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Monday, November 30, 2009

Plans Are Nothing - Planning Is Everything

The importance of business planning is frequently misunderstood.

Here are 9 commonly-held myths: about business planning:

  1. Most small and new businesses don’t need business plans.
  2. You need an MBA to write a convincing business plan.
  3. Business plans are only necessary when you need to raise money.
  4. Business plans need to be long and address every last detail.
  5. Writing a business plan makes your business less flexible.
  6. Writing a business plan takes too much time.
  7. All the details of a business plan are just too confusing for a first-time business owner.
  8. You can get funding on the strength of a great business plan alone.
  9. If you’ve already launched your business, it’s too late to write a business plan.

BOTTOMLINE: As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” He wasn’t actually saying that plans are worthless, of course. So what did the war hero and former President mean?

It’s the process of planning that is most important: where you consider opportunities and challenges and ways to meet them.

Dale Carnegie Lives On!

Here's a well-done blog on Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People."

Old school? Perhaps.

Common sense? Intuitive? Most-definitely. come more people don't follow these simple processes?

BOTTOMLINE: There's also an Introduction, the Basic Summary, the Comprehensive Overview (hey, isn't that an oxymoron?) - there's even a Cheat Sheet! Worth your time to read.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Current State of the Unmotivated & Disengaged

The latest (September 2009) survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of found that:

  • 40% of U.S. workers say they have had difficulty staying motivated at work in the past year
  • Nearly one-fourth (24%) do not feel loyal to their current employer
  • 23% of employers rate their organization’s current employee morale as low

Time to panic yet?

BOTTOMLINE: Though the survey confirms that low morale levels are an unfortunate side effect of the recession, contends that many companies are trying to address negative workplace issues with: 1.) better communications (more often, many different ways, and encouraging two-way communication) and 2.) programs to help employees feel "connected" - like valued team members (e.g., recognition programs, providing better work/life balance through flexible work opportunities)

Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?

A previous issue of the Harvard Business Review includes article entitled "Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?"

Their premise?

"Can you summarize your company’s strategy in 35 words or less? If so, would your colleagues put it the same way?"

Their conclusion?

"Very few executives can honestly answer these simple questions in the affirmative. And the companies that those executives work for are often the most successful in their industry."

The downside?

"Conversely, companies that don’t have a simple and clear statement of strategy are likely to fall into the sorry category of those that have failed to execute their strategy or, worse, those that never even had one. In an astonishing number of organizations, executives, frontline employees, and all those in between are frustrated because no clear strategy exists for the company or its lines of business."

Leaders of firms are mystified when what they thought was a beautifully crafted strategy is never implemented. They assume that the initiatives described in the voluminous documentation that emerges from an annual budget or a strategic-planning process will ensure competitive success. They fail to appreciate the necessity of having a simple, clear, succinct strategy statement that everyone can internalize and use as a guiding light for making difficult choices.

Understand there are three critical components of a good strategy statement—objective, scope, and advantage. Then, create a great strategy, which requires careful evaluation of the industry landscape, a detailed understanding of customer needs, segmenting customers, and identifying unique ways of creating value for the ones your firm chooses to serve. Then, find the sweet spot that aligns your firm’s capabilities with customer needs in a way that competitors cannot match. Next, leave no room for misinterpretation and cascade the statement throughout the organization.

BOTTOMLINE: "Words do lead to action. Spending the time to develop the few words that truly capture your strategy and that will energize and empower your people will raise the long-term financial performance of your organization."

Execution: The Most Enduring Business Idea

From Strategy+Business magazine, comes their listing of "Our 10 Most Enduring Ideas."

The number one enduring business concept? (drum roll please...)

  1. Execution (1,911 votes; 49.3 percent of the voters chose this concept).

The rest of the top 10 most enduring business concepts of the past decade?

2. The Learning Organization

3. Corporate Values

4. Customer Relationship Management

5. Disruptive Technology

6. Leadership Development

7. Organizational DNA

8. Strategy-Based Transformation

9. Complexity Theory

10. Lean Thinking

BOTTOMLINE: It’s not just your strategic choices that drive success, but how well you execute them.

