Williams, Todd C.
Filling Execution Gaps
How Executives and Project Managers Turn Corporate Strategy into Successful Projects
Aims and Scope
"I expected good, but this is great." -Janet Pirus Phelps, Principle, Strategic CFO, Former CFO Papa Murphy's Pizza
Gaps . . . holes in your organization where tasks fall and failure breeds. They inhibit your ability to implement strategic plans, lead people, and run successful projects. Daily, executives, middle managers, and project managers wrestle with "the big six":
- Absence of common understanding
- Disengaged executive sponsors
- Misalignment with goals
- Poor change management
- Ineffective governance
- Lackluster leadership
Ignoring any of these gaps will hex any strategy or project. They regularly destroy hundreds of companies' ability to turn their corporate vision into business value—taking careers with them.
Filling Execution Gaps addresses the sources of these gaps, and how to fill them. Without any one of these important functions, projects fail. Without change management, adoption suffers. Without common understanding, there is confusion. Without goals, business units, and capabilities aligned, execution falters. Without executive sponsorship, decisions languish. Too little governance allows bad things to happen, while too much governance creates overburdening bureaucracy. Without leadership at all levels of the organization, people are directionless.
Using decades of experience, years of research, and interviews with hundreds of business leaders, Todd Williams illustrates how to fill these gaps, meet corporate goals, and increase value.
Click below to read an interview with the author:
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"Each chapter of the book is a master-class in strategy deployment! Todd ingeniously brings together the critical elements of the strategy execution puzzle, revealing with remarkable clarity the pathway to implementation success."
Managing Partner, Pitcairn Partners
Former VP Operational Excellence, Organizational Transformation, Emerson Automation Solutions
"Todd captures the reality and essence of what it takes to deliver strategy. By sharing thought provoking stories and examples, Todd provides helpful tools and approaches to navigate the difficult yet rewarding work of transforming strategy into results. A must read for anyone who works in the strategy space."
Vice President of Operations & Supply Chain
The Little Potato Company Ltd.
"Filling Execution Gaps is a thoughtful review of what successful leaders do in a multi-faceted, matrixed business to drive successful execution of the strategy."
John E. Panichella
President and CEO
"Todd Williams has written a book which made me think about my acceptance of current governance practices and approaches to program management in a whole new light. By applying lean concepts to achieve effective governance, Todd has changed the game. This book offers valuable thought provoking advice and I have recommended it to all our steering committee executives and PM's."
Charles (Chuck) Elson
General Manager, Asset Management Solutions
"This book is another homerun for Todd Williams! I love the author’s writing style. He grasps the key concepts, then shares them in descriptive terms. The quotes at the start of each chapter are inspiring. The questions at the end of the chapters are reflective. The author’s years of experience in project management show he truly understands how things work in all sizes and types of companies.…This book is a must-read for executives, middle management, project managers, and project teams!"
Former COO, Cadence Management Corp.
PMI Nominating Committee, Leadership Advisor, and former Region 1 Mentor
"Todd provides the right guidance on how to establish an effective change management organization. This is a must read before undertaking of your next organizational project, as it will help you avoid many pitfalls which drive delays or project failures."
John T. Lenga, Jr.
CEO, Head Business Group North America
Autoneum North America, Inc.
"Filling Execution Gaps is a great balance of methods and personal experience that delivers a practical approach to successful execution of projects. A must-read for any project executive sponsor!"
Global Business Services Associate Partner
"We have all been there. Kicking off well-deserved projects with much fanfare, only later to see them never achieving their full potential. There is a solution to this problem and Step One is to read this book!"
Vice President & CFO
Columbia Cascade Company
"A quote from Chapter 3 in this book as a company is searching for a Project Manager reads: ‘We are looking for an anal-retentive, tenacious, asshole and we thought of you.’ These traits are often overlooked in the politically correct world we live in where people are too busy looking for consensus builders who never get anything done or at least done on time. Todd Williams points out the pitfalls of far too many projects and provides insightful and practical advice for navigating around and sometimes, unfortunately, through them."
