Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Execution as Strategy

There was some meaty conversation around Jay Goltz’s ten points from his CEO Retreat talk on “Execution Over Brilliance”. One of our CEOs surprised Jay with the question “these 10 points are all tactics; what were your strategies?” and Jay answered, basically, “I didn’t have a strategy.”

I think he did, even if it wasn’t conscious. Repeatedly he said “What makes a company great, not just mediocre?” One of Jay’s strategies is definitely execution. He just didn’t write it down. After getting to know Jay a bit, it is clear to me that execution just describes his personality (more on that another time) and therefore, the strategy emanated from him as he built the business.

Some other comments from our LinkedIn group:

  • It seems Jay’s strategy is: “To provide a great customer experience.” All his points (tactics) were ultimately aimed at taking care of his customers.
  • I would add that Jay also placed emphasis on finding the right people, training them, and dealing with those that need to go…quickly.
  • At one level I believe he described in detail the strategy of Kaizan, which of course has been around for some time. The tweak in his presentation was that he was using definitive examples of refinement processes across multiple areas within his business. He might otherwise say his strategy is that of a hands-on owner/manager, which is characterized by an unwavering attention to detail. While he might suggest he is an 80-20 rule proponent, there doesn’t appear to be anything that he and his culture are going to allow to slip into the 20% bin.
  • A powerful strategy can definitely emerge from a culture that cares about everything. Back to Erika’s point – he is “consistently making those core directional choices that will best move [him] toward [his] hoped for future.” He obviously believes this cannot happen without finding, maintaining, and growing the best people.
  • I agree. Providing superior customer service, a highly qualified workforce, and a great place to work as a differentiators is a strategy in his market. Jay’s philosophies and modes of operation are the tactics that support his successful strategy. It is no doubt this strategy that has lead to his success.
Posted by Scot McRoberts at 7:10 pm
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