Just look at the fact that Facebook has now reached 999 million subscriber, that a graduate of Ballyfermot Senior College can win an Oscar and that a two-year-old US games company called Zynga is looking at US$1bn in revenues to realise that the long-awaited digital-media revolution is in full swing and everything is possible.

Here are 10 ways for Business Leaders to turn your Ideas into Execution.

The execution gap is a perceived gap between a company’s strategies and expectations and its ability to meet those goals and put ideas into action.

Due to the complexity of people, businesses, and the societal constructs in which we operate, it is more difficult than it might seem at first glance to close this gap.

01. Clearly Define the Desired End Result

A big problem with going from idea to implementation is simply a lack of clearly defined vision and goals. Business leaders who can not define what they want accomplished can hardly expect others to understand their strategy and participate in their projects with any level of meaningful contribution. The more specifically you can define your expectations, the better it will allow employees to wrap their minds around what they’re supposed to be working toward. Fuzzy definitions will produce fuzzy results. Without this clarity, they will often end up stumbling around in the dark, trying to divine what the leaders really want instead of accomplishing it.

02. Articulate the “Why”

Explaining the why behind strategic decisions gives employees a deeper understanding of how their knowledge and work will be a contribution to the larger whole.

Since leaders need the effort of others, they must be able to effectively communicate to them what they want done and, more importantly, why they want to do it. Clear communication is vitally important because employees are more likely to disappoint if they don’t understand what you realy expect from them.

Without this understanding it is easy for them to feel isolated instead of feeling like actively engaged participants in a meaningful company.

03. Acquire Necessary Knowledge

With adequate self-awareness, leaders can honestly assess if they have the necessary working knowledge for their roles.  To make sure strategies get put into motion, you must make sure you have the knowledge and skills to manage the project.

There are educational resources to make up for any shortcomings (that ultimately leaders cannot know everything; hire good people if you are not the best fit to manage).

04. Assemble a Professionel Quality Leadership Team

For an executive team to be in a room collaboratively developing a strategy requires that someone initiate it and determine who to invite in the first place. Typically this process begins with an idea from the initiator as its starting point regardless of how it might develop from there.

You should aim to build a highly qualified team that can honestly pick apart your strategies from all angles. Allow your team to poke holes in your ideas as you debate and deliberate together. Finding weak spots prior to implementation will help close the execution gap.

05. Monitor Progress

Implementing any strategy involves meetings to discuss the various projects and programs that will be required. But sometimes, meetings end with task assignments that are not accomplished on the agreed time line. This is anathema to closing the execution gap, and the executive leadership team should ensure project leaders are acutely aware that this practice is not acceptable.

Wise leaders are able to find the fine balance of exercising reasonable accountability while still allowing enough breathing room for employees to do their best work. Nobody likes to be micromanaged and thus monitoring progress should be done with an understanding that people need to be given a certain latitude in order to be productive.

06. Listen Intensive to Feedback

Even after all the worst-case scenarios are discussed and back up plans are put in place, something will likely arise that was not anticipated and that threatens to derail or delay the implementation process.

Therefore, leaders must listen to feedback from all of their employees (and customers). You should not afford to be insular and surrounded by yes-men who refuse to tell you the naked truth about the problems as they occur. Simple, solvable problems can quickly escalate if they are not nipped in the bud.

07. Be Flexible

Changes must often be made on the fly. Because implementation often reveals unanticipated problems or issues. With a stream of accurate and timely information adjustments can be made to move the implementation process forward. But there should be a limit to how many adjustments are acceptable, since typically additional resources will be used for each one that becomes necessary.

08. Celebrate Achievements Along the Way

Breaking down a long execution process and celebrating each milestone as they are reached. Constantly performing at high levels over a long period of time can drain employees of their energy, which leads to burn-out. Pausing to celebrate along the way lets your employees know their efforts are valued.

09. Share the Credit for Success

There are few things worse than leaders who take all the credit for what they have accomplished together with their teams. Leaders should be very cognizant of this fact and remember to always give credit where it is due. Failure to do so will cause their employees to resent. Resentful employees will be less likely to execute your vision at a high level.

10. Be Willing to Abandon a Strategy or a Project

This is sometimes a difficult thing to do. Very often leaders will consider a strategy or project their  own “baby” and have a hard time letting go. They consider scrapping it to be a personal failure and let pride override rational thought. Continual objective analysis and honest assessment should be built in to the implementation process;  that will allow you to know when to call it quits on a failing project.

1 Comment

  1. Frank Miltenberger

    Dear Sir Gomes,
    it was interesting to read the methods for being a well trained business leader. Adding to the methods I would say there have to be at first an anticipation for what people need before implementing an offer. And the national economy circumstances can partial tangent the business strategy. So these circumstances shouldn`t been ignored by a leader. For example, was there a need for a Vip Club in Frankfurt with high meal and drinkprices in a time where the economy suffering an economic and financial crises? In those times the people hord their money. The name Vip Club was in cohesion to that a mistake because it suggest a high standard which has only welcomed spendabel people. But being spendable ist not chic in an economy crises.

    Nice regards, Frank

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