Most leaders fail to understand the implication of the human nature barriers. Our natural tendency is to do what we like doing, not necessarily what we should. The topic of coaching offers the most insight into what it takes to deliver a complete strategy execution program.

Strategy execution coaching implies that an accountability model exists. Employees in organizations will learn to be accountable – that is, they’ll do what is needed and expected – proportionate to the extent in which three factors are present:

  • Expectations are clear.
  • These expectations are perceived as credible and reasonable because the employeeswere involved in setting them.
  • Employees understand the impact of success, or lack thereof, on the organization.

When these three factors aren’t in place, employees can’t achieve their potential, no matter what kind of people they are. A critical element for creating company-wide accountability is to put appropriate focus on results, not activities. For most employees, it’s more motivating to be told what needs to be done and why, but not how.

BOTTOMLINE: Being accountable to ourselves is not enough. We clearly need others, preferably outside of our organization, to hold us accountable and to help us accelerate our learning. We need others to help us fight the continual battles against our own human nature and our tendency to do what we want to do, rather than what we need to do. We need others to challenge our way of thinking and acting. We need others to help us increase our capability to manage the next challenge. We need others to learn how to do this faster than we can do it on our own. Finally, we need others to help make change last within our organizations, to make the new way of working “stick.” That’s what strategy execution coaching is all about.

(Excerpted from Chapter 8, Six Disciplines Execution Revolution, by Gary Harpst)