Thanksgiving: A Time For Thanks And Reflection

At Be Excellent, we're proud and humbled to enable small and emerging businesses execute their strategies - every person - every day.

As we head into the Thanksgiving season here in the U.S., we'd like to give thanks to the hundreds of thousands of you who have visited Be Excellent, since we started the blog in back in mid-2005.

Special thanks also go to all of our coaches and clients, who have an incredible, synergistic passion for for continual improvement.

"Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song." (Konrad von Gesner on Thanksgiving)

Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels to all...

(Most of all, thanks to JB for her continued Inspiration)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Discipline vs. IQ: Which One Determines Success?

IQ has been the subject of hundreds, if not thousands of research studies. Scholars have studied the link between IQ and race, gender, socioeconomic status - even music.

Yet for all the interest in the study of IQ, there has been comparatively little research on other influences on performance in school (or, to extrapolate - in the workplace.)

Could a more robust measure of self-discipline demonstrate that it’s more relevant to academic performance than IQ?

Researchers found that self-discipline was a significantly better predictor of academic performance 7 months later than IQ.

  • Both IQ and self-discipline are correlated with GPA, but self-discipline is a much more important contributor: those with low self-discipline have substantially lower grades than those with low IQs, and high-discipline students have much better grades than high-IQ students.
SOURCE: Duckworth, A.L., & Seligman, M.E.P. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents. Psychological Science, 16(12), 939-944.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Start 2010 Off Right - With Six Disciplines

2010 - another new year awaits us all. What will the new year bring in terms of your business? What will you do differently in 2010 to ensure success?

Consider adopting the Six Disciplines approach to strategy execution.

Think of these six disciplines as a series of annual, quarterly, weekly and daily repeatable cycles which, with each successive pass, helps leaders and their teams to more effectively execute in their pursuit of enduring excellence. Six disciplines are all it takes—but leaders and their companies must stick with them. Change initiatives generally don’t last, especially in small and mid-sized companies. This complete program is the "ultimate process" that most organizations don't have - it supercedes all other processes.

Discipline I. Decide What's Important. Decide what’s important (and by implication what’s not important) so you can aim the allocation of resources—time, money and creativity—toward this end. In this annual discipline, leaders systematically and regularly review and renew their mission, values, strategic position, vision, their most vital few objectives—and agree what to stop doing.

Then on to Discipline II. Set Goals That Lead

Discipline II. Set Goals That Lead. Set goals that lead. Well-defined goals are among the most effective tools available to any leader—yet most leaders don’t set goals that lead their people in the right direction. The purpose of this discipline is to produce clear and measurable annual goals. Pursuing these goals will lead people to align their daily activities with the vital few objectives set in the strategy. The result is a brief goals statement that every team member can understand and support in their daily activities

Then to Discipline III. Align Systems

Discipline III. Align Systems. The systems—policies, processes, technologies, measures, and people—are often at cross purposes with the stated priorities because most leaders lack an organized approach to keep their systems aligned with their strategy. This discipline taps the knowledge of the entire workforce to identify the areas where the company will get the best ROI in policies, processes, measures, technologies and people.

Then on to Discipline IV. Work the Plan.

Discipline IV. Work the Plan. One of the best learning tools is the individual quarterly plan. In this discipline, every person works with his/her team leader to develop Individual Plans for the coming quarter. These goals are reviewed and checked for alignment with company goals. This quarterly plan serves as a timesaving template for a weekly status report. Every individual learns how to set goals, understands company priorities, takes responsibility for their goals, learns to become accountable, reports progress, and uses their innovative capabilities to solve problems.

And continuously practice Discipline V. Innovate Purposefully

Discipline V. Innovate Purposefully. Innovation means problem-solving, and everyone has the ability to solve problems. This discipline provides principles and measurement tools that are used in the other disciplines to help leaders set clear goals and align daily activities to meet them. These goals should align with company priorities, and employees should use their innate creativity to meet or beat those goals.
Then, onto the final process, Discipline VI. Step Back.

Discipline VI. Step Back. This annual discipline helps leaders step back from the pressures of everyday business and gain perspective on the factors that affect business performance. This is achieved through a series of “discovery exercises,” exploring externals (competitors, industry, economic) and internals (goal performance, stakeholder feedback, measures, SWOT.) In addition to leaders stepping back, all team members are encouraged to do the same by providing input on each other’s performances, which is achieved by completing a 360° feedback survey and an annual performance appraisal.

