Episode 49

Idea and its Execution – What’s the missing link?

Category :  Leadership Paradigms

In this episode with Visu, a senior consultant at the Vector Consulting Group, we explore how Vector has mastered the art of implementing ideas to perfection. We discuss the most important aspects of implementing an idea or a solution and how we overcome the challenges that come our way.

Shubham Agarwal Hello and a very warm welcome to the Counterpoint Podcast. I’m Shubham Agarwal. The world is full of new ideas. Everywhere you go, every person you meet, will have tonnes of ideas. Observe any casual meetings of three or four friends over drinks, and you will have at least three or four startups open and shut down on the same evening. The important question then is, why do these out of the world ideas never see the light of the day? Well, in our experience with numerous clients across domains and sectors at Vector Consulting Group, we saw the problem rampant with almost every organisation. There were endless ideas with no real results, because those brilliant ideas never got implemented and executed. We identified the core reason behind this, it is the gap between coming up with an idea to the implementation of it. Let us discuss this in detail. Why getting agreement is so important for the ideas that you have. For the discussion we have with us Visu, a senior consultant at Vector Consulting Group, someone who has successfully implemented many great ideas across clients. So, let’s speak to him. Hi, Visu. Welcome to the counterpoint podcast. How are you?
Visu Oh, I’m doing fine. Thank you. Shubham. Thanks a lot.
Shubham Agarwal Great. Great to have you Visu here. So, so let’s start with our discussion. You know, like I was saying in the in the introduction, also, that the ideas that we have are not, do not really see the light of the day. And I could think of a possible argument why ideas alone are not enough, you know, I would, because I would need help and support from other people around me. Their agreement in their faith on the idea is also very important, right, and not might be as high as I have. So, I would have to explain the idea to them very well. Whosoever is concerned, right, isn’t it?
Visu Not exactly. Shubham. Okay. So basically, now like the I really like the introduction, so according to Thomas Edison, now having a vision for what you want is not enough vision with without execution is hallucination. So, ideas must materialize into an execution with our vast experiences among various companies across multiple sectors Shubham we understood there are no dearth of ideas, but interestingly, most of the ideas rarely gets into execution. The main reason Shubham that significant disconnect between an idea or vision versus an agreement to execute the same. So let me explain you in detail. An idea however, big, or innovative, if it does not solve the client’s current problem or current limitations, it will find no takers in execution. but agreement on the direction of solution and benefits from the suggested solution itself does not guarantee implementation Shubham. Okay.
Shubham Agarwal If an idea does not solve a problem, it will not have takers. I remember one conversation with you, where you also added that the problem has to be significant and a chronic one rather

than a minor problem. But crossing that barrier is also not enough for a successful implementation?

Visu See from over experience, hand holding the client through the agreed solution during its implementation is different ballgame altogether. Oh, and handholding is a necessity condition for a successful execution of an idea,
Shubham Agarwal Can you take us the take us through the process of how we handhold what are the steps, and you know, how do we.
Visu That’s an interesting question Shubham. So, we as vector Consulting Group, have mastered this skill and hence, So for any suggested solution, in addition to solving the existing problem or limitations, it must pass through three scanners. Okay, the scanner number one, what are the negative reservations about implementing the suggested solution? The idea here is not only to be aware, but also to prevent it from happening by adding additional elements along with a suggested main solution. Okay. So let me take an example to drive home the point. This is similar to your doctor prescribing anesthesia medicines before the surgery to prevent unbearable pain during the actual surgery okay. And then scanner number two is what are the obstacles preventing the implementation of the suggested solution. So, this is again, similar to before subjecting your patient to surgery, some of his body conditions like blood pressure, pulse rate, sugar, etc. to be brought to a prescribed or a controllable level. Otherwise, surgery itself cannot be performed at all. Right, then the scanner number three, what are the personal and hidden fears of managers in the implementation of the suggested solution? They are unverbalized.
Shubham Agarwal Okay, that’s interesting
Visu is very crucial. This particular scanner is very, very crucial because not every time these unverbalized fears can be identified or understood clearly in executions.
Shubham Agarwal Right. Right. So, I think that’s a very interesting term unverbalized fear. How does one identify their unverbalized fears?
Visu Since it is unverbalized, detection is difficult. We can understand that an unverbalized fear is at play by looking at delays in deploying a task. When a manager does not move on implementation. He says he will do it but does not do it – you know something is wrong. The typical approach that it used is “usage of brute” force by using top management power. That is very damaging – it can lead to superficial implementation or non-sustainable implementation and worse a big disharmony in the transformation process. Things can become political as well. So, it is important to surface and handle unverbalized fears accordingly.

