“Strategy is a commodity. Execution is an art.”

Peter DruckerThe quote is classic Peter Drucker – that most enduring of management gurus.

And we would agree, mostly.

Strategy has become a commodity. We certainly go along with that. The useful frameworks are all readily available. There is any number of analytics and methods you can pick up and apply. Books to the moon and back. MBAs everywhere.

You don’t (usually) need to spend big on a global strategy firm to decide what to do. (Although sometimes the competitive problem is so nuanced and complex that hard, data-driven thinking is needed to solve it.)

The trick as always is getting it done.

Execution. An art? Well not exactly. In our world execution is a set of disciplines. A way of thinking about what the work of leaders and managers actually looks like. Execution is not conceptually difficult, but it is practically extremely challenging.

A lot of simple things need to be connected. Need to be done. Every day. Every week. Every month.

Execution needs persistence. Relentlessness. Resilience.

There is art in it though. The art in execution is in finding  balances. Driving and coaxing. Directing and empowering. Demanding and accepting.

Execution. At the end of the day it’s a people thing. And in that there is art.

Leave a Reply