A question I’ve seen appear frequently in coaching is the transformation of a plan into its execution.
It’s nothing that will be easy nor something that will always be accessible. Even less so, if execution is confused with achieving the desired result.
The execution is the journey. The result is where one arrives.
A question that always will arise is how much planning is needed to be able to implement the execution.
The only easy answer available is: “It depends.”
It is where a third variable comes into play, and that’s practice.
I’m using practice instead of competence, as execution requires more than its related intellectual competence. And what I mean by practice is the experience gained based on training the skills needed and the experience gained through execution of these skills.
Taking sports as an example, it becomes evident that some allow for much more planning than others. Some also need more planning than others. And the practice some sports need will be much less connected to the execution than for others.
Basketball or soccer for example are fast games. One may plan a winning move, but it usually will have to be reviewed once the first player has played the ball. But as the ball continues to move, there is no time to plan in between. All that can happen is execution, that is where practice will be so important.
Golf is much slower, and it is a game where it is not allowed to interfere with a moving ball. Thus, any stroke can be planned. And it needs planning, as where the ball lies in relationship to the hole will always be unique and requires a specific execution. Beyond this, trying does not have much place in golf, that is because every shot changes the score. Which is unique to golf. Tennis for example will allow an infinite number of strokes and focus on the players’ ability to reach a ball and keep it in the field.
In organizations, the amount of planning will depend on the type of organization and the type of market. Reaching execution will depend on how much practice all those involved in execution need. They’ll know based on figuring out how their own planning and execution can happen.