Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Smallest Building Block of Strategic Execution

Have you ever thought of the smallest increment of what it takes to get something done? I may be alone here but it seems to me to be a matter of incremental choices. Stephen Covey's quote for the day today is that we are a product of our choices. No argument there. But what actually influences choice? How are choices made? Are choices controllable?

This is an important question because the big choices made by a company to enter markets, create new products or implement new systems must be supported by all the choices made by the people in the organization or the big choice becomes a big flop.

Shad Helmstetter once pointed out that there are thousands of choices in a day and all of them count. If your organization has thousands of people, then there are at least a million choices in a day for each thousand people you have. Do the math. This is a critical issue.

So the thought for the day is this... based on my experience there are the following influencers on choice that boil down to strategic execution

A sense of why we are here in the first place
Development of character
The ability to take the longer term view and defer gratification
The climate we create around us
The culture we manifest as style
How we organize the support network around us
The goals we set
How we measure success
Milestones we adopt
Objectives we choose
The basic design of how we intend to get to where we want to be

Coherence among these aspects are the heavy influencers of choice and choice is imbedded in some of them. We choose our goals for instance. But if our choices of action do not align to our choice of goals, there is a critical lack of integrity that derails our efforts to reaching the goal

So the control point is choice. If we want to get something done, it is a matter of choices. If we influence the choices we make and those that others make, we stand a really good chance of getting something done. If not, at least we know where to keep working.

Good luck on the choice of today and if you read this, thanks for making that choice.


1 comment:

Mike C said...

I wish that the senior management at HP and Compaq had known this before the merger. Some of the groups stayed intact and operated the same as they did pre-merger. Some of the groups became a blend. In a large number of cases, the groups with a blend expelled the free radials first as the new company continued to eject people.

As you pointed out in the SEF, the company culture is a key part. Few companies plan for or understand the need for cultural integration in a merger. This can put a drag on performance for years.