Daniel DiSano's Blog
Culture, Execution, and Accountability
When articles used to discuss culture, many business leaders would consider it frilly and the soft side of business (in business school, we called it the “soft stuff”). Today, it is generally accepted that having a positive culture that works for your organization (because by definition no two cultures are exactly the same – there always exist different dynamics) is critical to your company’s success. Vision and strategy are incredibly important but without a culture that works, the best strategies can fail.
I believe business success is driven by a few key variables, none of which is more important than execution. You can devise a sound and inspiring vision and an intelligent and robust strategy, yet without the right execution, these visions will be mere words and strategies will die on the vine. The combination of culture and execution is what truly drives success. If you have a culture of execution (and again, what you’re executing upon will be different based on your charge, behaviors and principles), you will have the best opportunity to meet your organization’s objectives and most likely have fun in the process. Don’t discount happiness, as I’m a believer that in general the more excited, interested, passionate and yes, happy, your team is, the more productive your organization will be (though I have seen a few exceptions to this rule).
Yet there is one other aspect that I have witnessed first-hand that can greatly help drive your culture and execution, and that is accountability. Organizations can vary how they parse accountability (by person, team, company, combinations thereof), but having real ownership and accountability over an area, work flow, process, system, project (whatever it may be) can provide the necessary empowerment and measured results to assist in execution. I have seen organizations with lack of accountability have real issues with driving results because teammates can flounder and are simply lost. The best organizations seem to have a strong yet simple vision, excellent strategy and objectives, a real culture of execution with teammate accountability and empowerment, and often have fun in the journey.