Can your business achieve the results you need to survive?

Read Time 1 ½ minutes. Executive Briefing #14 by Jeffrey D. Cullen

Plan for Results

When I was a kid my father would often tell me that 'effort was all that really mattered'. While I think that was his way of trying to motivate a boy who could sometimes dog it a little, my experience has taught me that results are what really matter in the end.

If you live in Alberta (or in a time and place that is facing the same kind of massive economic challenges as we are), you know that when economic realities downshift so dramatically, working harder in the same old way (more effort) is simply not enough. To quote Murray Edwards, the Chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, "I think... only those that are going to be in the top of the class in execution are going to be able to survive in this environment".

This ability to execute successfully means an organization and its management team have the ability to deliver results. They deliver results that are measurable, predictable and repeatable. They produce results that increase the bottom line (even when the market is down).

Too many of the organizations I've seen firsthand depend on brute force, blind luck and (worst of all) external conditions for their success or failure. They are perpetually riding a wave of results they don't control.

Others try to react to changing conditions, but fail to implement the strategies and tactics they need to survive. In other words they cannot produce the results they want.

Those organizations that can deliver desired results do so because they have successfully developed and implemented a small number of key steps that are carried out consistently:

– They create the right roles and fill them with the right people

– They ensure everyone has goals that directly support the organization’s main objectives

– They measure the things that lead to future success

– They create a culture of mutual accountability (for bosses too) to constantly move forward

– They invest time and resources on tasks beyond the day-to-day running of the business

Most importantly, they do these things within a formal system, consistently applied throughout their organizations.

Do efforts count? Yes, but only when applied and directed through an effective system of execution that yields desired results. Otherwise, it will frequently all be for nothing (Sorry, Dad).

Jeffrey Cullen, and his partner Stephen Steckly, are Edmonton based professionals who work with established private sector business owners to achieve better results. You can learn more about their work at or by phoning Jeff directly at (780) 469-3535.

Download a printable version of this executive summary here.

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