Posted by: drewdice | December 28, 2010

1 Thing

This is a great time of year for so many reasons; beautiful scenery (but not travel) with new snowfalls, reflection on all one has accomplished in a year, forward looking excitement about what is to come in the new year, spending extra time with family and friends, and those are just a few that quickly come to mind.

We also see many predictions at this time. Predictions for the economy, industries, trends, technology, and the like. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have a challenge following many “Top 10 Predictions” – it is too much – I like to sift through the waves of information and pick what is most relevant to me and my communities (one of my favorites so far is by my man Will Davis at Right Source Marketing; check out their Cyrstal Ball for 2011 ).

From my vantage point, success in 2011 will come down to one thing: EXECUTION.

Not only when I speak with clients, prospective clients and my network, but also when I scan the news and global environment each day, I see organziations and even countries that have been formulating well crafted strategies, making acquisitions to prepare companies for new and bold moves, taking measures to cut costs and store cash, and watching/observing to pick the times and places to capitalize on market opportunities. Much of 2010 for larger enterprises has been spent in this fashion. For small to mid-sized firms, many have done the same, but a greater percentage (in comparison to the larger enterprises) have been highly active in 2010, making bold moves, shifting into growth mode and either capitalizing on newfound space in the marketplace or creating a new niche. In either case, 2011 will be a year marked by a team, organization, system, nation’s ability to flawlessly execute the straregy and plan they have been designing. The time for planning in the Ivory Tower is well behind us.

Plans do not create wealth (social, financial or otherwise)
Plans do not create jobs
Plans do not put food on the tables of your employees
Plans do not create the comfort and security of a stable environment

So, whether you are a part of a team, a unit leader, a VP or CEO, an educator, a politician, (you get the point), the question is:

Are you ready?

Here is a quick 5 point checklist of elements for your successful execution that I recommend you have in place. Want more information on any/all? You know where to find me.

– Strategic Intent: How are you defining and measuring the success of your strategy?
– Vanguard Leadership: Is there a main owner of the initiative/strategy? Are all stakeholders aligned to drive this forward? Have the leaders taken an operational lens (view the strategy from the eyes of those who will be executing this on a day to day basis)
– Process Integrity: Are the needed business processes in place and mapped to/adopted by the performers who will execute the strategy?
– People Readiness: How are you (your organization/your team) preparing the performers to execute (not just today, but also flexibly, in the future)
– Organizational Context: Have you identified all potential barriers to the strategy’s success and taken measures to mitigate those factors?

For many reasons, 2011 will be a year to remember. Are you ready?


  1. Ummm…yeah I’m ready

    I’ve got Strategic Context, Process Readiness, People Integrity, and Organizational Intent…..Uh oh…I think I messed up……do over, I’m not ready yet

    • I love it – thanks for the humorous response, although I have to say that many leaders and organizations move forward thinking that they actually do have all things “in check”, soon to realize that there were big gaps that hit blind spots in the up front phases. I’d much rather have someone consciously incompetent so they can get the requisite help needed to successfully drive their strategies past the initial goals.

  2. Great post Andrew and thanks for your kind words. You are exactly right that the planning phase is critical, but that you get nowhere without the execution.

    Happy New Year to you!

    • You know it, Will. Although execution is my 1 thing for 2011, it really is an all the time, every time thing.

      Have a great start to your year, sir. See you soon.

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