Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." Anton Chekhov, born this day in 1860.

"Strategy is worth nothing if you can't execute it. If you are good at execution and it isn't working you can change course until you find something that does work. And the reality in today's world is you have to adjust strategy every once in a while anyway as the market and your competition changes." Fred Tomczyk, CEO of TD Ameritrade.

From Wall Street Journal survey of CEOs on the question, "There's a philosophical debate going on in academic management circles these days about whether strategy or execution is the more important focus for a CEO. Do you have a view?" Most CEOs ducked the question.

Strategy vs execution is the question Chekhov speaks to in the above quotation. Execution is the day-to-day living, emergencies bring about a change in strategy.

That most CEOs, unlike Tomczyk, couldn’t see that strategy is useless without execution explains why business in America is such a mess today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brain storm: A violent, transient mental derangement manifested in a maniacal outburst. Popularly, any transitory agitation or confusion of mind.
1934 Edition, Webster’s Dictionary
Wall Street Journal editorial today:

Obama Should Acknowledge His Roots
(his Catholic school education)

Simply by acknowledging Catholic schools as a national treasure that should be preserved, Mr. Obama would give them a badly needed shot in the arm.

Bishops wondering about devoting so many of their scarce resources to people who are largely non-Catholic would be encouraged to work harder to keep their schools open. Business leaders who donate millions to support change in our public schools might devote at least some of these dollars to places that are already working. And good men and women who make it their mission to teach children others have given up on would be inspired to keep going.