Execution – Outline Part III

Here’ are my final notes on Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan:
III. Part III – The Three Core Processes of Execution
A.  Chapter 6 – The People Process:  Making the Link with Strategy and Operations
1.  “If you don’t get the people process right, you will never fulfill the potential of your business.”
2.  “A robust people process does three things…”
a.  evaluates individuals accurately and in depth
b.  provides a framework for identifying and developing the leadership talent the organization will need to execute its strategies down the road
c.  fills the leadership pipeline that’s the basis of a strong succession plan
3.  “The first building block of the people process is its linkage to strategic milestones over the near (0-2 years), medium (2-5 years), and long terms, as well as the operating plan targets.  The business leaders create this linkage by making sure they have the right kinds and numbers of people to execute the strategy.”
4.  “Meeting medium- and long-term milestones greatly depends on having a pipeline of promising and promotable leaders.  You need to assess them today, and decide what each leader needs to do to become ready to take on larger responsibilities.”
Jon’s comments:  People are key to meeting strategy and operations plans.  When we know are strategy and plans, we need to diligently find and develop the right people to meet these short term and long term goals.  Strategies and plans without the right people are just a bunch of words on a paper.
B.  Chapter 7 – The Strategy Process:  Making the Link with People and Operations
1.  “The basic goal of any strategy is simple enough:  to win the customer’s preference and create a sustainable competitive advantage, while leaving sufficient money on the table for shareholders.”
2.  “A good strategic planning process requires the utmost attention to the hows of executing the strategy.”
3.  “A contemporary strategic plan must be an action plan that business leaders can rely on to reach their business objectives.  Developing such a plan starts with identifying and defining the critical issues behind the strategy.”
4.  “The substance of any strategy is summed up by its building blocks:  the half-dozen or fewer key concepts and actions that define it.”
5.  “If the building blocs are clearly defined, the essence of even the most complex strategy can be expressed on one page.”
6.  “To be effective, a strategy has to be constructed and owned by those who will execute it, namely the line people.”
7.  “Milestones bring reality to a strategic plan.  If the business doesn’t meet milestones as it executes the plan, leaders have to reconsider whether they’ve got the right strategy after all.”
8.  “Businesses have to prepare themselves to adapt to an economy of constant change.”
C.  Chapter 8 – How to Conduct a Strategy Review
1.  “The business unit strategy review is the prime Social Operating Mechanism of the strategy process.  It provides the penultimate ground for testing and validating the strategy – the last chance to get things right before the plan faces the ultimate test of the real world.  As such, it has to be inclusive and interactive:  it must feature a solid debate, conducted in the robust dialogue of the execution culture, with all of the key players present and speaking their minds.”
2.  “Asking questions constantly keeps the critical issues in mind.”
3.  Follow through is important to solidify and confirm agreements made during the strategy review.
4.  “Be sure to communicate your strategic thinking and programs to your entire organization.  Their commitment and involvement will drive your success.”
D.  Chapter 9 – The Operations Process:  Making the Link with Strategy and People
1.  “An operating plan includes the programs your business is going to complete within one year to reach the desired levels of such objectives as earnings, sales, margins, and cash flow.”
2.  “Synchronization is essential for excellence in execution and for energizing the corporation.  Synchronization means that all the moving parts of the organization have common assumptions about the external environment over the operating year and a common understanding.  Synchronizing includes matching the goals of the interdependent parts and linking their priorities with other parts of the organization.  When conditions change, synchronization realigns the multiple priorities and reallocates resources.”
3.  Follow through is important in this process also.  Two “parts of follow-through are contingency plans and quarterly reviews.”
E.  Conclusion:  Letter to a New Leader
1.  “Get a good handle early on about the beliefs and behaviors of the people under your direction.”
2.  “You need to be certain that appraisals are honest and direct, and that your people get the feedback, coaching, and training they need to grow.”
3.  “Make sure you and your people really understand your customers:  their needs, their buying behaviors, and the changes in those behaviors.”
4.  “Always look for ways to improve you results.”
5.  “Maintain and sharpen your intellectual honesty so that you’re always realistic.”
6.  “Take care of yourself.”
7.  “Consistent behavior is a sign of a contained ego, and inspires confidence in you from those around you.”
Jon’s comments:  This short letter at the end of this book is priceless.  In my opinion, the notes above provide great advice for any leader.  I know this book will help me in the business world, but I also believe it will help me in my community leadership roles as well.  If you are a leader, I’d highly recommend reading this book.  It could provide the advice you need to take your organization to the next level.
Until the next post…