“An astounding 90% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution. Only 5% of employees understand their corporate strategy! Unbelievable! Only 3% of executives think their company is very successful at executing strategies, while 62% think they’re only moderately successful, or worse.”
In looking at these numbers, here is what we see with companies right now: Poor execution is a systems problem. As Deming wrote, 94% of problems are due to no system, a poor system, or system that is not used. As business growth experts, we help fix old systems and put new systems into place for execution. The 95% of people that do not understand corporate strategy are not being given simplicity. Instead, leadership, marketing and HR confuse people by asking them to remember more than 3 key things. These 3 things are your Brand Promise- actions you can promise customers. Nail your brand promise and you have a business strategy! The execution of strategies is about simple ideas, not a bunch of metrics; it’s focus is continual improvement and accountability updates.
Jim Collins is pushing people to have a personal hedgehog! What are you the BEST at, have the most PASSION for and can make the most MONEY doing? Of course these three are musts for companies- items that fall in the middle of the intersections of BEST AT, PASSION, and MONEY form your hedgehog concept, and lead to setting the Trademarked (BHAG) Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The BHAG is a goal you want to achieve 10-25 years out and is meant to be Audacious. For example, a personal BHAG could be running a marathon once a week in a different city for a full year- a professional BHAG could be opening 2000 restaurants when you now only have 1.
In his book Good to Great, Collins highlights Walgreen’s hedgehog concept: to be the most convenient drugstore in the world. Fast forward to now- Fast Company Magazine ranked Walgreens this month as the 7th most innovative health care company for its leadership in redefining the role of the pharmacy. Their new mobile app features help patients manage their medications, and they have created a new standard for the patient-pharmacy relationship. Walgreens knows how to do one thing, and do it well. But I can’t help thinking, if all of Walgreen’s employees were living their personal hedgehog concept, the company would be unstoppable!
I was at Walgreens the other day at the drive through. The woman helping me did not look at me or talk to me. She acted like I was invisible. I handed her my credit card, and she gave me my purchase, focusing on her computer screen the entire time. I took my bag, and stayed where I was, still smiling at her. Once she made eye contact, I was going to ask her if she had a bad day, and see if was she ok. She never looked over at me. A few minutes later I left. Does she have passion for her job? It’s definitely possible that she just had a bad day. Is she the best at doing the job? NO! Does she make money? Money is not always an option- most of us need it to survive. She is probably surviving- but I wonder- is she thriving?