Execution. Why Lean improvement projects fail.

According to change management guru John Kotter, at least 70% of major projects do not meet their stated goals. Why don’t great ideas and great people create great results? It often comes down to execution.

In our experience most organizations recognize the importance of developing a good strategy to solve an issue, but don’t put nearly as much effort into figuring out how to execute their plan effectively, especially when it comes to getting stakeholders on board to support change initiatives.

To understand this better, we did a search of keywords in business books on Amazon.com.  The number of keyword results for books on strategy outnumbered those for selling and execution by a margin of 15 to 1.

This reflects what happens in real life.  We get excited about coming up with the best possible solution (“strategy”) and invest tremendous energy in getting the perfect idea. Next someone on the team asks “How are we going to sell these ideas?” but don’t take concrete steps to get the right people to support the plan or we hire a change management expert as an afterthought. Finally, once we think we have the right supporters on board, we hardly have any energy left for execution, or so much time has elapsed that momentum is lost.

We developed a model to simulate this — the Results equation.

Think about a project that you are working on now. Score the I, D and E each as a percentage, 100% being a perfect score. A low score on any factor will sink the Results score but typically both Desire and Execution scores tend to be dramatically lower than Idea scores.

The good news is that the tools and techniques we teach in the one-day “Results, Not Resistance” workshop can help you maximize Desire and Execution improving your overall RIDE score. Visit our public training schedule for course dates.