Roy's Blog: June 2016

June 27, 2016

10 rules for improving your strategy execution

Amazing results don’t come from the brilliance of your plan; successful performance depends on how well you execute.

Most organizations are challenged to execute well; these rules will help turn your “brave idea” - theory - into a “crude deed” - practice.

Rule #1. Loosen up on strategy development (get your strategy “just about right”) and tighten up on strategy implementation. You can’t execute if you spend all of your time trying to perfect your plan. Every hour you spend trying to fine tune your direction reduces your ability to get anything done.
Spend the extra time you would normally spend on your plan on detailing what has to be done to “breathe life” into your strategy.

Rule #2. Don’t repeat the same mistake twice. Learn what works and what doesn’t work from your execution tactics.

Rule #3. Don’t try to “boil the ocean” in terms of the projects and tactics you undertake. Focus on the critical few things that will achieve 80% of your strategic goal and do them well.

Rule #4. Stay focused on the direction you have chosen. Avoid getting sucked in to “Yummy Incoming”: the over-the-transom work that comes to you and is a distractionbut is not on strategy. It’s fun to chase Yummy, but progress eludes you when you do.

Rule #5. Cut the Crap. You can’t execute if there are internal barriers in the way. And if you are busy with activity which may have been important in the past, but is no longer relevant. Cleanse your environment of the non-strategic!

Rule #6. Ship lot’s of imperfection fast. Be ok with no getting it exactly right; chasing perfection is a waste of time and prevents you from getting anything done.

Rule #7. Use what you learn from execution to inform your next steps. Don’t take your next step without incorporating what you’ve learned from your last step.

Rule #8. Get every function - marketing, sales service, operations etc. - in the organization to determine the critical three things THEY must do to achieve the top 3 organizational priorities. Make this task non-negotiable. If every department in your organization doesn’t have direct line of sight to your overall strategy, people will tend to march to their own drummer and effective execution doesn’t happen.

Rule #9. Build execution deliverables into every employee’s annual performance plan. If you don’t make it a personal matter to every individual, it won’t get done.

Rule #10. You need a voice for execution - The Strategy Hawk - in an organization to ride herd on execution. To monitor progress. To kick ass when things are not proceeding as planned.

Build execution as a core competency of your organization and you will definitely stand out from the herd.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like
Action or delivery: what drives you?
Focus on these 3 acts for flawless execution
Ship lots of imperfect stuff, imperfectly

  • Posted 6.27.16 at 04:58 am by Roy Osing
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June 20, 2016

Talk to YOURSELF about your BIG hairy audacious goal

I had a bold audacious goal very early in my career.

It was to be the VP Marketing before I was 40 years old.

You may not think this was bold, for today there many CEO’s and executives much younger, but in the day working for a monopoly telephone company with the executive ranks replete with mainly “mature” engineering professionals it was very ambitious.

Marketing was, at that time, thought to be a “fluffy” discipline. The company decided what it was going to provide its “subscribers” and the prices that were to be charged and that was it. Very little market research; no competitive pressures to worry about.

Therefore the Marketing VP position was not viewed as one of great strategic value to the organization and was typically filled by one of the engineering brethren.

So my BHAG was not only a stretch, it was “impossible” given the circumstances of the day.

But that’s what I wanted, so I declared it (to myself) without any idea of how I would achieve it.

I had no plan. I just “put it out in the universe” and went about my duties as Group Product Manager.

I knew, however, that if I were to be successful in achieving my objective I would have to consciously deviate from what I had been doing in the past.

I had to step up my game if I were to successfully break through the engineering glass ceiling, be noticed and win the prize.

That was my plan. Step up. Step out. Raise my game. Be a force to be reckoned with.

Make my move to VP so compelling to the executive leadership team that when the opportunity availed itself there would be no other logical conclusion that I would be the ideal candidate.

My BHAG drove the strategy that was necessary. A HUGE challenge demanded a revolutionary approach. An incremental more modest approach would not yield the outcome I coveted.

I looked for opportunities to be different. To do things differently than others. I did more of what was required. I did the unexpected. I went in the opposite direction to the thinking and trends of the time.

I voraciously learned what had to be done to make the move from a monopoly telephone company to a highly competitive enterprise.

And I talked up internally the moves we had to make in marketing new services that would enable us to stand out from other competitive suppliers and in customer service where we had to lose the tag of treating customers with a monopolist’s attitude derived from being the only game in town.

I stuck to my game plan.

The regulatory rules changed and competition arrived.

Marketing and customer service became key components of our competitive strategy.

A new marketing VP was required.

