Strategy Implementation vs. Execution
These two words are often used interchangeably in many organisations and business articles and books. However, they have two very different connotations, especially in terms of strategy.
If a strategy is implemented then it implies that it was not in the business previously, i.e. either the business didn’t have a strategy or this is a new strategy. Also, it means that there will be a ‘start date’ and ‘end date of the implementation. That is at some point it will be in and working.
Implementing a strategy also often means that there is an implementation team. So, I may or may not be involved. If I am not included in the implementation, then I wait for the team to come and tell me when it is ready.
A strategy is not a fixed item; it ebbs and flows and reacts to multiple influences. I would argue that it can never be ‘fully implemented’. Especially when many businesses ‘redo’ their strategy every year. At either calendar or financial year-end, the company gathers the leaders, and they have their strategic planning session where they design the plan and then spend X amount of time implementing it.
I feel the term implementation is better suited to change management or new IT / operating systems.
Execution, on the other hand, implies task level actions. There are several opportunities every day or every hour for an employee to execute.
If I hark back to my younger days playing competitive sport, the coach spoke endlessly about execution, rarely about implementation. Our strategy was pure in that it focused on our competitive advantage, how we could maximise the opportunities where we had the power and minimise the times when we didn’t.
We would train and practice set plays and motion plays where it all came down to how well we executed. Not just the person was scoring but everyone, every cut, every screen, every bit of spacing, every pass. In my better teams, everyone knew what we were trying to achieve across the season, during this game, in this quarter and in this play. Importantly they knew what they needed to do to move the ball up the floor and into the basket – a bit like knowing what to do to move the business forward.
Clearly, this knowledge of what to do relates directly to the communication the players have received from me the coach. When this communication is great, and the practice is good, all I had to do was call the play, and the players on the floor would run it, execute and score or get a stop.
Where I would need to call a time out and redraw the play is generally because we are not performing correctly or missing the opportunities.
DELIVERING WHAT YOU PROMISE and getting your team to do the sameDo you meet the obligations, promises, goals and commitments made to yourself and to others?
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study in 2010 on accountability and found out that the probability of completing a goal is:
- 10% – If you have an idea or a goal actually.
- 25% – If you consciously decide you will do it.
- 40% – If you decide when you will do it.
- 50% – If you plan how you will do it.
- 65% – If you commit to someone, you will do it.
- 95% – If you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to.
After reading this, how likely are you to achieve your; goals, promises, obligations and commitments alone? Book your FREE Unboxing Session with me ‘The Accountability Guy’ and we’ll examine exactly where you’re at, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and we’ll take a look at your priorities to set the path moving forward. Each Unboxing Session includes:
- 60-90min obligation-free Zoom chat about your goals, promises and commitments
- Examine your priorities
- Review your ‘To-Do List’ and we’ll dig-in to how you will implement
- Together, we will create a plan and set timelines
For more information visit: https://tickthoseboxes.com.au or call me directly: +61 418-379 369.
I’m Darren Finkelstein ‘The Accountability Guy’
I’m a sought-after, highly experienced Accountability Coach, Business Advisor & Mentor. I work with high-performing entrepreneurial business owners and their teams. Also, I am a conference and event speaker on all matters of accountability and getting stuff done.
My past experience includes working at Apple for 10-years as ‘Manager of Commercial Markets’ during the inspirational Steve Jobs era. Then, building a successful entrepreneurial business for 15-years in the marine and lifestyle industry until we successfully sold and exited. I’m the author of three bestselling and award-winning books and are a part-time summer presenter in Melbourne on radio 3AW.
Accountability is my specialty; it’s a tool that I’ve mastered for my business over many years. It held me in good stead at Apple, and it kept me ahead of the game in our business. The result is that I’m incredibly focussed, well organised and outcome-driven which has led to my business success. Yet for others, it frequently makes people nervous, as it requires us to step up our game, be introspective and hold ourselves to account, which can be very uncomfortable initially until you harness the power and momentum it generates, with the realisation how powerful it is, and how effective you have become.
Did you know that the word accountability is regularly misspelt and often misunderstood? Businesses don’t really understand the difference between responsibility and accountability? Both are cousins but not the same. You see, you are responsible for things and accountable to people, hence the confusion. To me, being accountable means ‘doing the things you say you are going to do’, and ‘getting your team to do the same’.
Work with me directly and I’ll keep you accountable, hold you to your commitments, promises and goals in my One-On-One Sessions (limited spaces available) or perhaps you and your team would like to join one of my private Mastermind Group Forums, or try ‘Accountability Made Easy’ my (D.I.Y) online program. Want to know more about working with me? Visit Working With Me.
It’s my desire to hold everyone in the room to account, which makes me an engaging Speaker on the subject of ‘Accountability’ for your next event, conference or workshop. My goal is to not motivate but to inspire your audience to take action for themselves, to implement and execute.
I’ve got a full playbook of strategies that I’m privileged to share or maybe we can create a totally bespoke and customised package to suit your individual or team needs. For more information, visit my website.
After reading this, how likely are you to achieve your; goals, promises, obligations and commitments alone? Unlikely I suspect, without external assistance.