Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Processes for good execution are more important than much expert knowledge

Strategy must be easy. After all if someone with an MBA and 5 years experience can devise a strategy for a large company, how can it be that hard. However, failure is usually the result of poor execution, monitoring, correction, and ability to learn from success and failure. Yet, so many senior executives move on after they have become comfortable with the strategy and spend little time on execution. The grizzled veterans who are so good at execution are forced into early retirement. There is little institutional memory from which middle and junior managers can learn. Business schools spend far less time on execution than on strategy. It is left to Engineering and Vocational schools to teach the tools of execution.

This is why, while over the past fifty years more and more management education has taken place, we do not see the performance of most companies in the long-term to be better than they were fifty years ago. They do not execute well and do not learn from their successes and failures.

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