White paper: The Execution Gap: does your organization have one?

Once upon a time, strategy was everything. Today, strategy is still important: but organizations have shifted their focus to execution of plans and the consistent delivery of results.

But many organizations are still caught in the strategy trap, and as a result, have a growing Execution Gap: the gap between setting and achieving their goals.

But strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful organization: actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous. However, as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution (2002), the ultimate difference between an organization and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute.

Execution is the missing link between aspirations and results, and as such, making it happen is the business leader’s most important job. While failure in today’s business environment is often attributed to other causes, Bossidy and Charan argue that the biggest obstacle to success is the absence of execution. They point out that without execution, breakthrough thinking on managing change breaks down, and they emphasize the fact that execution is a discipline to learn, not merely the tactical side of business.

Conflicting organizational activities, silos, redundant processes, and confusing governance policies block effective, consistent execution. More than 64% of C-level executives from 250 midsized to large organizations in the United States and the European Union have said that being able to execute, to react quickly to changing business opportunities and technologies, is critical for their success. Yet nearly 80% of them said that it is nearly impossible to achieve.

Clearly, there is a fundamental gap—call it the Execution Gap—between the best-laid plans and their realization.


To learn more, please download the White Paper, The Execution Gap: does your organization have one?