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4 DISCIPLINES OF EXECUTION: KEY TO MAKING STRATEGY WORK

Aligning your team with your objectives is essential to success. Keeping your people engaged and focused on the top goals is crucial. Indeed, implementing strategic goals is an ongoing challenge for business owners.

The key to success in almost every business is strategy, but no matter how cleverly designed a strategy may be, there is always a probability of it not working out due to several competing factors – daily tasks, unfocussed team, unclear goals, to name a few.

Stephen R. Covey has researched and analysed the topic of execution for several years and has gleaned many insights on why execution fails. In his book co-authored with Chris McChesney, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, he elaborates on the findings of their research regarding how execution breaks down:

  1. People don’t know the goals. Either there are too many goals or the goals aren’t clear.
  2. People don’t know what to do to achieve the goals. The goals are not translated into day-to-day activities.
  3. People don’t keep score. They can’t tell if they are on track to achieve the organisation’s critical goals.
  4. People are not held accountable. For results, employees need relevant and timely feedback and regular accountability.

Now our challenge is how can we eliminate these breakdowns and eventually make our strategy work? The answer lies in mastering the 4 disciplines of execution.

DISCIPLINE 1: THE DISCIPLINE OF FOCUS

The first discipline to achieve extraordinary results from your agreed strategy is to narrow your focus. Every day, we are distracted by the ‘whirlwind’ of business operations. Forecast your finish line, make your targets vivid and clarify your purpose. Having clarity about your desired finish line promotes accountability and team morale. Exceptional results can only be achieved when you are clear about what matters most.

DISCIPLINE 2: THE DISCIPLINE OF LEVERAGE

The second discipline puts a special emphasis on discovering how we can accomplish more with less. This discipline requires leaders to identify and focus on lead measures so they can find true leverage from the resources they have available, and to use them to produce the desired results.

DISCIPLINE 3: THE DISCIPLINE OF ENGAGEMENT

Despite every pre-requisite being fulfilled for achieving goals, if the motivation to work is missing, there is no chance of generating extraordinary results. Engagement and passion are essential to success. Ambitions fuel this discipline, the much needed drive and commitment that is required to make things work out for the best.

DISCIPLINE 4: THE DISCIPLINE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

It is easy to get caught up in the ‘whirlwind’ and end up doing activities which are less crucial when it comes to the road to success. Accountability in action is essential if we are to achieve our goals. The discipline of accountability is indispensable and nothing can work without it. Nothing will happen until you and your team follow through and become consistently accountable for your actions within the business.

Knowing how we can embed the four key disciplines into our organisational culture is essential to make our strategy work and eventually produce amazing results. Which of the four disciplines do you think you and your team need to improve on? Feel free to share your thoughts with us through the comments below.

SOURCE: STEPHEN R. COVEY’S THE 4 DISCIPLINES OF EXECUTION: THE SECRET TO GETTING THINGS DONE, ON TIME, WITH EXCELLENCE

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