Leapfrogging has been around for a long time. India lacked the capital and economic development to build a national telephone infrastructure to service all of its homes, thus remaining essentially phoneless for decades. That nation continued to grow stronger economically, however, while cell phone technology emerged. As a result, India is adopting cell phones at an amazing rate and has been able to skip the entire investment in what today is an aging architecture for communications in the U.S.: landline phones.

So where is the leapfrog opportunity for small and mid-sized businesses? As you’ve already seen, consistently executing well is an enormous challenge. The tools and enablers for attacking various pieces of the problem are advancing rapidly, but are still fragmented. Large companies have been investing for half a century to develop better solutions for executing strategy.

· Among their investments have been:

· Quality programs such as Baldrige, Lean, and TQM

· ERP systems for transaction automation and process reengineering

· Knowledge management, data mining tools, and scorecards for performance measurement and management

· New models of training and employee development, including personal and executive coaching

The progress has been amazing and offers us a platform for an inflection point. The problem, however, is that these areas of advancement are broad and deep in themselves, and they come from different providers and thought leaders. In addition, larger companies have had to spend many times the acquisition costs for these systems in order to implement and maintain them. Small and mid-size businesses can’t realize a sufficient return to justify the high investment levels required to adopt these business best practices. They simply don’t have the expertise or the economic resources to make it work. This is what the Execution Revolution is all about. As you’ll see, the pieces are now falling into place to deliver a complete program for small and medium-size businesses, a program that large companies are trying to build by piecing together many best-of-breed approaches-at an enormous cost

Six Disciplines Execution Revolution by Gary Harpst.



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