Execution - A Book Summary
You've got the bright ideas and the smart people, and the
market is just ready for you. But why hasn't your business
taken off as you predicted? Maybe the problem is in your
execution. What does it really take to get a business
going? You need the right people combined with realistic
strategies to create effective operating procedures. Let
Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan tell you how.
A business leader's most important job is the execution of
plans, the "detail work," making sure that the staff is
getting results. This is the sort of responsibility that
cannot be delegated. It is the leader's primary duty to see
that every member of the team is carrying out his part
of the big plan to ensure the whole company's success.
There are no excuses for failure: the market will always
be tough. What spells the difference between successes and
failures is the ability to execute plans.
Too often, too much intellectualizing and philosophy occurs
at the planning level. The leaders are busy with their
dreams and plans for success but there is little focus on
implementation, thus the promised result is not delivered.
The emphasis on execution as an integral part of the
business process has not received enough attention in terms
of accumulated knowledge and literature.
The Building Blocks of Execution
The Leader's Seven Essential Behaviors
1. Know Your People and Your Business.
2. Insist on Realism.
3. Set Clear Goals and Priorities.
4. Follow Through.
5. Reward the Doers.
6. Expand People's Capabilities through Coaching.
7. Know Yourself.
Creating the Framework for Cultural Change
You can't just institute changes for the sake of shaking
things up at your company. Your changes must be geared
towards getting results. Be specific: what sort of
behavior is acceptable in your company? What's unacceptable? Change must begin at the top-level, to set an example down the line. Don't just expect it to happen either. Reward successful implementation of your plans to instigate change.
The Job No Leader Should Delegate-Having the Right People in the Right Jobs
Hiring the right people is as important as planning ahead; you need people who are not only capable, but also full of potential for growth as your business expands. Take time to focus on your staff, because in effect your business is in their hands. Take time to develop your staff's leadership capabilities so that they can bring results to your plans and visions. Assess individual capabilities and determine if you can further develop your employee through training, coaching
and exposure, or if he's better off elsewhere. If you can properly develop your people, you should be able to fill top administrative posts from within. Hire a talented person and she will hire a talented person.
The Processes of Execution
A. Linking People to Strategy and Operations
Break your strategy down into manageable near-, medium- and long-term goals. Determine kinds of skills you need for the upcoming goals and start laying the foundations early. Then design an action plan for each step of your big plan.
B. Developing the Leadership Pipeline Through Continuous Improvement, Succession Depth and Reducing Retention Risk
Meeting your goals depends on the quality of the people you have. Assess today those who can be leaders in the future through the following: The Leadership Assessment Summary, The Continuous Improvement Summary, Succession Depth, and Reducing Retention Risk Analysis.
C. Dealing with Non-performers
Non-performers are people who aren't meeting their established goals. This does not mean that they're unqualified or incapable. It just means they aren't performing at the level required for your company's success. Sometimes you just need to coach a person to get them better acquainted with a job. Sometimes they just need to be transferred to another division or responsibility that's better suited to their capabilities. Other times there's no choice but to let him go. However, do so in a manner that allows the person to keep his dignity.
D. Linking HR to Business Results
The role of the HR department in a company is different now. The HR function must set out to fill the positions that are and will be important as projects and plans progress over the upcoming months-even years. Use the HR division to keep track of your company's top people across the whole organization, to see who can be groomed, or even promoted already, for key positions. HR should not only be able to assess people in their current jobs but also the people below them-if one person is to be promoted, someone should be adequately qualified to fill the upcoming void.
Examine all your strategies and determine the sorts of skills you need for these plans. If you can't develop the right people in time, determine if you need to hire from outside. Identify which jobs are critical, and which ones will be critical down the line. Are they filled with the right people? Monitor also the top positions in the company and spell out criteria for filling them. If there is a sudden vacancy, is there someone you haven't considered who might be more than qualified? If you know your people and their capabilities, filling the vacancy
should be a small problem, especially if you've done your
job in developing them for leadership.
The Importance of Hows
Even brilliant strategies are bound to fail if not grounded in realities-regarding the competition, the capabilities of the company's own people, the market, the product offerings. When creating strategies, consider not only the current realities of all relevant factors, but also unexpected-if unlikely-turns of events. There must always be backup plans, or at least people who can quickly think up alternative plans to make the best of
a botched situation. Adaptability to change should always be a consideration: constantly review your plan to see if it is being executed properly, if current and future steps are still feasible, and if the people in charge are still getting results.
Building the Operating Plan
1. Set the targets: Keep your targets realistic. Base them on track records and histories.
2. Develop action and contingency plans: Study the possible outcomes that might leave the company most vulnerable and base your contingency plan on that. In other words, plan for the worst.
3. Get agreement and closure from all participants: Communicate agreed-upon goals to the people concerned after the meeting, to reiterate your expectations and what they promised to deliver.
Outcomes of the Operations Process
Think carefully: what does your business want to achieve? Think of this vis-à-vis what your company is likely to achieve. Watch how the operations affect your company, especially for the need to reallocate resources. Conduct quarterly reviews to see if you're still on track, who's keeping you there, and if you
should even be there in the first place.
