Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good Plan is not enough Resilient Execution has to follow it


Planning and Management

Management is selection of feasible objectives and achievement of those objectives. Planning is an essential component of management but a good plan is not sufficient for success. It has to be followed by resilient execution.


In “Execution; The Discipline of Getting Things Done”, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan discussed the issues related to execution and execution culture in the organizations. They especially highlighted that many top managers believe that execution is to be delegated and that they have to be involved only in planning and making deals. They strongly argued against such a belief. They also felt that while many topics of management have no shortage of accumulated knowledge and literature,  execution as a concept was not well explained.
Execution issues have to be taken into consideration even at the stage of planning. You cannot develop strategy without checking whether your organization has the right resources and people. Then in an execution oriented culture, strategies are roadmaps with many alternate roads and the path chosen is not a rigid choice. That way they can respond quickly when one of the roads is blocked due to unexpected happenings.

The heart of execution lies in three core processes: the people processes, the strategy process, and the operations processes (includes manufacturing and marketing processes).
According to Bossidy and Ram Charan the following three are the building blocks for execution
1. The leader's seven essential behaviors
i) Knowing the business and people
ii) insisting on realism
iii) setting clear goals and priorities within goals
iv) following though for deadlines and results
v) rewarding the doers
vi) expanding people's capabilities
vii) knowing oneself
A leader has to be authentic, self aware with mastery and have humility. A leader with humility will admit that he does not have all the answers and will exhibit the attitude that he can learn from anyone at any time. He is prepared to gather information needed to achieve the best results. He will be prepared to share the credit with others. A leader with humility will accept mistakes and learn from them.
2. Framework for Cultural Change
3. Having the Right People in the Right Place - A leader has to ensure it.
The Three Core Processes
1. The People Process: Making the Link with Strategy and Operations
2. The Strategy Process: Making the Link with People and Operations
3. The Operations Process: Making the Link with Strategy and People
The book "The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage" by Robert Kaplan and David Norton, can be a good supplement to the book of Bossidy and Ram Charan. Similar chapters are available in this book. Kaplan and Norton discussed development of strategy, aligning organizational units and employees, and planning operations, and operational and strategy review meetings in their book.
Karl E.Welck and Kathleen Sutcliffe in their book "Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty" highlight the role of resilence in the execution of plans. Resilience is bouncing back after failure. Best plans encounter road blocks and managers must be ready to change course in the pursuit of their objectives.

Contingency Planning and Management

John Mullins and Randy Komisar authored the book "Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model" wherein they talk of testing the business model quickly and cheaply in the real market place. They want promoters and entrepreneurs to focus on customers' problems rather than on their solutions and be ready to move onto better solutions in the light of experience.
To conclude this exploration at this point of time, we need to say, managers have to follow their plans with organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. A good plan is necessary but not sufficient for success, resilient execution has to follow the plan. The planning ability has to be demonstrated every day on the path to successful achievement of objectives.
I received a greeting card with the message: " The best way to live is to have impatience in thinking, persistence in executing, and patience in expecting results."
I think a more apt one could be: "The best way to live is to have focus in thinking, persistence in executing, and patience in expecting results." 

John Spence

Nine Steps for Effective Execution



Related Knols

Original knol - http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/good-plan-is-not-enough-resilient/2utb2lsm2k7a/ 1886

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