Then we cycle back to Discipline I, and begin the repeatable process over again, year after year.

BOTTOMLINE: Get all the details of this repeatable business-building methodology by reading the award-winning handbook: Six Disciplines for Excellence (and visit

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coming To Your Organization in 2010: More Change!

Are you satisfied with the way your business is performing today?

Specifically, what are you doing to make 2010 a banner year for business improvement?

What are you going to do differently? What are you going to do - to change? The challenge is how to change, not if.

Following are seven steps for effective organizational change in 2010:

  1. Create a commitment to change. Define a shared vision of what you want to commit to it. Without a clear commitment, you'll create chaos for the change you want to achieve. Creating the commitment brings you back to what you want to achieve and allows you to measure your activities against this commitment -- and ensures that you stay focused on your vision.
  2. Engage the stakeholders. Not just your senior management team, but everyone that is involved with your company as well. That means both internal and external members of
    your organization (your team members, your suppliers, your customers, your advisors, etc.) Everyone needs to understand the upcoming change - and "What's in it for me?" Give stakeholders the time to understand that the upcoming change is in their own best interest to help make this commitment a reality.
  3. Visualize the changed future. Paint a picture of what your company will perform like as this journey begins - and understand, that the new direction, and all of the learning that takes place along the way - never ends. Many individuals will ask how the change is going to affect the company and, more importantly, how it will affect themselves. Use your imagination to visualize what you would like your company to be in one year, in 3 years
    -- in 5 years. Share this vision with everyone in your organization, and do it regularly.
  4. Begin the transformation. It's easier to paint a picture of your future than it is to get started on it. Put together a step-by-step action plan with dates, deliverables, milestones, and who's responsible for the achievement of each step. If you break down all the steps you need to take month-by-month, quarter-by-quarter, it can more easily become a reality. Have a clear roadmap in place that outlines the process, and monitor progress along the way. Run into roadblocks early? You still have time to change course.
  5. Embed the new change into your culture. Everything you're doing should be consistent with the commitment to change. With every action you take, ask yourself if it is consistent with what you want to achieve. Will it help you achieve the end results you want?
  6. Create a sense of urgency. It's important to recognize that most of us, in reacting to change, want to slow it down - or resist it fully. But, if we accelerate it, we can move ahead. Let your team members know that it'sokay to be uncomfortable with change, but that the winner in business will always be the one who most effectively adapts to the new environment.
  7. Continuously improve. There is no finish line. There is no final destination. There is no "are we there yet?" Improvement and change are a continuous process, not a one-time event.

What Companies Should Look for in a Business Coach

The business coaching industry, which is getting more exposure these days, is still filled with contradictions. Coaches themselves disagree over why they’re hired, what they do, and how to measure success. Here’s what you should know.

A few months ago, Harvard Business Review conducted a survey of 140 leading coaches in order to find out more about the business coaching industry. Despite the widespread use of executive coaches, little is widely known about who they are, what they do.

Here's what the coaches who were surveyed said companies should look for in a coach:

  • 65%: Experience of coaching in similar settings
  • 61%: Clear methodology
  • 50%: Quality of client list
  • 32%: Ability to measure ROI
  • 29%: Certification in a proven coaching method
  • 27%: Experience in working in a similar role as the coachee
  • 13%: Experience as psychological therapist
  • 2%: Background in executive search

BOTTOMLINE: Ask to see the coach’s methodology. If they don’t have one, find another coach.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why Do Most Companies Fail? Hiring Is At The Core

Why do most companies fail?
  • Most companies fail primarily because they don’t have the right team of people
  • The CEO might not be right, or the CEO hasn’t chosen the right people in the right positions
  • Unfortunately, most new CEOs don’t understand the talent level required at each position and the teamwork needed to build a successful company.
  • To have a successful company, most businesses need key people in several categories including research & development, manufacturing, IT, finance, marketing, sales, and HR.

