What makes for business success? What does a company do to become, and remain, successful?
This is the challenging question of our era. And it is not as easy as it looks. The very best business books seem to have great advice, but many of the companies they hold out as exemplars are having tough times. In just the last few months, two such companies (highlighted in whopping business best sellers) have had significant failures: Fannie Mae, and Circuit City (which announced bankruptcy just yesterday).
One path taken by increasing numbers of business leaders is the path of seeking constant improvement. From the book which I chose for the November First Friday Book Synopsis (Six Disciplines Execution Revolution: Solving the One Business Problem that Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier by Gary Harpst), we learn that one way to stay on top is to keep current on the latest business thinking — to read books that will help you develop your strategy and focus on execution. Here is a key quote from this useful book: “A final argument that execution is business’ biggest challenge is the growth of the business improvement industry itself. As business leaders, we’re voracious seekers of business improvement ideas in the form of conferences, books, blogs, and training. We want our performance to be better, and we know it should be better.”
At the First Friday Book Synopsis, Karl Krayer and I do our best to choose book titles that will help with this challenge. But our part is simple. We provide people with the best ideas from the best business books. Whether you get your ideas from our presentations of the books, or you actually read the books yourself, the next step is completely in your hands: you have to implement what you learn. If you do, then you have actually learned. If you don’t, then you have not yet learned. To learn is to then do — and when there is no doing, there has been no learning.
But, as the author states, no one step is enough. Here is another key quote: “None of the components alone is sufficient. Consulting by itself, coaching by itself, software by itself, books, frameworks, methodologies – none of them by themselves will produce a fraction of the potential.”
Keep learning — and keep refining your strategy — and keep executing your strategy.!