The answer lies in execution

The most sought after person in whatever field in our competitive world is a man or woman who has mastered the art and science of execution.

Shareholders and employers will bend their backs and literally spread the proverbial red carpet for such an individual.

The thing about execution, which is very simple and straight forward is results; making sure that things are done and done exceptionally well within time, within budget and most importantly, meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations. I mean, who does not need the triple bottom line?

Such individuals leave behind permanent signatures on whatever they do. We learn from them and try to follow in their footsteps with the hope of ‘getting there’.

That execution, which is only for the business sector, does not wash away. Both the business and public sectors should pull together if we are to develop this country further.

A non-performing public sector has the potential of strangling the business sector, even though the latter is a critical revenue earner and the biggest employer.

His Excellency the President has said it enough times that implementation must be done. Even the late Minister of Education Dr Abraham Iyambo could never finish a speech without signing off with, “Deliver, deliver and deliver!”.

Why do funds return to the treasury? Why do we end up with strategic plans, or turn-around strategies, often crafted by some consultants [with vested interests]?

Talking of strategies and the dependence on consultants - valuable as they may be due to their depth of character and wealth of experience - are they Namibian in character?

Neville Isdell, the former Coca Cola CEO and author of “Inside Coca Cola”, was once faced with a crisis. So he summoned his senior managers to a meeting. The meeting typically consisted of those whom everyone would point to from all directions for solutions.

He then locked up all of them in a hotel room and told them the answers to bail out the company had to come from them and it worked! Why? Because home-grown strategic plans create, among others, ownership and minimises blame games.

But wait a minute; execution is not just a buzz word to make you sound intelligent or knowledgeable. How many of our people talk about Vision 2030, or NDP4 just to sound politically correct while deep inside their hearts, they have other ideas? Those affirmations end the minute they step down the podiums. But execution is serious business.

In their book, ‘Execution’ (a must read for every caring citizen), Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan highlight three key points: Execution is a discipline and integral to strategy; execution is the major job of a business leader and execution must be a core element of the organisation.

This implies that execution is an entire process, not a piece meal technique whose impact never gets round the corner.

As I read the book, I was shocked to realise that the authors had to delve into seven building blocks of execution - know your people and your business; insist on realism; set clear goals and priorities; follow through; reward the doers; expand peoples’ capabilities and know yourself.

If all these are embraced and taken to heart, results will soon be evident to all.

We cannot wait another day. Just like topics such as ethics, leadership and more are finding their way into the curricula, so should execution. It would make a difference for the good of all.

While interviewing Namwater CEO, Dr Vaino Shivute, I beamed on his behalf for the mere fact that he is a patriotic citizen burdened by the issues of his country. The key message is, you have to work hard and move the country forward.

How I wish the same spirit that drove the liberation war heroes could engulf our hearts, so that our eyes may focus once again on the bigger picture.

It is humbling to learn that as the heavens fail to open up, the dedicated sons and daughters of this nation are already working on Plan B, to make sure the towns in the central regions do not run dry in the next 24 hours. Do not take that tap water you get around the clock for granted for someone breaks their back to keep you happy.

We look forward to engaging with you as the year inches on. Happy reading till May. PF