The 12 Week Year – summary and review

The Big Idea(s) You probably have an execution problem more than you have a planning problem. Stop trying to plan annually. Plan and execute in 12 week blocks to help you focus and shorten the feedback loop between plans and evaluation. Have a long-term vision, but focus relentlessly on activities (lead measures, which you control) that will lead to the…

Brian Moran and Michael Lennington on execution

The number-one factor holding people back from achieving what they are truly capable of is not a lack of knowledge, intellect, or information. It’s not a new strategy or idea. It’s not a larger network of connected people. It’s not hard work, natural talent, or luck. Of course all these things help, they all play a factor, but they are…

Peter Drucker on nonprofit strategy

There’s an old saying that good intentions don’t move mountains, bulldozers too. In nonprofit management, the mission and the plan – if that is all there is – are good intentions. Strategies are the bulldozers. They convert what you want to do into accomplishment. They are particularly important in nonprofit organizations. Strategies lead you to work for results. They convert…

Ben Horowitz – The Hard Thing About Hard Things

This is a great cut-the-crap book about management and building a company. It’s most relevant to the the tech world, but there are plenty of gems here that are relevant to anyone – he’s especially good on shaping your culture (hint: yoga at work is not your organisational culture). Here’s the introduction: Every time I read a management or self-help…

Marc Andreesen on ideas vs execution

… there was a great Dilbert strip where the pony-haired boss says, “You know, I have a great idea for a startup. All I need is for, you know, somebody to actually, like, write the code and do all the work.” And Dilbert says, “The technical term for what you have is, ‘nothing’” … right? Right? [see it here] ……

Vision. Positioning. Execution. (4)

Execution Being able to execute means being able to get the right things done at the right times. Good execution is a combination of: Knowledge – do you know what to do and how to do it? This is a type of vision, but I include here for completeness. Skill – are you able to do it? Skills need to…

Vision. Positioning. Execution. (3)

Positioning Being ready in the right place at the right time makes everything easier. Sometimes you need to position yourself for a better view – to improve your vision – before you can position yourself to do. If you can’t see properly, you can’t decide. Once you’ve got a decent view you can move to position yourself with respect to…

Vision. Positioning. Execution. (1)

You see the traffic, approach the road, pause at the kerb, lean forward just as someone passes to get some forward motion, then step into the space between cars. Or you press the button and wait for the light. You see a public holiday on the calendar, decide that you want to go away, decide where and who with, then…

Getting things done

Thought for the day: There will always be more good ideas than capacity to execute. Chris McChesney, Sean Covey & Jim Huling – The 4 Disciplines of Execution (amazon) Conclusion: focus on one or two wildly important goals at a time, and get them done. This is a lesson that I learn, apply, forget and re-learn in different areas of my…