Strategy is nothing without execution

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

The difference between a wild success and a novel failure is the ability to execute against strategy. In many cases, even if the strategy is flawed, the organization that executes best, wins. I’ve read this so many times that it’s almost become a cliché.

The mechanics of strategic execution is what I’m interested in. And it turns out it’s not that complicated. Ultimately it consists of three simple concepts.

  1. Alignment
    This is where a solid strategy comes into play. If everyone is marching in different directions nothing gets accomplished. Set your goals and get everyone working towards them.
  2. Transparency
    People need to collaborate, stay informed and understand what others are working on. Without transparency you get waste, lots of duplicate effort and even more frustration.
  3. Accountability
    Everyone needs to know what’s expected of them. This means making sure they follow through on what they say, and they know how success will be measured.

Putting it to practice

Taking these three concepts and putting them into practice should be simple and straightforward. For successful execution, everyone has to participate and feel empowered.

  1. Define and communicate the goals & objectives. Make sure they are clearly communicated and that teams and individuals can expand on them and make them their own.
  2. Capture and track the metrics & KPIs. Once the goals have been identified, use metrics to track progress and set your targets to determine success.
  3. Coordinate and manage all the business activity. Marry the goals and metrics to the action plans necessary to realize success.

As a summary, remember: Goals – Metrics – Action Plans

We’ve put this to practice at Shibumi and have done some pretty incredible things.

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It’s a New Year: Setting and Keeping Goals

Posted on December 30, 2013 by Mark DiGirolamo

2014It’s that time of year.  We reflect upon our accomplishments and sometimes, disappointments of the year behind us. We look to the future filled with hope and optimism as we set new goals and resolutions, and make promises-to-ourselves of how we’ll achieve them.  We do this personally, professionally and organizationally.  But what is the key to achieving the goals we set?

A Dominican University study by Dr. Gail Matthews found that there are three key elements to successful goal setting—accountability, commitment and writing down one’s goals. The study involved randomly assigning participants into five groups:

  • Group 1 – deeply analyzed their goals and the resources they had to accomplish them.
  • Group 2 – wrote down their goals after the deep analysis.
  • Group 3 – set action commitments after writing down their goals.
  • Group 4 – did all of the above and shared them with a friend.
  • Group 5 – did all of the above and sent a weekly progress report to their friend.


At the end of the study, Dr. Matthews interviewed the participants and as you might have guessed, Group 5 did the best.  In fact, an average of 76% of participants in Group 5 completed their stated goals versus 43% in Group 1.

We believe that the same principles should be applied to organizations looking to achieve their goals.  With Shibumi, defining your goals is simple; setting performance targets to track progress is a snap; and building plans to get you there can be done with a few clicks.

To learn more about Goal Setting in Shibumi watch this quick video – make 2014 the year you achieve your goals – it’s easy to get started.

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