line results. This involves ‘operationalizing' culture with new rules of engagement, and, rewarding performance. The social operating mechanism is basically a communication & coaching process that creates action to get results. It involves a consistent and intense informal dialog with all levels of the company to assist all workers focus on turning strategy into performance. This dialog surfaces business realities so that these realities can be realistically addressed. Some of this intense dialog is coaching workers by assisting them break down complex tasks into smaller steps. They recommend ‘robust dialogue' to surface business realities and that the leader is the role model for exhibiting and determining worker beliefs and behaviour throughout the organization.

Building Block 3: Having the Right People at the Right Place

Bossidy and Charan assert that your competitive advantage is due to having quality people and that with quality people you have captured the ‘elusive sustainable advantage'. They tell us that the reason why the right people aren't in the right place is due to the leader's lack of knowledge, courage and commitment. The leader may make hiring and promoting decisions based on feeling comfortable with the worker rather than hiring or promoting the right person for the job. They call this a ‘psychological comfort factor'. When hiring and promoting workers, they instruct the leader to look at yourself first. Do you energize your people? Are you decisive on tough decisions? Are you effective at getting things done through other people? Do you follow through and get the results planned for? Given that you are the role model for showing how to ‘get things done', they go on to recommend that for getting the right people in the right place is to hire people who have a track record of ‘getting things done' and show enthusiasm for doing so. These are people who have ‘an enormous drive for winning', know ‘how' to get things done without burning out staff or damaging the organization, and, can be coached for improvement.

[Next newsletter – Part 4 – The Three Core Processes of Execution] [Back to Execution - Part 1]

Eileen Ashmore, MBA by Eileen Ashmore, MBA
Eileen Ashmore, MBA, provides a FREE 1 hour consultation

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