I competed against many external candidates.

I won.

I was 39. I beat my BHAG.

My message to young professionals is to declare what you want.

Let the audaciousness of your goal be your guide to achieving it.

Keep it in your consciousness. Do BIG things.

Do different things.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like
Bite the dog! (AKA the key to being remarkable)
Are you in a category by yourself?
To be successful, you have to do more than apply your knowledge

 

 

  • Posted 6.20.16 at 05:34 am by Roy Osing
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June 13, 2016

Tips for creating a business #strategy that works

Much has been written about how to build a business strategy that is effective in today’s height volatile and competitive world.

Here are some snippets of wisdom that capture the essence of what requires attention.

“The granddaddy of all mistakes is competing to be the best, going down the same path as everybody else and thinking that somehow you can achieve better results.”—Michael Porter

“Everyone in the industry follows the same advice. Companies benchmark each other’s practices and products. Customers, lacking meaningful choice, buy on price alone. Profitability deteriorates…... Nothing is more absurd — and yet more widespread — than the belief that somehow you can do exactly what everyone else is doing and yet end up with superior results.”—Joan Magretta, Stop Competing To Be The Best

“I saw that leaders placed too much emphasis on what some call high-level strategy, on intellectualizing and philosophizing, and not enough on implementation. People would agree on a project or initiative, and then nothing would come of it.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

“The extraordinary—and accurate, as I see it—hypothesis is that we inordinately pay attention to strategy, customers, innovation, and the like, but not the true discriminator between success and failure—implementation!”—Ram Charan, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

“Abandoning activities is not as sexy as acquiring them or building them up, but it’s just as important – and the most overlooked aspect of leadership. Yesterday’s star product may produce profits now, but it soon becomes a barrier to the introduction and success of tomorrow’s breadwinner. One should, therefore, abandon yesterday’s breadwinner before one really wants to, let alone before one has to. Of course innovation is risky. But defending yesterday is far more risky than creating tomorrow.”—Peter Drucker on Purposeful Abandonment

“If you want to grow your business; before you decide where and how to grow - the first thing you need to do is stop doing what’s not working and get rid of the outgrown, the obsolete, and the unproductive.”—Peter Drucker on Purposeful Abandonment

Key points:
1. A strategy based on copying others isn’t a strategy.
2. A strategy without execution isn’t a strategy.
3. A strategy built on a base of irrelevant activity isn’t a strategy.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like
Playing the price cutting game isn’t good marketing, it’s insanity
8 ways to build marketing muscle
5 ways to get your customers addicted to you

  • Posted 6.13.16 at 04:50 am by Roy Osing
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June 6, 2016

5 traits to look for in the talent you recruit

You’ve heard it a million times. Building extraordinary value in an organization requires amazing people.

You can have the most innovative technology and the coolest products and services, but without the people layer to transform these capabilities into value, they are worthless.

How do you recruit people who will deliver unbelievable performance for your organization?

What do you look for?

The profile of the person you recruit must fit the challenges that organizations face in today’s markets. Intense competition, highly empowered customers, and unpredictability describe the barriers to success and survival.

Recruit these 5 traits to build a team that will stand out from the crowd and raise your performance to unbelievable levels.

1. Human being lover. They have a genuine affection for people; they care for others. This makes them extreme team players who will actually do whatever it takes to help their fellow employees to move the collective forward.

2. Goosebumps story teller. They love telling a story and they have a million of them. They tell their story with such richness and emotion, they take your breath away. They are particularly good at telling stories that illustrate their desire and commitment to have credit go to others.

3. Anti-rhetorician. They focus on what they’ve DONE rather than attempt to persuade and impress through high fog factor language. Results speak louder than intent; they get it and they can prove that they’ve done it.

4. Driver. An intense sense of urgency fuels everything they do. It’s more than “action orientation”, it’s more a natural element of their personal DNA. They don’t tolerate discussing the theoretical benefits of an idea; they want to get on with trying it out to see if it has any practical value.

5. Un-perfectionist. They are satisfied with getting it “just about right” and are prepared to change course in the face of unexpected events. They are “learn as you go” individuals who see value in making progress, learning from execution and delivering results.

The pedigree isn’t a helpful predictor of an individual’s contribution to organizational performance. It shows what you KNOW not what you will likely DO.

And “doing it” is what is needed for success.

“Knowing it” alone is worthless.

Recruit people with these 5 competencies and you will be able to “do it”.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like
A call center should delight customers but…
Execute don’t pontificate!
Do lots of imperfect stuff FAST

  • Posted 6.6.16 at 04:30 am by Roy Osing
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