By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
Regine Azurin is the President of BusinessSummaries.com, a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
"A Lot Of Great Books... Too Little Time To Read"
Free Book Summaries Of Latest Bestsellers for Busy
Executives and Entrepreneurs
BusinessSummaries is a BusinessSummaries.com service.
(c) Copyright 2001- 2005 ,BusinessSummaries.com - Wisdom In A Nutshell
Fox 2000 has acquired the best-selling novel "Where the Crawdads Sing" and has tapped Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine to produce a feature film adaptation.
Witherspoon's involvement is not a great surprise. The Oscar winner has been a champion of the book, selecting it for inclusion in her Reese's Book Club.
An ongoing crisis in the Brazilian publishing market "that combined steady declines in the price of books with rising inflation" is raising concerns about the future of the book trade in the country, the Guardian reported. Book chain Saraiva, which had announced the closure of 20 stores in October, said late last month that it was filing for bankruptcy protection. Rival chain Cultura has also filed a reorganization plan to avoid bankruptcy. Brazil is in the midst of its worst recession in decades, and the recent election of far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro as the country's next president is "sending ripples of fear through the country's cultural community."
Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, compares audio books to print books and concludes that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior:
... listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It's not even cheating to listen while you're at your child's soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You'll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.
Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage - all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.
The UK publishing trade magazine, The Bookseller reports on authors' concerns about the effects of Brexit on the UK publishing industry:
Novelist Joanna Trollope has warned that Theresa May's government will "fatally undermine the whole UK publishing industry" if it fails to protect in law the UK position on exhaustion rights ahead of a major Brexit vote next week.
Trollope joined fellow authors Linda Grant and Joanne Harris to urge the government to ensure the UK's reputation as a world leader in culture and creativity is preserved after Brexit.
The authors were speaking out in support of calls from the Society of Authors (SoA), published in a new briefing, that politicians must protect free movement, copyright and trade while warning the sector is "not to be used as a bargaining chip in future negotiations"...
The Strand Bookstore in New York City is asking its many customers to attend a public hearing on Tuesday morning morning to help the store "make a case against landmark status" for its store at 826-828 Broadway. The bookstore is concerned that, if the building is given landmark status, "for every repair and every upgrade, the Strand would have to go through the slow bureaucracy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which adds to the expenses to keep the Strand alive.... The Strand currently runs on thin margins as a bookseller and retailer in New York City, fighting to survive in the era of Amazon. We have over 230 employees--most whom are unionized--and unlike large online retailers (like Amazon), have never asked or received tax breaks or other economic assistance to insure business profitability."
Ironically, it seems that the move to give the building landmark status is in response to the many new tech hubs that are being built in the area. And so, "in a trade-off, the Strand and a few other buildings along Broadway are now being calendared for landmarking."
The Literary Review has announced an all-male shortlist for that least-coveted of literary prizes, the Bad sex in fiction award.
Haruki Murakami, often named as a contender for the Nobel prize, makes the cut for passages from his latest novel Killing Commendatore ... The controversial US novelist James Frey was selected for a scene in his novel Katerina described by judges as "almost like wish fulfilment" ... continued
In the wake of increasing controversy over the naming of bestselling mystery author Linda Fairstein as one of next year's Grand Master Edgar recipients, Mystery Writers of America has withdrawn the award. Tuesday's announcement had sparked numerous protests on social media and prompted MWA to respond by saying it took the objections seriously and would reexamine the decision. The focus of the protests is Fairstein's role as a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 1989's Central Park Jogger case, which resulted in the wrongful imprisonment for years of five minority teenagers.
The New York Times has an extensive and moving interview with Anna Burns, who won this year's Man Booker Prize for her novel, Milkman which will be published in the USA on December 4:
Burns is one of the more surprising recent winners of the Booker, one of literature's biggest awards. Milkman was this year's outsider, up against Richard Powers' ecological epic The Overstory and Esi Edugyan's heralded slavery-era Washington Black, among others. It was also labeled an "experimental novel" because its characters are nameless and its paragraphs sometimes run for several pages. Her victory provoked think pieces about the "bold choice."
"I don't understand," said Burns, when asked why it had picked up such an awkward label. "Is it the whole nameless thing? Is it really difficult? The book just didn't want names." (The tag does not seem to have put many off buying it. Faber, her British publisher, has sold over 350,000 copies so far...
Netflix will create an original animated series of Roald Dahl stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and The Twits.
"ald Dahl stories have long inspired award-winning feature films and stage productions," Netflix said in its announcement. "But now, for the first time, Netflix will bring together the highest quality creative, visual, and writing teams to extend the stories in this first-of-its-kind slate of premium animated event series and specials for audiences of all ages and for families to enjoy together."
Following two years in which Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale saw a skyrocketing in readership and new cultural relevance, both on television and in society at large, the author has announced a sequel.
The Testaments, set 15 years after the final scene of The Handmaid's Tale, will be published on September 10, 2019, by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, with an announced first printing of 500,000 copies.