Strategy & Execution

In any kind of sports, there’s at least two levels of thinking. The strategic level, and the dynamic in-game level. These two levels are quite different in approach, but both play an important part in defining the success of team or individual.

A football coach will spend hours watching videos of the opponent, learn about their trends, look for strengths and weaknesses and match these to their own team. Getting a good picture of the opponent allows the coach and team to have clear offensive and defensive strategies. With each wave of plays by the other team, the coach, and by extension the team, will know how to respond.

To capitalise on the strategy and actually be able to perform in a game, the teams individuals need to be skilled in their sport. They need to have a certain level to execute the strategy which has been decided upon.

 

“No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.”

― Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

Game Day

Strategy may fail if the opponent makes surprising or unexpected changes. The high-level strategy may need to give way to a more dynamic one. Your team may be failing to execute on planned strategies and be fumbling.

What do you do when this happens? Sit and watch while your opponent takes control, or change your execution and game plan? Exactly. You adapt.

Now, the coach may be able to see the game play out clearly, and instruct the players to adjust with specific instructions. Micromanaging a team like this is next to impossible and the fact that the coach is on the side line means there’s no chance of effective communication. There’s a strong chance they will fail, and lose.

On the other hand, if the team has been training together. Getting to know each other, and have practiced effective formation changes that may or may not arise in a game then matters are completely different. Now the coach can utilise his strategic view and instruct key members on the team. Those members pass on the strategic change, and more or less adapt as a unit. Instead of being micro managed, they are being guided by strategy, and now have a chance.

TL;DR

Executing without strategy is a losing game. You may get lucky, but the odds are against you.

Having a strategy with poor execution isn’t much different. You may be able to win a few times, but when the tide turns, you struggle to adapt and recover.

Having the strategic view, and the execution to follow-up is the only way to not only achieve whatever you set out to do, but also be able to adapt to whatever gets thrown at you.

 

 

Bringing it home

There are parallels that can be drawn to any personal, or team endeavour. It could be for sports, or for your company. Your strategy doesn’t need to be grandiose, but you need to have one.

It’s that bigger picture that will allow you to execute on a day-to-day basis.

So, what about you? Are you spinning in place & firing in all directions or are you failing on executing in your direction?

The good news is all i not lost. Strategy can be adjusted. Skills can be learned. And if the skills just aren’t there, then adjust your strategy!

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What about me?

I’ve been in the camp of not having a strategy. It was intentional, since part of the plan was to try many things and see what stuck. Then came the important aspect: Take a step back, reflect and strategize.

I failed at doing this last, important part, and it’s left me at a place where I have many balls in the air with my personal blog, Coding with Empathy, my recent daily stoic vlogging experiment: The PAVLOG, and upcoming speaking event at NDC Oslo.

So I’ve been taking a little breather to gather my thoughts and think at a higher level. I haven’t landed on a concrete strategy, but it’s slowly starting to form.

It’s time to raise my head above the clouds for some perspective and execute the hell on that.

 

Also published on Medium

Starting an empathic journey

As part of my quest to be exceptional, I’ve been searching to discover what I’m passionate about as a software developer. I feel a pull in so many directions, but I guess that’s natural given our profession and the diversity we’re exposed to.

Some people have found their calling and are producing wonderful content that provides tremendous value to others. What I’ve been wanting to do is figure out what my special sauce is. What is that I can bring to the table that can provide some value to others and at the same time not drown out in all the noise?

Well, you’re here and you’ve read the title, so you may have guessed it already: Empathy

I am no sort of expert on this, but I find myself fascinated and attracted to the concept of infusing empathy into all aspects of software development. I care about my craft, and I care about boosting my career. But even more I care about doing so with a softer approach than what is out there already. I hope to create a site with an empathic view to the challenges new and experienced software developers face.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any ideas / thoughts / recommendations on this topic. I would also like to hear from any of you that don’t see value in a site like this.

So I’d like to welcome you to an empathic journey: http://codingwithempathy.com

Moving the blog

I’ve just moved the blog from the free wordpress.com site to a hosted vps-variant on pavsaund.com. I see there are some visual differences in the theme, but I think most of the content has been moved as expected.

