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Is your strategy being executed or executed?

Have you ever come up with a great strategy or plan that feels so right but then over time fails to be implemented, even to the point of it not seeming such a great idea any longer. If you answered yes, just know that you are not alone. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is quoted as saying “We are the most focused company that I know of or have heard of or have any knowledge of. We say no to good ideas every day. We say no to great ideas in order to keep the amount of things we focus on very small in number so that we can put enormous energy behind the ones we do choose.”

Let's look at a couple of facts from research done globally:

· Execution excellence is ranked the number one challenge faced by CEOs according to a recent survey of global CEOs

· 70% of strategic failures occurs as a result of poor execution according to a different study of global firms on why execution is so hard

The old cliche that “a goal without a plan is just a wish” is as true today as it was when first coined. In his book, The 4 Disciplines Of Execution by Steven Covey, he writes about the four focal areas for successful delivery of strategic goals. Here are the four disciplines:

1. FOCUS: Focus relentlessly on the top two to three priorities – any more and you risk overloading the tasks and tactics and achieving none.

2. EMPOWER: Empower staff to act on lead measures cascaded down to weekly bite-size activities to an individual level.

3. ENGAGE: Engage the team fully using a prominent and compelling players scoreboard, one that is simple and shows the individuals their progress and the impact that progress has overall. The scoreboard is for players and not coaches - a common mistake many leaders and managers make.

4. SUSTAIN: Sustained through a cadence of pure accountability on key performance indicators, a coaching culture and reward systems.

If you would like to discuss the development and successful implementation of a strategy in your business, please message or email me on

- Robin Olivier (ActionCURVE NZ)

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