Introduction to Execution

“Vision without execution is hallucination”
– Thomas Edison (or someone else)

Your operating system starts with and builds on your organization’s foundational materials.

Foundational materials define your organization. They include some combination of a vision, mission, strategy, values, and culture. After you have your foundational materials, you’re ready to plan.

Planning is how you turn your foundational materials into measurable goals, a prioritized to do list, and project plans, to achieve the next level of specificity of the Operating System and maximize your likelihood of success.

After you’ve got your foundational materials and plan, you’re ready to execute.

As Fred Wilson (and nearly anyone you ask in the startup world) will tell you, “Execution Matters, Ideas Don’t“. Why have a vision if can’t achieve it?

Execution is the difference between success and failure.

Everyone has ideas. Few can execute. You’re better off having great execution and the wrong idea because with great execution you can learn and iterate on your vision as part of the execution. On the other hand, a great vision without execution will get you nowhere.

The execution part of your Operating System has different parts. Some common parts are:

All parts of execution should build on the foundational materials and the plan. Planning and execution will also overlap because planning is never completely over and while you’re executing you should be updating your plan.

Hope this is helpful. Please share and give feedback!


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