I'm Great at Ideas. It's Execution That ...

Written by Linda Rolf on 3/11/2020 and updated 3/11/2020

I asked a long-time client and company leader recently what his biggest obstacle was, and his answer sounded all too familiar. I have a lot of ideas. I'm just not great at execution." As we continued the conversation, he pinpointed the reason for his execution shortcomings. "I don't have a project champion to help me."

Aha. There it is.

Ideas range from vague thoughts to clearly-defined opportunities. The outcome of any new initiative, regardless of its strategic value, is uncertain. As company leaders, the decision to act is complex. To our team "let's do it" seems like a no-brainer, feeding our indecision and nibbling at our confidence.

How we put ideas into motion is influenced by many real or perceived obstacles like:

• CEO's bandwidth
• a lack of time
• financial resources
• the right people
• daily commitments
• other strategic priorities
• customers
• internal infrastructure
• research and information
• fear

You are probably mentally adding to this list. Let's all agree that reluctance to implement even the best idea is understandable and maybe justified.

Technology Strategy is an Ongoing Opportunity

As our organizations mature and grow, the technology and operational infrastructure we build becomes increasingly more tightly bound and complex. Technology decisions that made sense just last week are already replaced by quicker, faster, cheaper, cooler, shinier, better.

If your company has some history behind it, then you have a collection of software, apps, and technologies that serve your day-to-day operations. It's likely that their usefulness and your satisfaction aren't what they used to be.

How do you confidently introduce yet another service, product, tool or technology into a complex, slightly messy framework?

The Quiet Rise of Shadow IT

The ease of acquiring new technologies and tools is a double-edged sword. When there is a clear technology strategy that everyone in the company understands and adopts, convenience improves execution.

However, the lack of a thoughtfully constructed technology plan creates a cobbled-together, unscalable infrastructure. Anyone in the organization with internet access and possibly a credit card can easily find and adopt a solution that makes his daily work a little easier.

Companies encourage innovation, initiative, and efficiency. Without a company-wide technology plan these same qualities quickly lead to workflow gaps, technology silos, data duplication and loss of integrity, and operational redundancy.

Are your company's existing technologies contributing to your growth or standing in the way?

CIO-CTO Project Champion Joins Your Team

How does your growing company create this essential technology plan?

Companies of all sizes and stages are discovering the answer in their new outsourced CIO-CTO. Once considered the privilege (and expensive overhead) reserved for large organizations, SMBs today are wisely adopting this key role in their companies. The roles of CIO and CTO are different although they can overlap. For an SMB we believe that a combined role best serves the company both internally and externally.

An experienced CIO-CTO brings the unique mix of business and technology expertise to your company. This valuable perspective means she can often uncover potential opportunities that might easily be overlooked. She is a dot connector. She puts those great ideas into context, manages the obstacles, and leads the successful execution with you.

Forward-thinking SMB leaders understand the importance of a disciplined approach to technology. Integrating deep and broad technology CIO-CTO experience into your organization is essential in today's competitive business landscape.

Collaborator Not Salesperson

Unlike a third-party solution provider, your CIO-CTO sits beside you at the decision table. She is your trusted collaborative partner. She values the investments you have made and respects the decisions behind them. Her default approach is to preserve and leverage your existing assets rather than immediately replace them.

Your strategic technology partner will help you identify the solutions that will contribute to your growth as well as those that are hindering progress. Together you can create a growth strategy roadmap that will continually evolve with your company.

The good news for SMBs is you can tailor an outsourced CIO-CTO trusted partner role to your unique current and future needs.

And yes, the right ideas will find a place in the plan. Those not so great ideas can be confidently forgotten.

You will become great at execution.

Tags: Technology Strategy

Linda Rolf is a lifelong curious learner. She is passionate about discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process.

For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients' trusted advisor and strategic partner. They actively contribute to each client's success through mutual collaboration, thoughtful business analysis, enterprise software development, technology integration, database design and management, opportunity discovery, business growth strategy, and marketing initiatives.

They believe that lasting value and trust are created through continuously listening, sharing knowledge freely and delivering more than their clients even know they need.

As the CIO of their first startup client said, "The value that Quest brings to Cotton States is far greater than the software they develop."

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