Disciplined … but Flexible

In my last post I said that “good Business Execution requires constantly balancing the push and pull between time, available resources and scope of deliverables“; at Collaborative Xceleration we refer to our approach to this as Excellent ExecutionSM, a disciplined but flexible process.

Excellent ExecutionSM requires Discipline. Discipline in defining what needs to be done, by when, by whom and with what resources. Without disciplined tactical planning, businesses and individuals can end up focusing on the wrong efforts. Of course, the tactical plans need to be built on a good strategic business plan. Good strategic and tactical plans provide business leaders with a clear understanding of what resources they need to achieve their objectives.

But Discipline only takes you so far. We cannot predict the future; as General Omar Bradley said “no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy”. Or, in the case of our businesses, the ever evolving realities of the marketplace. Your Business Execution needs to be Flexible enough to react to the changes that will inevitably happen. Flexible to change priorities and focus; Flexible to reallocate people and resources.

The interesting thing about Flexibility is that it is easier to be Flexible if you are initially Disciplined about what you are doing, and Disciplined about how you react to changes. So a key to being Flexible is to be Disciplined.

Discipline without Flexibility creates an environment where the business is left behind by the evolving marketplace. Flexibility without Discipline very soon creates chaos. The bottom line is that one without the other – Discipline and Flexibility – doesn’t work.

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