The Having A Challenge Executing A Strategy?

To move forward in business, you or your organization must be good at execution. It sounds so simple, yet time and again the execution of a strategy or change fails. How come?

Any time you seek to execute a change in strategy you are asking yourself and other to change your human behavior. It may be the behavior of a few, a team or an entire organization.

The answer to good execution of strategy is to change the behavior of the people, to change the human element. You can have written goals, tactics and deadlines. These are good but they are only “on paper” change.

Without commitment and proven practices to follow to execute the strategy or change “on paper” you will fail to change the one component necessary to success. That element is human behavior.

Behavioral change strategies are very challenging. You can’t just put them down “on paper” and order, let alone expect them to happen. Behavioral change has a better chance of success when the system is changed and people are held accountable for their behavior.

The last part to successfully executing a new strategy is to start with something small. Too often, I see organizations try to fix everything. When they do it is like throwing everything into a blender. The result, very often, is chaos and failure.

I have talked about ways to overcome the challenge of executing a new strategy or incorporating change. It is good to have written goals where everyone can see them. There must be commitment to proven practices. People must be willing to embrace a new system and to be held accountable. Lastly, start with a small strategy or change, experience some success and build on it.

Take all of the above and add a fanatical discipline to make sure these things take place. For without discipline there is very little chance of successfully executing a strategy or change. Success in implementing a strategy or change will come from having the discipline to execute

What Is Your Lid?

John Maxwell, in his book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, talks about the Law of the Lid. In short, the ceiling for your leadership ability will depend on the level of your personal development. All of the 21 Laws are interrelated. So a leadership experience may seem to lean more on one law than another but in truth, there are several laws at work at any one time.

In reflecting of the Law of the Lid and its relevance in my life I found my thoughts going back to when I was in Cub Scouts. I was eight or nine years old at the time. In my small town, we did not have a movie theater. The fund raiser for our Cub Scout pack was to sponsor a movie show in the high school gym. My hometown of Chappaqua, New York, which at the time had about 2,000 residents is quite hilly and the school district encompassed approximately nine square miles.

To sell tickets to the show, you had to go door to door between houses that could be up to a tenth of a mile or more apart from each other. Also, there were some elevation changes of up to 150 feet making the process of going door to door, even for a young boy, a rigorous physical challenge.

My mother and father were very supportive. That was good! I was excited about selling tickets but I had one problem. All my competition had bicycles. That was something that we could not afford. The good news was that if you sold the most tickets you won a brand new Schwinn 3 speed bike which at the time was the bike to have. Also, just for a historical context, this was not an era where parents drove their little Cub Scouts around to homes. As a kid you either walked or rode a bicycle.

Since I did not have a bike, I would have to walk door to door and it would take me much longer to reach people who, hopefully, had not already purchased tickets to the movie show. Also, my motivation to have a bike, and the Schwinn in particular, drove me to walk and walk and walk some more. On the weekends, I would start in the morning with a peanut butter sandwich my mother had packed and set off to see who I could sell tickets to.

This went on for several weekends. I walked as much as I could. I met many very nice people and in the process I got to know my hometown.

Then the big moment arrived. The movie was going to be shown at the high school gym and they would announce the top three finishers in ticket sales. When they called my name as the top ticket seller and the winner of the Schwinn bicycle I was stunned and elated. Also, I had doubled the ticket sales of the second and third place finishers, both of whom had bikes.

If I had put a lid on what I could accomplish because I did not have a bicycle, or thought that it wasn’t worth trying because it wasn’t fair that I had to walk, I never would have won the contest. Fortunately, at nine years old, I did not have the context to see that there could be a very real lid, no bicycle, on what I could accomplish. At nine, I did not understand the Law of the Lid. Yet, as I have gone through business and life, I am reminded that when I raise my lid more opportunity flows into my business and life. For greater success, raise your lid.

The Power of Wisdom

The Power of Wisdom“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”-Jalal Rumi. Wisdom comes when you arrive at the understanding that the power to shape your life belongs to you and to no one else.

The power to shape your life is yours. Yes, all of us can be and are affected by circumstances, people and things. It is up to you as to how you choose to be affected and to the extent you let these things impact you. With a strong internal compass of morals and values to guide you there will be two good things that will happen.

First, you will be tipped off to opportunities that were not visible before. Secondly, you will be made aware of dangers that are not readily apparent. You will now have the wisdom to make better decisions. Read more