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Take the Checkered Flag

Every May for the last 100 years, the city of Indianapolis changes. Not just a little shift this way or that, but a major month-long transformation from a diverse services, biotech and manufacturing economy to the center of the auto racing world. Several hundred thousand people will attend events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway   during the month.

In recent years, the Indianapolis 500 has been dominated by race teams, such as Team Penske, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Green Racing. Each of these teams attempt to qualify at least 2 cars for the race. Each team also has a number of critical players including, the driver (obviously the most famous of the team, but far from the only critical player), the pit crew, the garage crew, spotters and others. The leader of all of these players is the SAM.

OK, the leader is the crew chief. But the crew chief is really a SAM. The crew chief’s job is to establish and execute the strategy to win the race, mobilizing and directing all the resources available to help the team. Sound familiar? It is exactly the description of the SAM’s job.

The teams that win are those that execute. A sound strategy is key, of course, but execution is what distinguishes the winners from those that finish second through thirty-third.

Frequently, we spend all our time thinking about various strategies to serve our customers or grow our business. Now is a great time to focus on executing the fundamentals. Great execution is the key ingredient to most companies that excel. Most thought leaders write books about strategy. Most consulting firms focus on strategy. Most successful racing teams focus on executing the fundamentals, no matter how small.

Gentlemen and Ladies, start your engines. Execute.

About the Author

Phil Bounsall

Phil Bounsall

As president at Walker, Bounsall is focused on the development and execution of strategies and operating plans designed to enhance Walker’s position as a global leader in customer intelligence. Bounsall also works with Walker’s client service teams to help meet the needs of Walker’s clients.

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