10 April 2010

Creating the Future--Even in Difficult Times Part 4

Execution More than Vision

“Everything depends on execution, having just a vision is no solution.” (Stephen Sondheim) Not that vision is unimportant. A sense of direction and a direction that makes sense is foundational, but incomplete.

Too much attention on vision is like spending most of your time on the driving range while neglecting to practice chipping and putting, which is how you lower your golf score. (Harvey Penick)

Execution is people, strategy and operations.

“Execution is the missing link between aspirations and result.” (Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan)

Summary

1. Creating the future is about pursuing the right opportunities which often emerge in times of great change. (“Buy or lease a new car and, if in the next 12 months you lose your job, we will take the car back.”—Hyundai Motors)

2. The importance of managing oneself—having a sense of urgency and a non-anxious presence at the same time. (Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, US Airways Flight 1549 landing on the Hudson River offshore in New York.)

3. Focus on how to solve problems—not how intractable the problems are. (Apollo 13 moon mission.)

4. If you don’t learn to make decisions, time will make them for you. (JPMorgan Chase going into the recession having slashed costs, investing heavily in technology and core businesses—buying Bear Stearns for the bargain price of $10 per share.)


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