Marketing Idea No. 222 – The “How” Question: Execution is the missing skill

Larry Bossidy, the ex-heavyweight of GE and former right hand man of Jack Welch and Ram Charan, the biggest living management consultant of our time, should receive a lot of acclaim for bringing attention to one of the most neglected aspect of Marketing – Execution.

Planning is glamorous. Planning required out of the box thinking – a term that is a big favorite in Job Descriptions around the world. Planning requires strategic analysis. It sounds important. And there is a perception that in a organization, the senior guys or the real leaders do the planning. The mere followers down the chain is in charge of executing the beautifully crafted plan of the leader.

So should there be any doubt why execution as a principle, as a philosophy, as a management practice and most importantly as a skill is the least focused aspect of an executive’s job? 

But there has been a renewed interest on execution, thanks to the above mentioned gentlemen. And rightfully so. In an ever-increasing competitive world, the organization that executes well gets it right most of the time. And in an execution oriented company – everybody executes, starting from CEO to the front office executive.

The key fact about execution is it answers the “How” question. While planning probably answers the “Why” and “What”, it is the execution that answers the missing “How””question to complete the strategic answer.

So next time when someone tells you an ambitious goal after a long strategic meeting, take a minute to ask how you are going to do it.

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