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Organizational Execution Crisis

Welcome to the Excellence University (EU) Journal. EU is an association of organizations all committed to providing the highest quality on site and online training in three core areas: Business Excellence, Personal Effectiveness, and Life Satisfaction.

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: Well-defined Vision

by Dr. Brian Higley

Well-defined visions are supported by a clear understanding of a team’s primary objectives and a strong appreciation for these objectives. One indication of a well-defined vision is a team-wide feeling of being challenged to improve regularly (which can result in a feeling of forward-movement and decreased levels of boredom), while avoiding taking on too much challenge at one time (resulting in feelings of being overwhelmed).

If there is confusion, lack of appreciation for a team’s objectives, boredom, or constant team-wide anxiety, it may be due to a poorly defined vision.  If there are feelings of being bored or overwhelmed, it may be due to too few or too many challenging objectives taken on at once.  It may also be due to a team whose members have not yet taken the time to be clear about the team’s objectives or who do not truly appreciate the importance of the objectives. Read the rest of this article »

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: Well-defined Goals

by Dr. Brian Higley

Well-defined goals (also known as “SMART Goals”) are achieved via constant attention to the development of specific, measurable, agreed-upon, realistic, time-bound steps toward fulfilling broader objectives.  An indication that this is being attained is reduction in two major barriers to Execution Excellence:

  1. fewer instances of individuals wondering what to do and
  2. fewer instances of things getting done that others never wanted to have done.

For instance, if has a well-defined goal in relation to a desire to complete an objective (e.g., “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM”), there is less confusion about what to do up-front and fewer instances of energy being wasted (e.g., Some trash begin taken out after the garbage collectors already came – which means energy is already wasted and more may need to be used to bring the trash back in until next week). Read the rest of this article »

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: Aligned Goals

by Dr. Brian Higley

Good goal alignment is achieved via constant attention to how well the achievement of clear goals (the specific, measurable steps toward fulfilling broader primary objectives) actually bring about desired outcomes (or, a team or individual’s primary objectives).  An indication of good goal alignment is a reduction of two major barriers to Execution Excellence:

  1. fewer instances of individuals “working hard” or “trying” without actually helping to achieve primary objectives in measurable ways and
  2. fewer instances of wasted time, energy and revenue spent on pursuing unimportant goals (goals that are not powerfully aligned with primary objectives in observable ways).

For example, if one exhibits goal alignment in relation to an objective like: “Maintain a clean environment” (e.g., “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM”), there is often: (a) less time spent thinking about all the barriers to doing so (e.g., how to avoid taking out the trash by looking very busy all the time) and (b) less energy spent on goals not aligned with the overall objective (e.g., taking the trash out the day after the due date, then telling others “I really tried hard, but couldn’t do it.”). Read the rest of this article »

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: Well-defined Activities

by Dr. Brian Higley

Well-defined activities can be extremely helpful when SMART Goals are not being achieved regularly due to confusion about how to do so.  Activity clarity is achieved by breaking down SMART Goals into extremely small, simple tasks that are either “done” or “not done.”  When broken down well enough, there is no way to say that these small activities are “almost done”; they are either completed or not completed (which is why we often call them “Yes-No Activities”).

For example, one Yes-No Activity necessary for the achievement of the SMART Goal “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM” might be: “Pick up the trash in the waste basket (in a specific room)” another Yes-No Activity might be: “Put the trash on the dumpster.”  These small activities are Yes-No Activities because they are either done or not done.  An answer to the  question: “Is the trash currently in the dumpster?” can only properly be answered in two ways: (a) “yes, it is” or (b) “no, it is not.”  The ability to break SMART Goals down into well-defined activities is a critical skill associated with Execution Excellence.  On the other hand, inability to do so is one of the most powerful contributors to the Execution Crisis. Read the rest of this article »

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: Aligned Activities

by Dr. Brian Higley

Good activity alignment is achieved via constant attention to how well the completion of simple “Yes-No” Activities (small activities that are either “done or not done”) help with the achievement of SMART Goals (the specific, measurable steps toward fulfilling broader objectives).  An indication of good activity alignment is reduction in two major barriers to Execution Excellence:

  1. fewer instances of individuals “feeling busy” with a lot of activities without actually helping to achieve their SMART Goals and
  2. fewer instances of wasted time, energy and revenue spent on daily activity that does not lead to goal achievement (or, Yes-No Activities that are not powerfully aligned with SMART Goal achievement in observable ways).

For example, if one exhibits strong activity alignment in relation to a SMART Goal (such as: “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM”), one’s Yes-No Activities aligned with that SMART Goal (e.g. “Empty the trash in one waste basket in a particular room”) frequently result in: (a) less time spent thinking about all the barriers to doing so (e.g., How to avoid taking emptying a trash can by fixating on the barriers to achieving the goal) and (b) less energy spent on activities not aligned with the SMART Goal in question (e.g., spending valuable time that could be spent on emptying a trash can on convincing others that emptying one trash can is impossible or unfair). Read the rest of this article »

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