First of all, it is important to remember: “doel vóór de tool!”. Roughly translated, this means ensuring that you have your purpose, vision and direction in mind before making use of this tool. The tool should merely be a means to an end, not the end itself. Here’s how it works:
Generally, the Execute Framework can be approached from any of the 4 angles. In theory, one would start with the top pillar and then continue clockwise. However, what we see in practice is very different. Often, organizations have already partially identified and indirectly filled in slices of the framework. Then, the Booster’s task isto firstly uncover what is missing and what is already there, and thereafter to fill in the missing pieces. In this sense, the framework is somewhat of a checklist or gap analysis tool to uncover what is missing. Not only this, but the Booster should also consider what is going well and what is going less well. The framework can be filled in varyingly per organization based on the client’s needs, making it crucial to remember that there is no ‘one fix fits all’.
The Execute Framework is made up of the following pillars:
Direction and purpose are all about the organization’s ‘why’. Why do they do what they do? It gives direction and entails knowing why certain actions are taken. This pillar is also about further positioning the company, by also knowing the how and the what. Creating a clear roadmap is therefore important.
Safety and interaction form the basis for a safe environment, where individuals feel supported and it is clear as to what is expected from them. There is room tofail and room to grow. What is also important here is forming a social rhythm and extending a certain amount of predictability in order to foster the feeling of structure and safety.
Empowerment and support create clarity on the processes, roles and responsibilities within an organization. What is important here is to make sure the organization has the right people, with the right talents, in the right place. The last thing to consider is the support provided to these people. Individuals must be, as wellas feel, supported by the organization in order to learn new things.
Last but not least, decisiveness and quantification are all about DOING. This poses questions such as what actions need to be fulfilled? What does success look like?How can results be made measurable? This can be done through KPI’s and other metrics shared through dashboards, for example. Thereafter, what are the next steps based on the results and insights that have an impact on the organization’s strategy? What is then important is being able to share successes together with the team and organization.
Once all elements of the framework are worked out, then it is complete. When this is the case, it is possible to create more autonomy, direction and clarity within the organization and project. Crucial to remember is thereby that it is not the goal itself to fill in the framework. Rather, the Execute Framework should be used to identify each pillar in order to strengthen the organization’s direction, vision, strategy, and capabilities.
To exemplify how the Execute Framework is applied we take a look at three cases: APG Asset Management,Centraal Beheer and Engie. Here, again, the theoretical approach is illustrated to be different from the practical application, as the framework is approached differently per case. At APG AM, the framework was used to test each pillar to identify what it already contained and provided insights as to what was missing.Here the question primarily was, do we need to tweak anything? At CB, the framework was not introduced to the team, in order to prevent potential confusion or insecurity that the framework may have brought along. Rather, it was used by the project’s Booster personally to create a comprehensible overview. The last case at Engie exemplified the importance of scanning each ofthe pillars and evaluating how the team members perceived that current status. The framework was thereby used as a gap analysis tool, to ensure nothing was missed or forgotten.
Each case demonstrates a different approach to the framework. Nonetheless, all have the same end result, namely that the team has a solid structure and a clear vision and direction. This greatly benefits the client and ensures all team members are on the same page. The key learning from the framework and the cases is therefore that there is no‘one fix fits all’; the framework must be customized per project, and the Execute Framework can be used to provide clarity regarding the four pillars.