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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Balancing Strategy and Execution

Excellence is the enduring pursuit of balanced strategy and execution.

Strategy requires choosing what promises to make to all stakeholders and a roadmap for delivering on those promises.

Execution requires getting there, while overcoming unending surprises.

Of the two, execution is far more difficult to achieve, but is fruitless without solid strategy.

Learning how to balance these two is the key to excellence, and excellence is a journey that never ends. It’s an enduring pursuit that requires an enduring approach.

Somehow on this journey we often lose sight of what the real problem is. And surprisingly, it’s not what most business leaders think it is.

Most describe their biggest challenge as the issue(s) they’re facing right now (growth, control, communication, productivity, generational transition, hiring, competitors, and many others.)

Whatever issues an organization faces today, they will be different and bigger tomorrow.

Planning and executing, while at the same time, managing the unknowns of the real world, is the biggest challenge in business. Overcoming this challenge is what we mean by solving the problem that will make solving all other problems easier.

It builds an organization that is preparing for an ever increasing set of future challenges that are the natural result of overcoming today’s challenges.

Given the pace and unpredictability of the business world, we leaders often feel there’s not much that we do control. This book, however, describes the first complete program for a business to take control of the one thing it can, so that it is better equipped to deal with all the things it can’t. It’s my hope that the real-world experience of our team, the investment that’s been made, and the completeness of the program will help you realize this isn’t just another book. It’s the beginning of a revolution – an Execution Revolution.

(Excerpted from EXECUTION REVOLUTION: Solving The One Business Problem That Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier, by Gary Harpst)

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