Execution – Outline Part I

I finished reading Execution (see my previous post) this morning, and I thought I’d share my outline. There’s a lot of great information in this book that is great for business leaders and community leaders.

I. Part I – Why Execution is Needed
A. Chapter 1 – The Gap Nobody Knows

1. “The gap nobody knows is the gap between what a company’s leaders want to achieve and the ability of their organization to achieve it.”
2. “Unless you translate big thoughts into concrete steps for action, they’re pointless.”
3. “Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.”
4. “The heart of execution lies in the three core processes: the people process, the strategy process, and the operations process.”
5. “An organization can execute only if the leader’s heart and soul are immersed in the company.”
6. “Leaders energize everyone by the example they set.”
Jon’s comments: Organizations can have the best intentions; however, they will miss the mark, if they aren’t serious about execution. Their leaders need to be passionate about the mission of the organization and about making sure the rest of the organization is correctly directioned in order to pull it all off. Leaders must make sure they are aligned when it comes to their people, their strategy, and their operations plan.

B. Chapter 2 – The Execution Difference
1. Involve “all the people responsible for the strategic plan’s outcome – including the key production people in shaping the plan.”
2. Ask “people about the HOWS of execution“.
3. “Set milestones for the progress of the plan, with strict accountability for the people in charge.”
4. “Set contingency plans to deal with the unexpected.”
5. “Especially when a business is making major changes, the right people have to be in the critical jobs, and the core processes must be strong enough to ensure that resistance is dissolved and plans get executed.”
6. “People imitate their leaders.”
Jon’s comments: Execution starts at the top and filters down. Poor execution can be devastating to an organization. Excellent execution can be the difference maker. Organizations intent on pursuing this path must create a culture of execution. Performance must be judged based on execution. Rewards have to be attached to the goals. Realistic stretch goals are important. And constant dialogue throughout the entire process is critical. Leaders must ask and answer the tough questions.

Until the next post…