There have been many historical debates about balancing innovation and execution across many organisations. We are living the complex world and our expectations about products and services are constantly and rapidly changing over. Innovation is relative to time. A product may be an innovative product now with users who love it, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be an innovative product for long. This has caused businesses to debate what’s important, innovation or execution? The answer is both, as long as you have the courage and conviction to execute an idea and test quickly enough before other forces come into the picture.
Companies shouldn’t obsess about innovation without considering execution. I have worked with many companies, individuals and groups with fantastic ideas however, the idea never turns into to a great product or by the time the product is delivered to the market, the idea is no longer relevant in the current time or context. User behaviour has already changed because either users have better products available in the market or user’s expectations are higher. So where is the problem, idea or execution?
An idea can’t become a great product without execution. The challenge starts when you start executing idea. Execution is about blood, sweat, tears and hunger of the getting work done. Ideas can come from an individual or group but you need human being in various entities to execute the idea. To successfully execute your idea, you are always up against time. You need a strong drive, passion, energy, and focus and sheer determination to execute the idea. The challenge is how to manage the following during idea execution:
2. Team alignment with vision
4. Team motivation
5. Appetite to move fast and break things
6. Strong collaboration
7. Conflict management
8. Decision making
To achieve the above, you need a team with “Execution Mindset”. Teams with an “Execution Mindset” are great converting ideas into reality at pace. It’s important that the team are bought in the idea and that there’s an emphasise that execution is key for the success of the idea. A team with “Execution mindset” has strong collaboration. They pull and push each other to achieve result.
As a leader, you need to focus on the following points to execute well:
1. Set clear direction for your team
2. Rally the team towards the goals
3. Understand each of your team members motivation and use them accordingly
4. Understand the good and bad noises and know when to cut the bad noises
5. Trust your team!
6. Engage your team to decision making that impact them
7. Promote strong collaboration and have short tolerance if an individual is not collaborating
8. Celebrate along the way as you achieve milestones
9. Develop a pull and push culture in the team
10. Encourage your team to challenges other team member’s views/ideas including yours in constructive way
11. Remain focused and positive
12. Create a culture to reward the team for taking risk and celebrate failure
13. Don’t create the process without knowing the challenge
A final thing to remember: people make a great product and a great product builds customer loyalty. So, how is your leadership style promoting an execution mindset within yourself and others?