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Smarter Execution: Seven steps to getting results

Book Description

Smarter Executionidentifies seven key steps that managers need to get to grips with if they are to reap the full benefits of their strategic initiatives:

¨    Focus first–less is more

¨    Pick the best possible team–don’t compromise

¨    Set the course–learn to navigate to a destination that is not yet fully defined

¨    Set up to win–there is no “commitment switch”: it starts with you

¨    Think it through–rehearse mentally each next step, leaving no stone unturned

¨    Get all aboard–it’s about getting people to change the way they work

¨    Follow through–to learn on the go

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Financial Times Prentice Hall
  3. Prologue
    1. Smarter not harder
  4. About the authors
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Introduction
    1. You want it. We had it.
      1. Tried and through
      2. Beyond the mainstream
        1. 1. Focus first
        2. 2. Pick the best possible team
        3. 3. Set the course
        4. 4. Play to win
        5. 5. Think it through
        6. 6. Get all aboard
        7. 7. Follow through
      3. Seven insights
  7. 1. Focus first
    1. What’s the matter?
      1. Your target markets, your target customers
      2. Your offer
      3. Your business system
      4. Your economic model
    2. Focusing on strategic priorities
      1. 1. Fixing your competitive formula
      2. 2. Evolving your competitive formula
      3. 3. Transforming your competitive formula
    3. Selection of the fittest
    4. Which ways to go?
  8. 2. Pick only the best
    1. Dream teams
    2. Sponsored talk
      1. Setting direction and priorities
      2. Forming the team
      3. Confirming the scope
      4. Monitoring the execution energy
      5. Mentally rehearsing next steps with the team
      6. Synchronizing tasks
      7. Following through
    3. Lead to succeed
      1. Setting execution priorities
      2. Forming the team
      3. Setting goals
      4. Sustaining the energy level
      5. Rehearsing every execution step
      6. Synchronizing team member efforts
      7. Following through
    4. Recruit for energy
      1. Keeping the strategic initiative in mind
      2. Respecting all stakeholders
      3. Uniting members with team chemistry
      4. Utilizing diversity
      5. Encouraging complementarity
      6. Putting attitude first
    5. Two time bombs
      1. The time-availability time bomb
      2. The performance-management time bomb
    6. Creating a team
      1. Getting to know each other
      2. Establishing team norms
  9. 3. Set the course
    1. Don’t sail without...
    2. Three steps to set the course
      1. 1. Agreeing on the problem to be resolved
        1. Find the root causes, not the symptoms
        2. Identify existing knowledge and best practices
        3. Synthesize
        4. Get feedback on the problem
        5. Try it out – get feedback – improve
      2. 2. Agreeing on the expected outcome
        1. Have a dream
          1. Set the challenge
          2. Assemble enough collective wisdom
          3. Prototype
          4. Get feedback and improve
          5. Finalize
        2. Make it tangible
        3. Get feedback on the expected outcome
      3. 3. Agreeing the execution roadmap
        1. Sequence your execution phases
          1. Frontload knowledge development
          2. Frontload the net cash flows
          3. Don’t make commitments that don’t have to be made
        2. Get feedback on your roadmap
    3. Chart your course
  10. 4. Play to win
    1. Committed to win
      1. Social motives
      2. Aiming high
      3. Power players
      4. Team dynamic
    2. Almost ready
      1. Commitment from them?
      2. Commitment from you?
        1. The situation: the strategic-initiative presentation
        2. Emotional signals
        3. Narrowing the options
      3. Do you proceed?
        1. ‘Reasonable’ choice
        2. Who knows how you made up your mind?
    3. What can the leader do?
      1. First, look at yourself
      2. Second, get the best out of the people you work with
  11. 5. Think it through
    1. Making it happen
      1. Think it through
      2. Appraise
      3. Identify your options
      4. Create alignment
      5. Make mental rehearsal a team habit
    2. Agile scheduling
      1. Schedule with agility
      2. Set the deadline first
      3. Set real targets
      4. The buck stops where?
    3. Scheduling resources
      1. Too little
      2. Too late
      3. Not what you needed
      4. Identify the critical resources
      5. Assess their availability
      6. Mind the gap
      7. Follow up
    4. Check the instruments
      1. Value calculation is not an exact science
      2. Know your value drivers
    5. Manage execution risks
      1. What are the risks?
        1. What is the probability and impact of each risk?
        2. What can be done?
        3. How can we follow up to avoid surprises?
  12. 6. All aboard
    1. Lead from the front
    2. Victims of success
      1. What’s in it for us?
      2. Who’s driving the initiative?
      3. How can we help?
    3. Resource poachers
      1. Strategic initiatives are an organizational challenge
      2. What will not be done
      3. Time allocation
      4. Performance management
      5. Take them to heart
    4. Winning public opinion
      1. Who are the opinion leaders?
        1. Level of agreement
        2. Level of impact
      2. How do we manage everyone?
        1. Your ‘supporters’ need attention
        2. Your ‘bêtes noires’ need even more attention
        3. Your ‘back-ups’ can be mobilized
        4. Your ‘naysayers’ are probably best ignored
      3. How do we communicate effectively?
      4. How do we keep the buzz going?
  13. 7. Follow through
    1. The follow-through imperative
      1. Keeping execution on course
        1. Encourage open communications
        2. Avoid communication killers
      2. Learning on the go
        1. Encourage frequent feedback
        2. Encourage people taking responsibility
        3. Purge learning killers
      3. Maintaining momentum
        1. Support healthy ambition
        2. Maintain thrust
        3. Boost team drive
        4. Support commitment
        5. And remember how easy it is to sap commitment
    2. Implementing follow-through
      1. Operating-review meetings
        1. Who should attend the operating-review meetings?
        2. What should be the frequency and duration of operating-review meetings?
        3. What should the agenda of operating-review meetings be?
          1. Review what the team has completed since the last meeting
          2. Review issues that have arisen
          3. Discuss the next steps
          4. Summarize decisions
      2. Milestone meetings
        1. Launching a critical execution phase
        2. Closing an important execution phase
        3. Choosing among future options
        4. Celebrating the team’s progress
    3. Keeping the finger on the pulse
      1. Lead from the front
      2. Gather progress information
      3. Pick up weak signals
      4. Steer the team
  14. Epilogue: A double-edged strategy