Birmingham, was kind to me last week. After almost 10 years, I was back for the annual Public Sector Communications Academy. I felt a vibrancy that sucked me in. Although under construction, Brum has a charm that I still need to dance with so I’m elated that I am going back up in a few months for the Unawards.
It was the last stop as conference season comes to an end. I’ve had an intense, but fruitful two months of learning, reflection and networking. It’s now back to business, although for me learning never stops. It would be foolish of me to ever think that I have arrived at the pinnacle of knowledge regardless of what expertise I gain in the future.
Although I tend to blog about what has changed after a period of time, rather than my takeaways. There was something that has been intriguing me for a while and niggling, so when it came up again, I thought I should have a little stab at it. Execution.
“To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” Steve Jobs
You must have noticed like me that we don’t get dressed up, smack a bit of lippy on and go to award ceremonies to honour ideas. But instead, we toast the result of those ideas being turned into living breathing campaigns, products or businesses.
I have over the years met people who are great at developing thoughts, but fail at the only stage that counts. The implementation. There is a reason why execution is worshipped. Not least because it requires planning and work. It is the lights, camera, action moment where one performs to the crowd, screening their skills and if they are lucky to have it, talent.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, is what we have all heard.
Having been a journalist I know the power of ideas. I’ve spent countless hours in meetings mulling over editorial content and brainstorming, something I still do at a smaller scale. So I know the value of being an ideas machine.
Being able to bring this into to corporate communications where I’ve found my stride has served me well. But I‘m obsessed with a comms plan and seeing tasks to the end objectively. My love affair with ideas will never end, it's just that I need to know what we are working towards and see it through. Whether that plan uses the OASIS model or a different structure. I need to understand what message I am communicating, my audience, my channels and ultimately the goal. I will, of course, need the tools to execute effectively. But ultimately having a cute idea floating around in my head or in an email is frustrating if I can’t do anything with it. I should add a disclaimer here that I rarely play it safe, but am somewhat of a rebel who pushes the bounds creatively within reason to achieve the results desired.
“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution.” Naveen Jain