We have developed a 4-block test to unearth the unverbalized fear of individual managers and understand the why behind their resistance.

Shubham Agarwal okay. So, now, you mentioned using a 4-block test, what does this 4-block test mean? How does it work? Can you take us through that process? Yeah,
Visu surely see these four block tests which we have developed in at home consists of four questions a deeper level questions, okay, first one is whether this person has a logical buying to execute the task.
Shubham Agarwal And can you explain what is a logical buying? Probably?
Visu Yeah, logical buying means has he understood the operational know way of a particular task to be implemented? That is what we call as the logical buying. Okay. And second deeper question is whether this task to be implemented is in his or her list of priorities. Right? And third question is, does he or she have the required knowledge, tools, and resources to perform the task?
Shubham Agarwal Is he or she fully equipped or not?
Visu Exactly. Okay. And then the fourth, the deeper question is, does he or she have the authority to execute the task? Right, right. And our experiences Shubham shows that almost all the tasks when scanned through the above scanners get executed in their true spirit.
Shubham Agarwal So, this is great, I think we would have covered all you know, all the all these squares, we’ve covered 100% Right, is it.
Visu Yes, this is what is called handholding. Be a coach and counsellor to every key manager in the transformation journey rather than using brute force. Get them to agree to start and ensure results comes. Once the results come, we get the emotional buy-in of the manager. When results along with transformation of individual work life happens, the same manager becomes an evangelist and then we slowly develop the critical mass of more and evangelist. Making it easier to deploy the next steps. So, it is important properly sequence out the solution design.
Shubham Agarwal That is interesting point – what is proper sequence.
Visu A big idea implemented in full go can reduce the available capacity to do current work. Such increase in workload creates a strong resistance. Most ideas forget the importance of proper implementation sequence design and land flat on the face of resistance to change. A proper sequence is one small step, that when deployed not only delivers quantum benefits but also releases existing capacity of managers and stakeholders from current workload – the release of capacity and results creates the ground for next step. So don’t ever try big bang – go in sequence. Else you will be building a flyover on a congested road – a great idea but it deteriorates the congestion during the time the flyover is built – that is a bad sequencing. Change initiatives cannot be implemented the way flyovers are built in many Indian cities.
Shubham Agarwal You know, Visu, I think, in principle, it looks and sounds so good to hear and easy to implement as well. And I think our experience has told us, but if only, but if only life was so simple, you know, where everything went as planned. We would have all achieved nirvana, you know. So how do we tackle the ongoing obstacles the ongoing challenges when the implementation is being is being undertaken?
Visu Exactly. That’s a that’s a very well, very good question. So, with our extensive implementation experience, now, we have learned that there is no surprise about having surprises in the project. This means what a change of reality in client’s environment since the start of implementation, for example, change of boundary conditions, change of the team itself, change of market dynamics, change of execution relevance, you can add on continuing to help the client without recognizing these changes, and without incorporating the modifications is an injustice to the transformation journey Shubham. So hence, in Vector, we believe, in revisiting the running engagements, periodically, by a set of experts who are independent of those involved in the project, we are very clear, they should be independent, because fresh perspective, without any baggage can be added in and do a systemic analysis. With a reference to the initial project plan, versus the deliverables, the deliverables here, I mean, both quantum as well as time. So, through this above carefully crafted enablers we at Vector Shubham, we help our clients in converting ideas into full-fledged execution, whatever it
Shubham Agarwal takes, right, right. Very interesting. I think the last part that you mentioned, you know, periodically, assessing it and evaluating it by independent people within the within the organisation, I think brings new perspectives to the solutions that you’ve already crafted exactly, you know, we can also build in the intricacies that were not probably thought or have new, been added into the environment, very new, the client environment. So great. I think that was a great discussion, a short discussion, which really helped us understand the difference or the journey from the idea to the execution or the successful implementation of an idea. So, thanks a lot Visu for that.
Visu My pleasure. My pleasure, man. Thank you.
Shubham Agarwal Thank you. And for all the listeners. This was just another discussion from on the counterpoint podcast. If you have any questions, please write to us. We’ll keep bringing such episodes to you. Again, and again. Thank you, this is Shubham, signing off.

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