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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Organizational Learning And Execution

Think execution isn't one of the greatest challenges in business? Think again!

  • More than over half of businesses are unable quickly to translate decisions into action, with employers in the U.S among the least nimble in the world, a new study has suggested.

Research by management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton has found that most organizations exhibit what it calls "unhealthy" traits, traits that prevent them from turning decisions into action.

  • Unhealthy organizations lacked clear decision-making and did not share information effectively.
  • Larger organizations were more unhealthy, the study also found, and were more likely to exhibit dysfunctional traits and behaviors.
  • 27% of organizations were "passive-aggressive" in that they seemed congenial, even conflict-free, yet still resisted meaningful change.
Of the seven organizational types identified by Booz Allen, three are considered "healthy":

  • Resilient: Flexible enough to adapt quickly to external market shifts, yet steadfastly focused on and aligned behind a coherent business strategy.
  • Just-in-Time: Inconsistently prepared for change, but can turn on a dime when necessary, without losing sight of the big picture.
  • Military Precision: Often driven by a small, involved senior team, it succeeds through superior execution and the efficiency of its operating model.
BOTTOMLINE: "Healthy organisations are good at execution – they get things done," said Gary Neilson, Booz Allen senior vice president. "By contrast, unhealthy organizations stumble and eventually stagnate – they can't execute," he added.

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