I came across this Steve Jobs quote today and thought it was interesting from an advisory perspective:
JOBS: You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.
And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.
Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.
And it’s that process that is the magic.
One of the biggest criticisms consultants face is that they have ideas, waive their hands, and then leave the execution part for the client to figure out.
To me, that couldn’t be further from the truth. At least, it’s not how I work. And it’s probably not how you work, either.
When I’m consulting, I’m also facilitating the execution.
I bring things like research, examples, partners, training, oversight, and will even execute parts of the strategy with the client on our calls.
Just because we advise, doesn’t mean the follow-through isn’t on us. An idea or strategy is only as good as the execution.
You’re responsible execution, even if you’re not the one actually executing it with your hands.