The Art of Execution

When you talk about the “art of execution”, what comes to mind? Some may think it’s a practice reserved for business leaders. Others might see it as an essential skill in any creative field. Either way, this is one area that can help anyone make their life easier and more fulfilling.,

The “the art of execution summary” is a book about the different strategies that have been used to successfully execute projects. The author, Chris Arkenberg, discusses how he has learned these strategies through his own experiences as well as those of others.

On the American Express Open Forum, I came across this extremely plan-as-you-go piece by Guy Kawasaki. What I enjoy most about it is when Guy says “establish objectives” and then goes on to mention these four desired attributes of goals:

Measurable. It’s improbable that you’ll reach a goal that isn’t quantifiable. Quantifiable objectives for a company include things like shipment deadlines, downloads, and sales volume. “What gets measured gets done,” as the old adage goes. Because you can’t (and shouldn’t) quantify everything, this has implications for the amount of objectives you set. It’s sufficient to set three to five weekly objectives.

Achievable. Multiply your cautious projections for these objectives by 10% and use that number as your target. Set your aim at 100,000 units if you believe you’ll easily sell a million copies in the first year. Nothing is more disheartening than establishing a cautious objective and falling short; instead, take 10% of your projection and make it your aim to blow it out. You could believe that such a technique would result in underperforming organizations that aren’t pushed. So, if you don’t sell a million widgets, check back with me.

Relevant. A good objective is one that is relevant. It’s the amount of downloads of your sample version if you’re a software firm. Because it isn’t your Alexa ranking that matters, urging the firm to concentrate on getting into the top 50,000 sites in the world in terms of traffic isn’t nearly as important as 10,000 monthly downloads.

Resistant against rats. Even if a goal is quantifiable, attainable, and meaningful, it may nevertheless lead you down a rabbit hole. Assume you’ve built a content website. In the first ninety days, your quantifiable, attainable, and relevant aim is to sign up 100,000 registered users. So far, everything has gone well. But what if you concentrate just on the body count, disregarding the site’s stickiness? So you’ve gotten 100,000 people to sign up, but they only come once and never come again. That’s a rathole, to say the least. Make sure your objective includes all of the elements that will keep your company afloat.

As you would expect, what I enjoy about this is that it closely resembles what I’m saying here, on this site, and in the Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan book. Goals are about business and getting things done, and they’re useless unless you track and monitor your progress.

The “the millionaire next door” is a book that talks about what it takes to be successful in life. The author is Thomas J. Stanley, who has been interviewing millionaires for the past 30 years.

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