Secrets of Effective Design and Execution

The Discovery, Design and Execution Cycle

The discovery, design and execution cycle is the same for all companies whether effective or not. It begins with the discovery that something needs to be done, moves into a planning process and then to execution, at least in theory. There are four things that distinguish a fast and agile competitor from a slow and cumbersome organization.


Major John Boyd, fighter pilot and aeronautical engineer was the creator of the OODA Loop (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act). He remains one of the smartest thinkers on the competitive advantage of speed and agility. Click here to learn more about this remarkable man and his OODA Loop.


The Barriers to Effective Execution

Looking for information that should be readily accessible
Using complex and clunky systems and procedures
Trying to decipher the context of what is being presented

Confusing meetings with meaningful action.
Making stuff up when all else fails

The AHA! Moment

The Elephant in the Room

It is estimated that knowledge workers waste about 50% of their day on junk work (non value added activities). Junk work, unlike genuine hard work, is stressful and leads to increased absenteeism.

Trying to remain competitive with these levels of junk work is like trying to run a marathon in leg irons. Eliminating these barriers to action is key to thriving in a world of change.


Design for Effective Execution

There are two key principles to be followed when designing for effective execution.
  1. Simplicity
  2. Clarity

Paradoxically, being simple and clear is not easy. It takes discipline and practice. David Gray created a wonderful diagram to describe the process which we modified slightly.

3 Steps to Improved Speed and Agility

Make Connections
Plan for Execution
Execute and Learn
Step 1:
connect people to the best processes, knowledge and tools available, making operational knowledge visible and accessible.
Step 2:
collaborate to create simple clear and executable plans and publish them to your Global Performance System for deployment.
Step 3:
harvest innovation and lessons learned and feed them back into the planning process.

Leonardo da Vinci on Simplicity

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."