Please do let me know if there’s anything that doesn’t seem to be working. 

Need to figure out if there’s a way to set up a permanent redirect 301 from the old blog. I see that there’s a paid service, but I don’t really have a lot of traffic. Please do shout out if you have any tips on this.

Sticking with the change

Nasty Habit

I have been open and committed to my desire to change. Or rather push myself to professional excellence in my areas of interest. Through this I’m creating tangible goals… so this should get me all set up, right? RIGHT!? …

How to go about change though? Given the desire to push myself to new heights and at the same time change several aspects I’ve embraced the blogosphere again. But have I started out on the wrong foot?

Continue reading

Pushing boundaries into 2016

“Boundary” – Something that indicates bounds or limits. Also called frontier.

Most of us have heard about “pushing yourself to the limits”. It’s something I associate with performing ones very best for a given end result.
New personal record at the local 10k race? Getting to market with a new product? Landing the stage 1 rocket after it’s delivered payload into orbit?

Focusing on the end result can be a powerful motivator, and also a door-opener to new possibilities, but there’s something lost there. Is it really only about the end result? Continue reading

How are you, Really?

“How are you?”

A simple question that usually is followed by a polite response expressing our contentment with our daily life situation. I’ve been answering it a little differently lately: “Not so good, really. I’m completely burnt out!”

People are taken aback by this brutal honesty and many don’t know how to respond. I don’t want to make things hard on them, but I can’t stand lying to others (and myself) anymore. Regardless of peoples responses, it’s been a relief to come out in the open. Continue reading

Transitions pt.2 – a new beginning

This post is signalling an end to my time at Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), even though it’s just a few months since I announced my career-move there. Before I go on about whats happening, I’d like to emphasise that NRK is a great place to be. I’ve met a lot of talented people and been exposed to a company culture that oozes of professionalism and encourages peoples creativity to flow.

That said, I’ve been given the opportunity to release the entrepreneur in me, and be part of creating something. During my time at Komplett, we created Bifrost, an open-sourced platform for application development. A bi-product of our efforts was a mindset towards application development and collaboration between team members that we found to be unique. Which is what has lead myself and Einar Ingebrigtsen to establish dolittle as a knowledge company.

We believe that writing code isn’t meant to be hard. It’s all about asking the right questions and getting the right answers in any given problem-domain. We believe Bifrost is part of the solution, allowing development teams to focus on the right problem; namely creating software that solves the needs of the end-user and the business.

Needless to say I’m excited about things moving forward, we see great potential in what we’re focusing on, and we’ll be keeping things up to date on the official dolittle blog.

I’d like to thank the people at NRK for the opportunity, and I hope to meet them again some time in the future.

Transitions

As some of you may know, I’ve left the domain of scandinavian e-commerce and am no longer part of the web-team at Komplett Group.

My time at Komplett has been quite a ride; I’ve met some extremely skilled people, and worked on some really exciting stuff. Contrary to what some people might believe, the web-team is small and covers a lot of area. There was a lot of responsibilty and pressure, but also a lot of fun to be had. This has also allowed me to delve into several areas of software development that I couldn’t have on a larger team.

I now find myself neck deep within media / brodcasting production. To be more clear, I’m now part of the department for New Media at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK Nye Medier). Quite a large leap from e-commerce, but at the end of the day it’s all about delivering business value to the customer(s), and that’s something I’m getting the hang of :).

I’ve now started my commute to Oslo on a daily basis, and the team has welcomed me with open arms. They all seem thrilled to have me on board. It’s a good feeling, and I hope to find my role here, as I did at Komplett.

I like to think that it’s at Komplett I “found myself” as a developer. I’m looking forward to continue building upon my skills and continue my journey at NRK… 🙂

2012, how about this year?

2011 has been hectic, to say the least. Full of enriching life-experiences (personal and professional). I had a few goals for the past year: my health, family, profession. Some things worked out quite well, other things…not so well (so what’s new?).

A friend of mine is going on about his big hairy goal. It’s intimidating and inspiring. Here are some things I’m hoping to dive into this coming year:

Not necessarily in that order.