March 10, 2005

News & Opinion: What inspired me to write the story of Following Through...

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:12 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

It’s Not What You Say… It’s What You Do was inspired by two facts:

One: Only a handful of serious performance problems in business are due to external issues like a recession, oil embargo, change in industry regulations or any other outside, uncontrollable event. 83 percent of all the stalls in sales and profits are caused by “internal, controllable factors.”

Two: Companies invest tens of thousands of strategy days every year looking for evidence of these internal factors and then dreaming up a fix. But their organizations will fail to follow through on their initiatives half of the time.

I decided if I could figure out what obstacles are keeping organizations from consistently following through I could help all companies avoid the internal, controllable issues that cause businesses to stall.

4,000 pages of research and 18 months of in-field observations later I had landed on four major reasons why organizations fail to follow though and 13 specific fixes that help managers make sure what’s expected gets done (the definition of following through from a leaders’ perspective).

You can get a good overview by clicking here (to see the virtual press kit) or here (to open a one-page pdf about the book).

So today, rather than revisit what’s available with one click of your mouse, I’d like to connect a couple of stories in the blogosphere to what I learned about following through at every level of an organization.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.