This is one of my favorite quips from Rob Solomon who is on the Board of Mpire and who's a successful business leader in his own right.
It is easy to have lots of ideas, lots of data, and lots of tactical make-work but I think its actually harder to be specific about focusing on the right things. Several posts that I have done in the past on the StartupWhispererTM always seem to pop into the forefront of my mind. Particularly, as a I talk to new companies both big and small around execution. I am always surprised at how many strategic planning decks that I see either have way too many strategies in them and/or unclear business objectives. It always seems like the most obvious thing in the world to focus on fewer things in order to be successful. But, alas it is actually more difficult to winnow down your operating plan to a specific number of plays.
You need to write down your operating plan. Check out this post for more detail on that. You need to review your operating plan every quarter. Decide if you are on the right path and assess if conditions have changed. Write down everything related to the progress of your operating plan daily and weekly. Frame these updates throughout your organization in your scorecard and MBOs. Optionally is often
the enemy of execution. You'll know if you are not planning appropriately when your planning slide decks have the same initiatives in them from the previous year.