What do I mean by Executing?
The fifth Change Capability dimension, Executing is that most valued of corporate virtues, “getting stuff done”, or delivery and disciplined implementation driven by accountability in those leading the change.
Executing is about achieving the goal, rather than planning and organising (capability #1, Focusing), breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles through determination, personal responsibility and clear sponsorship and escalation routes (governance). This is leadership as captain of the ship, taking control, being trusted to take the right decisions and clearing a path through difficult waters (or stakeholders).
How is this Change Capability manifested?
People that are involved in the implementation of change:
- Take personal responsibility for success in areas that are in their sphere of control
- Can influence the direction of the change programme
- Are given opportunities to learn and grow through the programme
People that are impacted by the change:
- Put their trust in the leadership to take the right decisions
- Believe that the programme is set up to succeed
- Are confident about playing their part in making the change a success
How is the capability supported?
As with all of the capability dimensions, this is not an exhaustive list but Execution is supported by:
- Stepping Stones: Breaking down plans into achievable milestones and finding ‘quick wins’ builds confidence
- Governance: Clear and effective governance, with processes that are followed with discipline and honesty, so that risks and issues are known and dealt with confidently
- Communication: Communicate unwavering commitment and confidence to overcome the (inevitable) difficulties that there will be in implementing change
What happens if you overplay this strength?
Without balance, strengths can become weaknesses. Over-focusing on Execution can occur in two ways:
- Bulldozing: The relentless pursuit of success comes at a cost to relationships and consideration of people’s feelings, resulting in a loss of employee engagement and support
- Controlling: Power and control is in the hands of a few key leaders with a lack of delegation or involvement of employees in decision, and people feel powerless or irrelevant to the change
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