BOTTOMLINE: Hiring right (from position description, to sourcing, to interviewing, to selection, to assessment, to hiring, to orientation, to development, to succession planning) - are all keys to building the right team. Done properly and repeatedly, the organization thrives. Ignore it, and the organization is doomed to failure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why Trust Is The Key To Execution

Much has been said recently about trust being a foundational principle for organizations to get the right things done.

Warren G. Bennis has said: "Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work."

Collin Powell has said: “You've got to trust people…you've got to let people make mistakes and not ground them off about it.”

Stephen M.R. Covey, the author of the the best-seller "The Speed of Trust" offers a free download of "The 13 Behaviors of a High Trust Leader".

The Toughest Part of Strategy? Execution!

Strategy formulation, while extremely challenging and difficult, is usually not what concerns most small business leaders. In fact, it's not even planning that worried worries them. It's something even bigger and more problematic.

It's the execution of strategy that keeps many small business leaders awake at night!

Why is execution so hard?

Because making the plan work is even bigger challenge than creating the plan: Making strategy work is more difficult than the task of strategy making.

Execution is critical to success. Execution represents a disciplined process that enables an organization to take a strategy and make it work. Without a careful, planned approach to execution, strategic goals cannot be attained.

Developing such a logical approach, however, represents a tremendous challenge - particularly to leaders of growing organizations.

Here are the key take-aways:

  • Making strategy work (execution) is critical - and much more difficult than strategy formulation
  • Even the best plans still fail or don't meet expectations -- because of poor execution.
  • Despite its importance, execution is often handled poorly by many organizations.

The continual problem?

Much more is known about planning than doing, about strategy-making than making strategy work. And business leaders still don't seem to understand a great deal about the execution of strategy.

The obvious questions?

  • If execution is paramount to success, why don't more organizations develop a disciplined approach to it?
  • Why don't companies spend more time developing and perfecting processes that help them achieve their strategic goals?
  • Why can't more companies execute strategies - consistently?
The simple answer?

Because - execution is extremely difficult. We're all taught to strategize, and to plan - but little time is spent teaching (and learning) how to execute!

BOTTOMLINE: From the CEO on down, everyone within an organization must commit to and own the processes and actions related to effective execution. Everyone must learn to be accountable for their activities and projects, and these effort must relate to the goals, and ultimately the strategy of the company.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Keys To Strategy Execution

"The Keys to Strategy Execution: A Global Study of Current Trends and Future Possibilities", was a research study commissioned by the American Management Association and conducted by the Human Resource Institute.

The research identified the leading obstacles that hinder strategy execution and what companies can do to overcome them.

The following is a quick review of some of the main findings:

  • Higher performers tend to be better at executing strategies
  • Clarity is crucial to the execution of strategy
  • Overall, organizations are not achieving clarity to the degree they should
  • Higher-performing companies are much more likely than lower performers to provide clarity
  • Alignment practices are widely used and highly valued
  • Higher-performing organizations are considerably more likely to use certain alignment strategies
  • Speed and adaptability are differentiators
  • Decision-making speed remains a major problem
  • Employee engagement is a concern
  • Leadership development seems to be a deficit in the area of execution
  • Customer needs/demands and worker capabilities are the most important drivers of execution today
  • A lack of resources and the presence of government regulations are the primary barriers to strategy execution today

You can download AMA's full research report here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Employee Engagement E-Book Available

David Zinger, the well-respected expert on employee engagement, has released a free 44-page e-book that includes 200 single-sentence "pieces of advice" assembled from hundreds of contributors about how to improve employee engagement.

Well worth your time to read through.

Download the e-book here.

Want even more? Join David's network about employee engagement on Ning.

Strategic Planning Retreats - Now In Full Swing

During the last quarter of the year is the time when most organizations dive into their strategic planning for the coming year.

For your convenience, here's a collection of "the best of" posts from Be Excellent related to strategic planning retreats:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Executing Strategy - Once Again The Top Priority for CEOs

According to recent research from The Conference Board, while executing their corporate strategy effectively is still the highest priority, the key concerns these days for CEOs are managing and securing finance, maintaining confidence and risk management.

While "excellence of execution" remained as the top challenge for the second year in a row, nearly half of the executives said they were now most concerned about speed, flexibility and adaptability to change.

