Execution – The Discipline of getting things done

Execution – The Discipline of getting things done

In my more than three decades of my Career, I came across many situations where the Planned strategy failed and after introspection, one thing that stood out every time was the lack of “Execution”. I am a big fan of Professor Ram Charan and Larry and have read their books a lot which definitely helped me over the years. In this article, I am trying to summarise my learnings and experiences over the years.

This article can be very well synchronised of my tenure in Sanofi Pasteur where we moved the business from 6million USD to 62 million USD in span of 5 years. This was possible as I had an excellent team which was completely Synchronised with Strategy and operations. A tribute to them through this article.

E-xe-cu-tion (ek si kyoo shoon)

  • The Missing link
  • The main reason Companies fall short of their Promises
  • The Gap what the company leaders want to achieve and the ability of these organisations to deliver it
  • Not simply Tactics, but a system of getting things done through Questioning, analysis and follow through

Why Execution is needed?

  • Execution is a discipline and integral to strategy
    • The Heart of Execution lies in three Core Processes
      • The People Process
      • The Strategy Process
      • The Operations Process
    • Execution is the major job of the business leader
      • Leaders Heart and soul must be immersed in the company
      • Leaders must be in Charge of three core Processes
        • Picking other leaders
        • Setting the strategic directions
        • Conducting operations
    • Execution must be a core element of an Organisations culture
      • Execution – Rewards
      • Six Sigma process – Continuous improvement
      • Focus on Execution – Cultural Change

The Execution difference

The Building block of Execution

The 1st Building Block of Execution

  • Know your people and your Business
  • Insist on Realism
  • Set clear Goals and Priorities
  • Follow through
  • Reward the Doers
  • Expand People’s capabilities
  • Know yourself

The 2nd Building Block of Execution

  • Creating the framework for the cultural Change
  • Operationalising Culture
    { Beliefs that influence specific behaviours}
  • Linking rewards to Performance
    {Rewarding and Promoting people for execution, its culture will Change}
  • Social software of execution
  • The importance of Robust Dialogue
  • Leaders get the behaviour they exhibit and tolerate

The 3rd Building block of Execution

  • The Job that no Leader should delegate -Having the right people in the right job.
  • Why the Right people are not in the right job ?
    • Lack of Knowledge
    • Lack of Courage
    • The Psychological comfort factor

Bottom Line : Lack of Personal Commitment

What Kind of People are you looking for ?

  • People with Vision, Strategy and ability to inspire others
  • Energise people
  • Decisive on tough issues
  • Get things done through others
  • Who Can follow through

Three Core Processes of Execution

The People Processes

  • Making the link with Strategy and operations
    • Linkage to strategic Plan and its near, medium and long term milestones
    • Developing the leadership pipeline through continuous improvement, succession depth and reducing retention risk
    • Deciding on Non Performers
    • Transforming the mission and operations
  • Making the link between People and Operations
    • The Importance of “Hows”
    • The Building Block of the strategy
    • Building the Strategic Plan
      {Who Builds the Plan?}

Questions for the Strategic Plan?

  • Environment
  • Competition
  • Why some Companies are more successful than others ?
  • Are the short term and long term milestones balanced ?
  • What are the important milestones for executing the plans ?
  • What are the critical issues facing the business ?
  • How will the business make money on a sustainable basis ?

The Operations Processes

  • Making the Link between Strategy and People
    • How to build Budgets ?
    • The importance of Sound Synchronisation
    • Sound Assumptions : The key to setting realistic goals
    • Building the operating Plan
    • The Art of making trade off
    • Outcomes of the operations process

After the meeting: Follow through and Contingencies

  • Contingency Plan
  • Monthly / Quarterly reviews

The Heart of the working of a business is how the three process of People, Strategy & operations link together.


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Mithun Saha June 5, 2020 at 9:36 pm

I have this opportunity to work under your visionary leadership and I still consider my tenure with Sanofi as golden period of my career when Blockbuster like pentaxim was created as market leader and I am lucky to be part of that from beginning .

Manav Mehrotra June 6, 2020 at 10:55 am

Sir, working under your leadership was golden period of my carrier where we learn and develop ourselves and encourage to give our best. Still missing those days…

Vishwanath N Desai June 6, 2020 at 11:05 pm

Good read boss.
And from your pen it’s more effective..

AJEET PAL SINGH June 8, 2020 at 8:01 am

Sir This is really out of the box, I am sure who so ever will implement in his life , success is bound to come. thanks for great insight

Himmat Singh June 28, 2020 at 10:46 pm

Its really great to go through this very useful article of yours Sir !


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