“In the pursuit of excellence, figuring out the right things to do isn’t nearly as difficult as continuing to do them over the long term. One of the most persistent challenges we face as humans is to narrow the gap between knowing what needs to be done, and actually doing what needs to be done. In fact, as business leaders, we collectively know quite a bit about what needs to be done. We’ve read the books, taken seminars, and listened to management gurus. We’ve even earned business degrees in understanding what needs to be done. Yet the challenge to somehow bridge this gap continues.
Think about this knowing-versus-doing gap in your own life, and how it relates to dieting, for example. Or let’s consider the 40-year old business called Weight Watchers, which generated worldwide revenues of $3.0 billion in 2006. The core of the Weight Watchers approach is the weekly meeting that promotes weight loss through education and group support, in conjunction with a flexible, healthy diet. Each week, 1.5 million people attend approximately 50,000 Weight Watchers meetings, led by 15,000 classroom leaders around the world.
In the Weight Watchers business model, the counselors talk to you, weigh you, and educate you through group involvement about food and exercise. Essentially, they give you the kind of advice that you probably learned in grade school. And, you pay them for it! In my experience, its money well spent, because when I stop going to the weekly meetings, I gain the weight back. My point in this example is simple. What happens at Weight Watchers are things we already know how to do-in other words, we already know to eat right, exercise and weigh ourselves. Yet on our own, do we?”
– Six Disciplines Execution Revolution by Gary Harpst.