Top Five CEO Challenges Due to Financial Crisis
  1. Excellence in execution
  2. Consistent execution of strategy by top management
  3. Speed, flexibility, adaptability to change
  4. Global economic performance
  5. Financial risk, including liquidity, volatility, and credit risk
Source: CEO Challenge 2008: Top 10 Challenges--Financial Crisis Edition (Conference Board.Org)

According to the report: "business leaders across the globe are focusing more urgently on execution and immediate bottom-line issues, and leaving the people management systems built up during the tight labor market of the past five years to operate how they are intended."

Making Strategy Execution a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

A survey conducted by the Cognos/Palladium Group, entitled "Making Strategy Execution a Competitive Advantage" included responses from 143 strategy-management professionals.

Their most interesting findings?

  • Most employers don't share company strategy
  • 95% of companies don't tell their employees what the strategy is

BOTTOMLINE: It's no wonder that 90% of organizations fail to execute their strategies! How can people execute a strategy if they don't know what it is?

Make the strategy of your organization (mission, vision, values, strategic position, vital few objectives, stop list) visible to every person, every day - not just in a binder that sits on the shelves of the senior leadership team that created it.

Business Accelerators: Leading The Way Beyond The Recovery

Senior executives on the leading edge of IT adoption whose organizations have increased their IT investments in 2009—think differently than other business leaders.

Research firm Gartner, together with Forbes Insights, refer to these professionals as "Business Accelerators".

This study, the second based on input from more than 650 top-level executives at North American businesses, explores why Business Accelerators are more optimistic and confident than their counterparts. It examines their attitudes towards the eventual economic recovery, and how their ROI-oriented focus toward IT spending lets them view technology as an asset worth further investment. It also looks at their media consumption as well as their online activity.

Findings from their study of Business Accelerators:

  • They're confident in revenue growth for their organizations (and are preparing now for the recovery)
  • They understand the value of IT spending (particularly in digital communications)
  • They use technology to gain a competitive edge (in sustaining growth beyond the downturn)
  • They embrace technology to bolster the bottom line
  • They consume more media (including digital media and social networking)

Click here to download the whitepaper from Forbes Insights.

Why Is Change So Hard? (Part 4 of a 4 part series)

Let's face it - change isn't easy.

At some point, we’ve all vowed to make some big changes - at work, in our lives, perhaps about our health, our fitness, our eating habits, etc.

One thing is for sure - changing behavior is not easy. We generally know what to do, the hard part is doing it (the execution part.)

And lasting change - essentially what becomes new behaviors or habits - are some of the toughest challenges there are.

Some organizational psychologists suggest that it first takes "un-learning" of bad habits before new habits can be learned. Others say it just takes continual repetition - from as little as 3 weeks - to as much as 6 - 9 months!

BOTTOMLINE: Changing behavior is a matter of discipline. It's about learning habits that have purpose, meaning and impact. It's about attitude, persistence, determination and long-term gain. It's about continual motivation to not only do things right, but to do the right things. It's about continually measuring progress toward your goals. It's about being accountable to ourselves.

So....what are you trying to change? How are you tracking against your vision of what it will be like when (not if) you change those behaviors?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why Is Change So Hard? (Part 3 of a 4 part series)

The easy part in wanting to make changes (in business, or in your personal life) is identifying the problem or opportunity, and prioritizing what you might like to do about it.

The hard part is taking action and changing the attitudes - and equally important, the behavior.

Consider two key elements for making the change process happen: your underlying motivation and the decision process itself.

  1. Underlying Motivation - Centers on how dissatisfied you are with the current state of affairs, how strong is your vision of how things could be better or different, and the clarity with which you can see specific action steps necessary to move things forward.
  2. The Decision Process. The decision to commit to a new strategy or whatever the change may be is generally not a one-time event, rather it reoccurs each time you are faced with a conflicting choice and you confirm your original decision by choosing the new behavior and leaving behind the old habit behind.

BOTTOMLINE: Don't make resolutions -they're not clear or precise enough. Make a decision about something you would like to accomplish or change in your organization. Choose carefully, and then monitor how well you find your own and your team's attitudes and behaviors conform to the decision on a consistent basis. As you do this you will be practicing the discipline required for effective execution.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why Is Change So Hard? (Part 2 of a 4 part series)

So goes the phrase: "If nothing changes, nothing changes."

