By strictly following seven simple rules, you can get a lot more than that.
- Keep it simple, make it concrete. Avoid long, drawn-out descriptions of lofty goals and instead stick to clear language describing what your company will and won’t do. (Discipline I. Decide What's Important)
- Debate assumptions, not forecasts. Create cross-functional teams drawn from strategy, marketing, and finance to ensure the assumptions underlying your long-term plans reflect both the real economics of your company’s markets and its actual performance relative to competitors.
- Use a rigorous analytic framework. Ensure that the dialogue between the corporate center and the business units about market trends and assumptions is conducted within a rigorous framework, such as that of “profit pools.” (The Six Disciplines Methodology, as described in Six Disciplines for Excellence)
- Discuss resource deployments early. Create more realistic forecasts and more executable plans by discussing up front the level and timing of critical deployments. (Discipline III. Align Systems)
- Clearly identify priorities. Prioritize tactics so that employees have a clear sense of where to direct their efforts. (Discipline II. Set Goals That Lead)
- Continuously monitor performance. Track resource deployment and results against plan, using continuous feedback to reset assumptions and reallocate resources. (Discipline IV. Work The Plan)
- Reward and develop execution capabilities. Motivate and develop staff. (Discipline VI. Step Back)
BOTTOMLINE: Now, you understand a little more why the Six Disciplines strategy execution coaching program works for small and midsized businesses - while other business improvement approaches fall short.