CR3 Partners, LLC
"Todd Williams clearly understands that project managers do more than manage projects – they must manage communications and facilitate change in the organization. He has packed a lot of observation and experience in to this book – heed his advice!"
Vice President, Project Management Office (PMO)
Dignity Health Medical Foundation
"Todd Williams' new book, Filling Execution Gaps is a deep dive into how to build a company culture that tilts the odds as far as possible in favor of successful execution of strategy. This book is an invaluable resource for project managers and executives alike who are working to improve their effectiveness."
CEO, Board Member
"Todd’s book does an excellent job of defining the challenge of executive sponsorship of a project who must often perform multiple leadership roles, and this requires development and training to be successful."
Chief Executive, Society for Information Management
Enterprise Architect, Portland General Electric
"Suggesting the CEO as the executive sponsor for enterprise projects effecting change can be a game-changer for many organizations. This also necessitates CEOs engaged with such initiatives for the duration, which requires a mind-shift about the CEO role."
Chief Strategy Officer
"Todd Williams provides a unique window into the role that effective leadership plays with projects. His insights on the game changing impact that leadership makes in terms project execution, help differentiate Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 from other project leadership works."
Sr. Mgr. Talent & Organizational Development
GNP Company Careers
"In his latest book, Todd has been able to dissect the leadership components of not only projects but all organizations with the skill of a surgeon with a scalpel. Todd has captured the nuances of leadership in projects and organizations at every level, not just the 'executive' level where many seem to see it residing. Excellent insight and delivery!"
"Todd Williams knows a lot about getting failing projects back on track. His Filling Execution Gaps provides a thorough roadmap for initiating projects well and ensuring their progress toward successful completion. The focus of the book on organizational factors makes it a good reference for leaders at all levels, particularly at the upper levels where actions and decisions have such a significant impact – for better or for worse – on project outcomes."
Program Director, Project Management Curriculum
UC Berkeley Extension
Author of Number Project Management Books
"If Emergence of the 'Me' Enterprise is a reflection of how organizations are learning to survive and thrive in this era of a clash of cultures between Baby Boomers and Millennials, then Todd Williams and Filling Execution Gaps shows how they're doing it. If you wish to learn how leading organizations manage to find structure amidst chaos, reading this book would be a good place to start."
G. Ross Kelly
Consultant and Former Executive HP
Co-Author: Emergence of the 'Me' Enterprise
"Todd's work is an essential contribution with respect to helping executive leaders and project managers understand the magic that can occur when human capital is understood, harvested, cultivated and leveraged."
Chief Human Resources Officer
ManTech International Corporation
"Innovation cannot be an organized plan of tasks and activities, but rather a means to embrace the uncertainty of future enabling factors. We need to align our culture and organization with executive leadership and modern process."
Mary Ann Coburn
VP, Enterprise ITPMO of the CIO
"Todd Williams has touched both macro and in detail micro level insights on execution to align corporate goals and projects and retain sustainability."
Sanjay Razdan, MBA, AMP HBS, BE Electronics
Board Member, CyNation
Founding Partner, CapableCore
"Todd gives us insight into the fundamental ingredients of what makes organizations tick."
Founder at Keyhubs and Neighborhood Forest, Adjunct Professor at MCTC
"When I read the chapters on governance and PMOs, I realized that Todd put into words what I have experienced. Applying the concepts in this book will help form a true partnership between IT and business units and establish IT services as strategic value enablers."
Vice President Information Technology
"A well-defined strategy is worthless if it cannot be executed rapidly and efficiently. In Filling Execution Gaps, Todd Williams provides the guidance leaders need to successfully execute a strategy."
Chief Information Officer and Executive Advisor, MRE Consulting
Former Chief Information Officer and Director Operational Support, Global Partners LP