Some people are really good on the innovation side but not so good on the execution side.  And I was working recently with a team of senior managers and they were reporting actually to a chief information officer, a CIO.  

That CIO was trying to figure out which of my team members would be most qualified to take my job in the future.  And one of those was super strong on the innovation side but not quite strong enough on the execution side.  And when they discovered that, the first piece was to have a conversation with the boss about why is my execution skill low enough that it’s creating some potential problems for my promotion and how could I then demonstrate to you that I’m doing it better.  

And so they actually plotted out a plan that that individual could rely on on a day to day basis to get better at some of these basic follow-through skills.  And a lot of it was around paying more attention to details and actually getting things done.  And over the course of time with the boss or the manager being supportive of this change going on, that individual was able to move from super focused innovator to a little more execution and be in a position where they indeed could be promoted to that more senior executive role. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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