In our previous post (See August 3, 2012) we identified a critical disconnect between knowing what to do and doing it. Many of us take great pride in the education, training and experience that we have – but are we doing anything with all the years of knowledge that we have built up? This is the execution gap, and today we are going to identify real steps that can take to cross over from knowledge to execution.
First, you need to stop your desperate pursuit of more information. You probably don’t need it. Identifying the problems in your organization is rarely difficult. Most of the time, they are probably obvious even to your lowest-level employees. Talk to your people. Find out what needs to be improved and write it down.
Second, develop an action plan. Determine how you’re going to attack the problem, and document the steps to get there. Each step should be clearly defined with appropriate metrics (so you know when you’re finished), deadlines and one person who is accountable for completing it.
Third, do it! Commit your resources to getting it done on time. Focus your meetings on the plan. Reward according to the results.
“Tell me something I don’t know,” you might say. I probably can’t, and that’s the point. This isn’t rocket science. You already know what you need to do, but if you’re like most people, you’re probably not doing it. You’re too busy looking for NOW solutions rather than implementing a plan and going to work. It’s only by working on THEN that you’ll ever get to NOW.
How did we get so impatient? I thnk we’re victims of our own success. For example, everything seemed so easy in the 1990s. Investors could seemingly pick random stocks and make money. College graduates could pick from multiple job offers. Whatever companies made, sold. Our nation’s prosperity was the result of years of hard work and innovation by the cumulative efforts of this country’s workers, but we forget that. All we remember is the result. We don’t remember what created the results. Results come from mastery.
And mastery never happens NOW.