Monday, July 13, 2009


tompeters! TIMES tompeters! TIMES
join the fray tompeters! tompeterscompany!
tom's latest observation
· Happiness In Execution
· Execution and Excellence
· Tom's Blogs on Execution
· Tom's PPTs on Execution
Email marketing by SubscriberMail
Tom Peters Times -- July 2009
Happiness In Execution
Happiness In Execution
Great talent finds happiness in execution. -- Goethe

The great teams I know are action obsessed. They have the ambition, the aspiration, the dream, but they also know how to deliver. Without execution, ambition can only take you so far. This is true of any great team, whether an executive board, a town council, a day care staff or ... a rock & roll band.

Now, most people don't think of rock bands as execution-oriented paragons of productivity. In fact some bands brag about their lack-of-work ethic. In the rock classic "Taking Care of Business," Bachman-Turner Overdrive sing "We love to work at nothing all day." But this is just part of the charming mythology of rock & roll--a wonderful narrative of pop hedonism. The reality is a bit different.

Earlier in my career, as a rock musician, I played alongside a lot of good bands, from Cream to the Grateful Dead to Sly & the Family Stone. I NEVER knew a good band that didn't have both ambition and the ability to execute. I never knew a good band that didn't invest significant time in rehearsing & performing in pursuit of their dream--whether to have #1 songs or be masters of their musical craft. In their own way, they were always "taking care of business."

This was especially true of the signature rock bands of the 1960s: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys. The sheer hard work that these bands demonstrated in their early years is the unwritten story of their success. In their heyday, each of these bands released at least 2 to 3 albums of new material a year while conducting trans-continental tours. In 1964 the Stones recorded more than 50 separate songs while touring. In a little over two years the Beach Boys released 7 albums of new original material.

The Beatles were downright workaholic in their recording habits, frequently staying up all night and sometimes sleeping overnight in the studio, in order to hit product deadlines. In fact, their first great album, Rubber Soul, might qualify as a true WOW! Project. Fresh off a grueling U.S. tour, the Beatles in October 1965 had 30 days to write and record over a dozen new songs for their next album. But they also were restless to break new creative ground. So under corporate-imposed time-to-market pressure and self-imposed artistic pressure the Beatles wrote and recorded 14 high-quality tracks for Rubber Soul. Many of these songs stand out as pop classics 43 years later, with exceptionally innovative melodies and lyrics, aided by unusual--for rock & roll--instrumentation (e.g., the sitar in "Norwegian Wood," the harpsichord effect in "In My Life"). In the same month the band even managed to knock off two additional songs that became a double-sided hit single: "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper." Not bad for a month's work. If this isn't WOW! execution, I'm not sure what is.

Within a year the Beatles retired from touring, but increased their recording hours. They would routinely record songs dozens of different ways to get the specific result they wanted. Whether you call it trial and error, fail fast, or action learning, they just kept at it. One Beatle song, "I Will," was recorded 65 times! (Not exactly "working at nothing all day.")

Yet other top bands have similar stories. I lived briefly with the Grateful Dead and they were ALWAYS rehearsing or jamming--and sometimes performing live for four hours at a time.

What's remarkable is you don't hear of these "rock & roll teams" burning out from overwork or stress. These bands love the work and they feed on the pressure, in good or bad times. It's a GAME to them. It's PLAY--and serious play at that. This is what mainstream business can use more of: teams of people who have ambition and a love of execution.

There are, of course, famous examples of such business teams. The Apple Macintosh team in the 1980s is just one example; under the tutelage of Steve Jobs they set out to "make a dent in the universe" by building an "insanely great" computer. Despite huge technical obstacles and impossible deadlines they delivered--and in the process revolutionized personal computing.

This ambition plus execution is what we need from our teams, large and small--in our businesses, governments, schools, and non profits--to produce real value in a ridiculously challenging economic environment. And the great rock bands may have something to teach us.

John O'Leary
U.S. Facilitator and Speaker
Blog: BusinessLessonsFromRock

Back to top

Execution and Excellence
Execution and Excellence
The Excellence movement has stayed fresh for a quarter of a century and three generations of managers. Excellence as a hot topic in business circles has survived globalization, automation, the white-collar revolution, the Internet, at least three major economic downturns, and new ideas from a countless series of one-hit-wonder business gurus. But why is that? Opinions will vary.

I find myself agreeing with a recent correspondent at Tom's blog who said "The totemic words in TP's first two book titles were not Excellence, but Search and Passion." It is the emotive words, like Search and Passion, and Pursuit, Remorseless, Revolution, Energy, Enthusiasm, Bias for Action, Wow! Awesome, Freak, Dream, Love, Speed ... that embody what the Excellence movement is about. I expect many TP Times readers will have their favourite hot words to add to this list.

John O'Leary's article above is a timely reminder of the link between Execution and Excellence. Excellence is a bold ambition, but the evidence of excellence is seen in what people do--today, tomorrow and the next day. This daily challenge is what keeps excellence as relevant today as it was back in 1982.

If you are keen to take a healthcheck on how your team is doing on the topic of Execution, take a look at our free sampler from TPC's Excellence Audit™. These selected statements give you a structure against which you can assess your team and make action plans.

See below other Tom Peters resources that may further whet your appetite on Excellence in Execution and give you action ideas for your own team.

Richard King
Managing Partner, UK
Consultant, Non Exec Director, Facilitator

Back to top

Tom's Blogs on Execution

Execution is Strategy. -- Fred Malek

If you look at the Execution category on tompeters.com, you'll find lots of blogs by Tom on the subject. Below are those we think you might find particularly useful:

Percy's Gang of 125: How Curved Is the Earth??? It's A Small World, After All ???, and a PPT that was posted with this blog: The Getting Things Done MBA

See How Simple What You Cannot Do Is

Tom Topic #1

First Things First! Period!

Finally, Tom's blog post about the book Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan is from January 2006, but that book is the quintessential resource on the subject, and the blog bears revisiting.

Back to top

Tom's PPTs on Execution

Excellence in Execution frequently crops up as a theme in Tom's presentations, so there are myriad PPTs to choose from at our website. The Action Master encompasses all of them. Tom designed a PPT in November 2008, just when the economy tanked, with his proposals for surviving economic uncertainty. Now that signs of recovery are beginning to surface, Tom's Advice for Tough Times, Win with the Two E's: Execution, Excellence is an essential read.

Back to top


Subscribe at http://www.tompeters.com/your_world/join_the_fray/

(C) 2009 tompeters!company

Difundan libremente  este artículo
Rodrigo González Fernández
Diplomado en "Responsabilidad Social Empresarial" de la ONU
Diplomado en "Gestión del Conocimiento" de la ONU
Oficina: Renato Sánchez 3586 of. 10
Teléfono: OF .02- 2451113 y  8854223- CEL: 76850061
e-mail: rogofe47@mi.cl
Santiago- Chile
Soliciten nuestros cursos de capacitación  y consultoría en LIDERAZGO -  GESTION DEL CONOCIMIENTO - RESPONSABILIDAD SOCIAL EMPRESARIAL – LOBBY – ENERGIAS RENOVABLES   ,  asesorías a nivel nacional e  internacional y están disponibles  para OTEC Y OTIC en Chile

No comments: