Why Business Plans and Execution Goes Wrong

Why Business Plans and Execution Goes Wrong.


I was reading a business blog on the Harvard Business Review with the title “What Inexperienced Leaders Get Wrong – (Hint: Management)”.

It was an interesting article and there were several poignant areas. I like this writer and she brings some serious credentials. But something told me that within all this corporate-speak, there is a missing element, the element of simplicity.

Her blog says “Good management is a series of well thought-through actions including phases, communications, checkpoints, customer-impact-testing, metrics, contingencies, and feedback loops, designed to produce specified results on time and on budget, based on known circumstances. Where circumstances are unknown, as with innovations, then good management proceeds in a series of pilot tests, rehearsals, or rapid prototypes, in which early feedback at a small scale improves later execution at a bigger scale.”

My take is titled “ The Military Business Plan And Execution”

Rosabeth Moss Canter’s interpretation is fine and I think she brings up some good points about management, but in my experience, I have found too many ways to fail in business.

Operating amongst high functioning teams in the military comes down to the plan, and the execution.

In the military, if you have too many directives, the plan fails and if the execution of just one person on the team is sub-par, there are deadly consequences.  I am not talking about someone not getting their $2 Million bonus that year…

A military plan, (good or bad) is designed this way:

It starts with a simple and clear result or outcome – best-case scenario and worse case scenario are defined.

Whoever has the expertise takes the lead. Not always the highest-ranking officer or NCO. For example, if the scenario was a Combat medical evacuation the team medic may lead the evolution.

From there, task leads are assigned based on the needs of the operation that could incorporate., Security, Medical, Flight, Logistics and Communications etc. Each subset are sent away to formulate tactical evolution points to address.

We come back together and review all tactical plans and work together until everyone agrees and knows each other’s roles and responsibilities backwards and forwards.

There is no ego and all feedback is not only encouraged, but also demanded.

Then we drill. This means practice, practice and practice. We hone our movements over and over until it becomes second nature. We practice what to do in every contingency. Then we address what happens when things turn into a state of “FUBAR’ (imagine the acronym). That is when our training comes into play. We adapt and overcome.

When all components of the outline above been met, then and only then the plan is ready for execution.


Why am I rambling about the military approach?


I think that today many businesses, especially the bigger businesses fail to keep the overall goal as their focus. They do not keep it simple and focus on execution. They add to many steps and do not focus on using the right people for the job. Often companies overthink and under execute their plan. There are too many people that are looking for individual credit.

K.I.S.S. is one of our philosophies at Rogue Consulting Group. Have a better plan than your competition, execute better than your competition and realize that your competition is outside your four walls not within.

Simple plan, perfect execution with the right people is the key to success. Don’t make it more difficult than that!

We at Rogue Consulting Group are committed to helping your business (no matter the size) operate with military efficiency. We help build a system that relies on the quality of the people within the team focused on your company’s vision.

Give us a call and we’ll help your company reach new heights while instilling the warrior spirit and camaraderie within your organization.


Reach us at team@rogueconsultinggroup.com or at 303-947-5389, or check out our website at www.rogueconsultinggroup.com

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