Philie Group Blog

Next-Level Execution
By Mike Philie

When was the last time you took a hard look at how well your business executes? Some basics include, did we get the project right, did we get it out on time and did the client like it? How about, did we do it within the budget that the client agreed to? Here’s another, did you have to push it through to get it done, or did your folks pull it through. We could argue semantics, but there is a big difference between the two choices. These questions fall inside the execution bucket of your business.

Remove Complexity

As you begin to examine how well you execute, one area you’ll undoubtedly review are your processes and procedures. Take a hard look. What changes have taken place within your organization since the last time these processes and procedures were reviewed? In many cases, much has transpired. New technology and equipment has been brought in, and your customer demands have changed dramatically.


You need to ask if your workflow, processes, etc. were built for what worked in the past.


Are they still relevant based on today’s capabilities and expectations. Your customers have changed, technology has changed — have you changed along with it? It is OK to throw out the old playbooks if in fact they are no longer valid.


Don’t place excessive burdens on your staff and your customers by following outdated rules. Making your company easy to do business with begins with making it easy for you to do business with yourself first — internally.

Set Expectations

As you travel the path to achieve your next level of execution, you’ll need to modify expectations. This include training, coaching, and leading throughout the transformation. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high. Setting the bar lower so that everybody can achieve it may feel good, but you really have not moved up to the next level. That’s also when complacency can set it.


The transformation will not happen overnight. While I encourage you to set the bar high, create realistic milestones so that you’ll know where are you going, and where you’ve been.

How Will You Know If It’s Working

Great question! Just as you had to modify your process and procedures, you’ll also have to modify expectations, data points, and the metrics you’ll use to monitor your progress. While most scorecards have an abundancy of lagging indicators, make sure that yours contain the right leading indicators so that you can be proactive in making the best decisions for your business.


If you’ve taken on this type of project in your business, I’d appreciate your comments on how it worked for you. What did you like about it, and what you would do different in the future? Please add a message in the comment section below or reach out to me to discuss further.


Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at, LinkedIn or email at


The blog originally published in Printing Impressions


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