Execution vs. Strategy

Sriram had this wonderful quote come across my Twitter stream, “You’re not Steve Jobs and your organization is not Apple. And your well-thought out strategy is probably terrible.”

I could not agree more. We all fall in love with our ideas, especially if your in a power point filled offsite. I find this all even more amusing as I’m the Chief Strategy Officer at 125 person SaaS company. I think a better title is Chief Trouble Maker as my role is really to push us to execute on the new while driving more of what is already working. Drive little experiments and kill the failures. One of those little experiments four years ago provides 55% of our revenue today.

It will always be about execution. Not the fancy strategy deck some agency/consultancy/CSO put together. I find the hardest point is to get your team use to the fact that it is ok to skin their knees. Regularly. Weekly. We all stumble. Just do it faster. Do more of it. Do it more often so you get use to it. Get promoted for it. Nose to the grind stone, capacity to execute your roll on the team, and a little blatant disregard for what can’t be done will take you much farther. As von Moltke said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Which does not mean don’t have a plan just be ready to adapt it to the reality on the ground and not the J curve someone analysts put on a chart.