The Culture of Execution…..Episode #2

Reference my last post on the culture of execution, today I continue my second episode on the subject.

As I mentioned before, one of the interesting parts in the book is where they mentioned real life examples on how lack of execution culture kills the operation. You’ll be amazed to see how big names failed to achieve their targets.

The first example I’ll summarize here is Xerox.  It is mentioned in the book that in 1997 a new COO was hired at Xerox, who was later promoted to CEO in 1999.  What he started by doing is transform Xerox from a products and services company into a solution provider.  So he added the software side along with the hardware side. He did two things that really harmed the organization.  First, he cut down the 90-something administration centers, handling accounting, billing and customer services to only FOUR!

Second, he shifted the focus of all 30,000 salesmen from hardware to solution providing and from geographical focus to industrial focus.

Launching those two big changes together at the same time was as mentioned in the book “Execution error”. He was not directly connected to the people, hence he did not notice that his two new shifts caused:

  1. The loss of orders
  2. Service calls unanswered
  3. Invoices extremely delayed and stacked-up
  4. Sales representatives spent most of their time trying to adapt to the new strategy and clear out the mess caused by reducing the customer service centers.
  5. Morale dropped
  6. Cash flow was extremely affected
  7. Investors began to worry

He did not either make sure that the operation and core process of the organization were strong enough to handle the change, and he did not make sure that he appointed the right people in the right place to execute the change.

This is an obvious example of how lack of the true culture of execution can be harmful.  The good thing is he was fired.  Something that we never hear in Egypt, Firing the CEO! Usually what happens here is decision makers go to the smallest employee in the hierarchy and lay the blame on him for not executing properly.  But what big organizations do is fire the CEO who failed to carry his plans to success.



2 thoughts on “The Culture of Execution…..Episode #2

  1. Thank you for sharing your valuable readings with us and waiting for more.
    On the other hand, I totally agree with you on the wide misunderstanding among Egyptian managers regarding the concept of execution.

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