Five Sequential Facets of Effective Execution: Integrating Events, Outcomes, Results and Accomplishments, and Actualization

Visionary execution is what sets out a leader from others. Execution is a complex value chain starting with goals and ending with fulfilled delivery. Most leaders see a high-performance culture in their organizations as an enabler for effective execution. That may be a necessary condition but not a sufficient one. Some others see their own personal productivity as a key driver of effective execution. Again, it may be an inspiring factor but not a sufficient one. Most boards believe that linking rewards to individual, group, and company performance would motivate people appreciate the value of performance. This helps but not without some rancour of comparisons. Effective execution, like quality and safety, is a behavioural state.

A leader's ability to mentor his organization on the various stages of execution is an important condition for setting in place a natural and inclusive performance culture for the company as a whole. From establishing critical, top-priority goals in focus to guiding the team on a journey that extrapolates from actions, outcomes to results, accomplishments, and finally fulfilments is the essence of effective execution. Even institutions derive actualization through effective execution. See the author's blog post "Institutional Actualization: The 5A Process of Virtuosity", Strategy Musings, May 19, 2013 ( There is a clear need for more contributions on effective execution practices in management and leadership literature.

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Supply Chain in Contemporary Organizations: Conceptually Connected but Practically Disconnected?

Supply chain is an effective enterprise connector. The supply chain educational stream needs to be on par with other established streams such as financial management, operations management, or marketing management. It is a multidomain skill set with blend of technology and nontechnology subjects, and quantitative and behavioural subjects. Career options vary, from foundational careers to rotational careers across all the functions of supply chain such as sourcing, vendor development, purchase, production, production planning and inventory control (PPIC), scheduling, warehouse management, supply, distribution, logistics, and delivery, eventually leading on to the top job as the head of supply chain, and even to higher positions thereafter.

The repositioned role of supply chain would be one of developing a total organizational ecosystem of all the vendors and input providers who understand and support the value chain of the organization with ownership and oneness so that the firm and its stakeholders can collaboratively participate in the combined prosperity. The head of supply chain in this repositioned supply chain function would be a strategic leader who understands the techno-commercial needs of not only the firm which delivers the outputs but also the various vendors who provide the inputs. He or she would also be a leader of balance who understands the benefits of scale economics but also recognizes the need for risk mitigation, both through demand and supply assurance, to and from the vendors.

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Total Factor Productivity: A Two-Dimensional Matrix

Total Factor Productivity (TFP) is an important concept in economics. It connotes the fact that factors other than capital and labour contribute to the output of an economic system. TFP is the portion of output not explained by the amounts of inputs used in production. As such, its level is determined by the amount of inputs used in production, and by how efficiently and intensely the inputs are utilized in production. TFP growth is usually measured by the Solow Residual. An equation of Cobb–Douglas form is used to explain total output as a function of TFP and the capital and labour productivity. While some economists believe that TFP is a key driver of economic growth, others believe that it is subject to annual variations and suffers from imperfect measurements.

Most productivity departments in firms are confined to the shop floor as industrial engineering or productivity improvement departments. More recently, operational excellence has come up as a more contemporary nomenclature. Yet, a preoccupation with manufacturing remains the unchanged focus. Productivity is a much more comprehensive concept covering the total value chain with multiple factors in each stage of the matrix. The TFP department needs larger organizational appreciation and leadership commitment. Economists are rightly intrigued to capture what is not covered in TFP; industrialists, businessmen and administrators must begin to get intrigued about what is yet to be covered for measurement of total productivity in a firm.

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