Strategy Execution – The Un-Idea

In 2005, Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote a short – but profound piece – about execution for strategy business magazine entitled Execution: The Un-Idea. Below are excerpts from the article: “Twenty-five years ago, management control meant. Managers put in controls, workers handed specifications, and established formal structures that Ensure that people did what they were told. Companies operated alone, rather than being part of partner networks or plugging their people into informal relationships. It was an ineffective way to operate, especially after the information technology revolution took place, and to break out of it, companies needed management ideas. It’s believed that Southwest Airlines sees a great future in this idea. Innovation and entrepreneurship, Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, reengineering, networked organizations – these were all conceptual handles that allowed executives to justify and develop new breakthrough practices. Today, companies do not need new ideas in the same way they did 25 years ago (although they still need new business strategies). They’ve been through the paradigm shift. They have sustained tremendous improvement in productivity, effectiveness, and attentiveness to opportunities. That does not mean they’ve been successful, indeed, as they’ve explored new ways of working, we have all learned how hard it is to put these ideas into practice. That’s why execution, or ‘making it happen,’ is so important.Execution is the one-idea-it means having the mental and organizational flexibility to put new business models into practice, even if they counter what you’re currently doing. That ability is central to running a company right now. So rather than chasing another new management fad, or still expecting another ‘magic bullet’ to come along, companies should focus on execution to Effectively use the organizational tools we already have. “