Five Reasons Why Execution Needs to Happen More Quickly Now Than Ever Before

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.



Five Reasons Why Execution Needs to Happen More Quickly Now Than Ever Before

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In her latest book, Laura Stack talks about the need to respond to challenges and changes quickly and efficiently -- so much so that execution is, in fact, an actual strategy and not the process of carrying out a separate strategy.

Why are response times getting faster and the need for reactions getting quicker? Here are five reasons:

1. The unprecedented speed of change. Technological evolution and instant worldwide communications means that business can change faster than at any other time in history. We need the ability to execute immediately-not just to take advantage of new trends-but to implement our strategies before change passes us by.

2. The need to execute strategy in the moment. In order to stay ahead of the race, front-line employees must be empowered to execute on the spot, without waiting for permission to percolate down from the top. If management ties their hands, the battle is lost before it begins. Actions are communicated upward, which allows the strategy to course-correct.

3. The convergence of manager and worker. Managers are now members of the team. The leader acts more as guide, facilitator, and cheerleader than dictator; they provide the vision and shape direction, while the professionals execute in the moment. Workers need the flexibility to make their jobs their own so they can execute on the spot and shape strategy upward.

4. Strategic plans age too quickly. When business speed was more sedate and you knew a piece of technology wouldn't become outdated within six months, it made sense to plan company strategy years in advance. That's no longer true. Modern strategic plans must be able to jerk to a stop and turn on a dime. Anyone who doesn't review theirs at least quarterly-if not monthly-runs the risk of failure.

5. Only results matter. Swift, productive strategic execution puts black ink on the bottom line, unlike adherence to a strategy that