A common theme right now in my work as a business relationship consultant is the frustrated ambition, among clients, to get stuff done. Lockdown has taken its toll on marketing plans, particularly on seeing them through.

In some agencies, however, execution enjoys significantly less appeal than creation. Partly because it is typically bedevilled by unforeseen difficulties. A quote from Sean Covey (son of best-selling author Stephen R. Covey) makes the point: “All leaders require both strategy and execution. Unfortunately, we overvalue strategy and underestimate the challenges of execution.”

Also, the downstream part of the process can simply be regarded as a poor relation, lacking the substance and intellectual challenge of direction-setting and origination.   

And yet clients really crave smart, energetic, reliable implementation.

Time to think differently. Without successful execution, impact cannot be measured, value cannot be realised. And a shared understanding of how agencies contribute to clients’ businesses remains a cornerstone of enduring, productive client/agency relationships.

Activation is a better word than execution, though still more suggestive of transportation than transformation. But we certainly don’t need more vocabulary. And the implication is clear.   

As the world re-opens, it is the perfect time to bring those strategies to life. Go forth and activate brilliantly.