Last month I wrote about Strategy vs. Execution and one of my readers wrote back and defined the terms as “Doing the Right Things” (strategy) vs. “Doing Things Right” (execution). I have never heard it expressed quite so simply before. I almost always find that simpler is better as simple provides clarity. Therefore, that saying has stuck with me and will for a very long time.
While I enjoy working on strategic issues I find that most companies devote much of their time and energy to day-to-day execution. Things that should work like a well-oiled machine often don’t. And the cumulative effect of not“doing things right” shows up on the income statement.
But what exactly does “right” mean when it comes to a particular work process or outcome? In many instances, right is not simply the opposite of wrong but rather is somewhere on the continuum of just OK to truly excellent or exceptional.
There are times when “good enough” actually is all that is needed and going beyond the minimum standard doesn’t add any value. But in most instances, performance is measured on a continuum of outcomes and constantly striving to do better is critical. In these instances, it is not just about doing things right, it is about doing things “righter” than you did them yesterday.
It is important to always seek to improve business processes. While a process that was put in place years ago may be working, that doesn’t mean it is at optimal efficiency. Customers change, products and services change, new competitors spring up while old ones fade away, and technology has dramatically changed the way we all live and work. That means that business processes need to change as well.
This isn’t limited to your core manufacturing or service processes (although those are critical) but also includes your HR practices, accounting procedures, customer service interactions, and everything else you do in your organization. Think about it, even janitorial staffs have had to change their processes to deal with recycling as opposed to throwing everything in the trash.
In a world where change is the ever present constant, it’s more important than ever to ask if your business processes are not just keeping pace with the times but helping your company outperform its competitors.
Are you doing things “righter” today than you did them yesterday?
If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to For more information, visit www.homza.com
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