Freshly brewed from business schools, most corporate beginners consider themselves to be wearing some kind of CXOs hat. They love to talk languages of board rooms like perspective, paradigm shift, strategic intent, laddering, top-down/bottom-up, collaborations, synergy, etc. without actually knowing the practical implications. With the waning of the honey moon period as time flies and when the rubber began to really hit the hard tarmac, they began to loath such fully loaded words because they realized that those are stratospheric level which is not required when you’re just limited to the atmospheric level.
I still remember in my first year as corporate freshers, how I send a proposal to our VP-Marketing on how to change the brand positioning of one of our promising brand. You know, things like what should be the tag line, what the ads should look like, et al, when in reality there were armies of managers between him and me sweating out day-in, day-out trying to make the brand a mega deal.
In retrospect and after spending a decade in consumer business, I understand why my mail would have be treated as another junk mail because stuffs like “brand positioning” requires in-depth understanding of consumer nature, consumer behavior of the target segment, the competitive landscape, the organization goal, regulatory environment and so on and so forth. In one of our recent review, during a quick ping-pong on one of our product proposal, our COO commented saying that such decisions have to be taken mostly by gut, but the question is whose gut? This kind of reinforced the fact that ideas are plenty but the right to realization lies with few and which I think is very frank yet factual which young executives needs to understand… It’s fine, I was naïve and full of only enthusiasm and I’m sure my VP – Marketing would have taken in the same spirit.
Through years of being not listened and only being delegated to execute, somewhere you are forced to realize that in any organization functioning (work or non-work) it is not just about ideas or innovative thoughts, rather it’s more of execution and less of ideating and lip services. The strength of an idea doesn’t lie in the depth of the thoughts; rather it is in the excellence and efficacy of the execution. To put it simple – What good is a noble thought of leading a healthier life through practicing yoga in the morning when you continue to be a late riser?
Until we execute those ideas or thoughts, which pass by in our day to day life, we continue STATUS QUO because there is no value addition to our system. As a superior species, human being inherently wants progress or value addition every time and everywhere. Hence we stereotypically use lines like “change for the better” or the universal banter “he/she is such a big mouth” which we loathe to death. It is for that same reason that politicians are smudges to wall by anyone (small or big, young or old) anytime like those horrific pans stains available in any walls in India for the simple reason that they don’t execute what they say. I mean, they are fully loaded on manifestos before elections and which continues to remain manifestos even long after they are dislodged from their seats. Hence, Modi and Nitish is hailed as crusaders for progressive India because they execute developmental works which is tangibly available for anyone to see (putting aside their individual self).
On a lateral spin, let’s try to bring the world famous story of “the hare and the tortoise” into this conundrum. While the story composer wrote it from the perspective of “slow and steady wins the race”, however it does have some connotation on execution…HOW? Because, the concept of being fast continues to remain a concept with the hare as it fails to execute the task at hand, which is finishing the race, while the slow tortoise industriously took every single step that was required to complete the race irrespective of how slow it moves. I’m sure, in the evening over a pitcher; the hare would have bitched like crazy on how the obese tortoise doesn’t deserve to win or how it can run 100 times faster than the immovable tortoise. But the fact is the result is already declared and there is nothing much the bitchy hare can really do.
Therefore the adage “action speaks louder than words” should be extended to “execution shouts louder than idea”.
Thou shall absolve and pledge to execute…For an idea, if it remains an idea is not worth an idea becsue idea is the most available and cheapest commodity in this planet.