According to John Kotter, (A Force For Change: How Leadership Differs from Management) there are eight reasons why change initiatives fail:

  1. Too much complexity
  2. Failure to building coalition and support
  3. Not understanding the need for a clear vision
  4. Failure to clearly communicate the vision
  5. Permitting roadblocks and resistance to change
  6. Not planning for short-term results, and not achieving them
  7. Declaring victory too soon
  8. Failure to institutionalize changes in organizational culture

What to do about them?

  1. Establish a sense of urgency
  2. Build coalition (buy-in and support) for the change initiative
  3. Develop a clear vision
  4. Share and communicate the vision
  5. Empower people to clear the obstacles and roadblocks
  6. Secure short-term wins
  7. Keep moving ahead - stick with it
  8. Anchor the changes within your culture

Monday, November 02, 2009

Why Is Change So Hard? Part I

Many people don't like change. It creates uncertainty. People may instinctively feel that what's familiar is safe, and that change is risky - even when the opposite is true.

Change can make even strong people feel insecure.

Change, sustainable change is not easy to achieve.

Change requires leadership -- at every level of the organization. First, it starts with recognition of why change is needed. Next, the leader (typically the CEO) must clearly articulate a vision of the goal and how to reach it. Then it is time to move from theory to action, from strategy to execution.

This always requires making difficult decisions, which highlight the human factors barrier to change: the conflict between the way things have been in the past, and the way they must be in the future.

Companies that take on a complete program for sustainable execution begin with these best practices:

  • A clear framework to understand the change process
  • Access to a robust set of tools (an activity management system), along with coaching as needed
  • A program that reinforces and rewards the desired mindsets and change behaviors (habits)
  • Continual communication, reinforcement, and service in the areas where change is most challenging

BOTTOMLINE: "If you keep doing things the way you've always done them, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail

In general, strategic plans can fail for two types of reasons: inappropriate strategy and poor execution.

Inappropriate or ineffective strategies can occur due to:

  • Failure to define objectives correctly
  • Incomplete SWOT analysis with respect to the desired objectives
  • Lack of creativity in identifying possible strategies
  • Strategies incapable of obtaining the desired objective
  • Poor fit between the external environment and organizational resources - infeasibility

More often than not, however, it's not that the strategic plans fail - it's the execution that fails.

Herea re some common reasons how or why execution falls short of the strategic plan:

  • Over-estimation of resources and abilities
  • Under-estimation of time, personnel, or financial requirements
  • Failure to coordinate
  • Ineffective attempts to gain the support of others or resistance
  • Failure to follow the plan
  • Loss of senior management focus and continued sponsorship
  • Inability to predict reactions from competitors
  • Over-estimation of resource competence
  • Poor communications
  • Failure to manage change
  • Lack of focus

BOTTOMLINE: Failure to execute (following the plan) is the primary reason why strategic plans fail.

The Five Secrets of High-Performing Organizations

The best performing small businesses have five factors in common:

  1. A strong leadership team
  2. The ability to attract and retain quality people
  3. A disciplined approach to their business
  4. The ability to strategically use technology
  5. The wise use of trusted outside providers

Top-performing organizations rate not just a little better in these five areas -- but at least 100% better. This whitepaper looks at the results of the research, and identifies five factors that the top 25% of all high-performing organizations have in common.

Download the whitepaper here, compliments of Six Disciplines.

The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution

"A brilliant strategy, blockbuster product, or breakthrough technology can put you on the competitive map, but only solid execution can keep you there. "

So begins the Harvard Business review article "The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution," written by executives from management consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc .

According to the authors, "Execution is the result of thousands of decisions made every day by employees acting according to the information they have and their own self-interest."

Their research identified four fundamental building blocks executives can use to influence those actions:

  1. Clarifying decision rights (setting expectations)
  2. Designing information flows (making sure people are on the same page, have the right information to do their jobs)
  3. Aligning motivators (recognition and rewards consistent with attitudes, behaviors)
  4. Making changes to structure

Also, check out their interactive "Organization Effectiveness Simulator."