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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 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: Read the rest of this article »

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: Overcoming Barriers

by Dr. Brian Higley

The ability to overcome a variety of barriers blocking Execution Excellence can be extremely helpful when SMART Goals are not being achieved regularly.  This can be done by “flipping” barriers into objectives that can be achieved as part of the overall mission.

For example, one barrier to the achievement of the SMART Goal “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM” might be: “I hate taking out the trash.”  This barrier can be “flipped” into the objective: “Increase enjoyment in relation to goals I do not initially look forward to achieving,” supported by a SMART Goal like “Ask my favorite person to come with me when I take out the trash every Tuesday at 8AM,” or “Listen to enjoyable music while taking out the trash.”  The ability to quickly flip barriers into objectives that support a mission 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.  For an article outlining some of the most common categories of barriers to Execution Excellence, click here. Read the rest of this article »

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: On-Time Completion

by Dr. Brian Higley

The ability to get things done on time is a critical component of Execution Excellence that is often ignored. It begins with a commitment to setting reasonable deadlines (rather than setting unreasonable deadlines or failing to set any at all), then following through with those carefully set deadlines. Indeed, because the “R” in SMART Goal stands for “Realistic,” no goal is truly SMART without having a reasonable deadline.

For example, the goal “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM” is only truly SMART if it can be accomplished by that time on a regular basis.  If the goal is set knowing that this time is not reasonable on a weekly basis, it will not only affect the current goal’s deadline, but it often also affects commitment to other deadlines.  If one deadline is treated as though it does not matter, it becomes much more acceptable to miss other deadlines.  This can quickly spread the Execution Crisis throughout your life and the lives of those around you.  The ability to commit to (and follow through with) reasonable deadlines is a critical skill associated with Execution Excellence.  On the other hand, inability to do so is another powerful contributor to the Execution Crisis. Read the rest of this article »

December 26th, 2010

WATER Tip: Self-Monitoring

by Dr. Brian Higley

Another critical component of Execution Excellence is the ability to follow through with commitments without needing others to “check in” on one’s progress. The ability to self-monitor begins with a commitment to being reliable, is strengthened by the ability to set truly SMART Goals, and is fortified further by the ability to remind oneself of one’s commitments regularly (rather than depending on others to do so).  Specific (the “S” in SMART) and time-bound (the “T” in SMART) goals help one to be very clear on commitments before they are accepted.  Regular goal achievement becomes more realistic (the “R” in SMART) when every individual responsible for the achievement of every goal takes accountability for the following: (a) the SMARTness of every goal they agree to take on and (b) reminding themselves of this commitment (rather than depending on others to do so).   Read the rest of this article »

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