Execution is King
Updated: Apr 6
How to turn your well-engineered strategies into reality
It’s been reported that less than 15% of companies actually track strategic execution which explains why only 47% to 63% of strategic goals are attained. Tracking and measuring execution performance is critical for ensuring that an organization is making progress and effectively executing its strategy. Here are five ways an organization can make sure execution performance is a priority:
Engineer clear and measurable goals: The first step in tracking execution performance is to engineer solid objectives. These goals should align with the organization's strategy and be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-defined (SMART). If you have the goal of finishing a marathon, this would be running a distance of 26.2 miles.
Focus on the predictive measures: History cannot be changed so, measuring end results offers no opportunity to pivot. Predictive measures are a set of metrics quantifying the actions and behaviors that, when executed, are highly indicative of attaining a goal. For the marathon example, you never run the full 26.2 miles before race day. An increasing number of runs and mileage has been proven to get you beyond the finish line. Completion of those training runs is the predictive measure.
Establish a compelling and relative scoreboard: A scoreboard is a visual representation of an organization's performance against its execution of predictive measures, not just KPIs. It may include graphs, charts, and other visual aids to help the organization and stakeholders understand how it is performing. Metrics can be cross-functional including financial, operational, strategic, or customer-related measures, and must be updated regularly. For the goal of finishing a marathon, this would be the runner’s training log that tracks progress.
Create a cadence of accountability: Regular reviews of execution performance can help identify areas where an organization is meeting, excelling, or falling behind planned performance levels. Reviews can be conducted at all different levels of the organization, including individual, team, and leadership. The cadence for finishing a marathon is following and revisiting a formal training plan with defined milestones. Most people training to run 26.2 miles enter there numbers at least four times each week and look forward to checking off the next milestone.
Use technology: There are a variety of collaborative software tools and platforms that can help organizations track and scoreboard execution performance. These tools can automate data collection and analysis, making it easier for organizations to track performance and identify areas for improvement. Mobile and smartwatch apps have made marathon training a seamless process that automatically tracks training time and distance.
To bring this full circle, execution success is best achieved by tracking and supporting the predictive behaviors. It's essential to ensure the organization is making progress toward its goals and strategies. By setting clear and measurable goals, focusing on predictive measures, establishing a scoreboard, creating a cadence of accountability, and using technology, any organization can turn plans into reality. For support in any area of strategic business development, planning, and execution, contact me at Brand Fuel Solutions.