Performance can be tied to incentives in the execution process by ensuring that individuals understand the organizational priorities and their specific tasks. Leaders who actively lead, rather than preside, can follow up on these tasks, and promote and reward those who execute effectively. This creates a culture where performance is directly linked to incentives, encouraging individuals to continually strive for excellence in execution.

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Execution is closely related to the concept of continual improvement. In a culture of execution, leaders constantly monitor for deviations from desired outcomes across various areas, such as profit margins or promotions. When they identify a gap, they quickly take action to close it, thereby raising the standard for the entire organization. This process is similar to the Six Sigma process for continual improvement. Just like Six Sigma, execution only works when it is practiced continuously. Therefore, execution is a key component of continual improvement.

There are several ways to incentivize execution in an organization. One way is to ensure that leaders are actively involved in the critical details of execution. They should ensure that people understand organizational priorities, assign tasks, follow up, and promote and reward people who execute. Another way is to constantly look for deviations from desired tolerance levels in execution across areas like profit margins to promotions. Leaders should swiftly close the gap and raise the bar for the entire organization. This creates a culture of continual improvement, similar to the Six Sigma process.

Execution works when people practice it continuously by constantly looking for deviations from desired tolerance levels in various areas such as profit margins and promotions. Leaders who execute do not preside, they actively lead. They are personally involved in the critical details of execution, ensuring people understand organizational priorities, assigning tasks, following up, and promoting and rewarding people who execute. Lack of execution can cost CEOs their jobs.

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Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

How do you translate strategy into results? Execution is both an organizational culture and a specif...

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