Implementation expertise and implementation skills referred by willpower and self-control -driven ability of people or organizations , certain plans into actual results to implement . The draft plans are always based on certain motives, ideas, goals or strategies and are geared towards their implementation.
In historical perspective
The importance of implementation competence results from the observation that some people succeed in achieving great achievements or ambitious goals with relatively little effort, while others fail again and again despite the greatest efforts and extensive knowledge or education. The search for the causes of success has been discussed since Socrates . He saw the main reason for the difference between successful and unsuccessful people in the ability to plan.
Cybernetics and systems theory provide a modern attempt at an explanation ; they form the basis for the concept of implementation competence, which has established itself as a research topic in many disciplines in recent years. An example of application in psychology is the self-management therapy of Frederick Kanfer . In management theory, it is a synonym for energy and assertiveness. If these attributes are missing, various inefficiencies can be observed in everyday business. For example, numerous meetings are held, but the resolutions are not implemented. The same applies to many change projects and initiatives that sooner or later peter out without any results.
To solve the implementation problem, various concepts have been proposed in management theory, which are also based on the paradigm of systems theory. One example is Edmund Heinen's approach (will formation and will enforcement). The other concept comes from Peter Drucker and is called management by self-control . This practice is so Peter printer, much more effective than the standard at the time "control top" ( control from above ). At the abstract level, this ability to control oneself is the most important prerequisite for the success of systems (success in terms of target achievement). In everyday language this can also be called the secret of success.
An empirical study by June Tangney and co-authors found that people with implementation skills have better personal relationships, are more self-confident, perform better, and are less prone to stress and mental disorders. In a study from the medical field, Jean-Paul Broonen and co-authors point out that many patients with severe pain absolutely want to alleviate it, but at the same time are not able to convert this motivation into concrete actions, i.e. certain therapies consistently perform. Therefore, the implementation strength is first promoted in special programs.
In the personality diagnostics such as the Bochum Inventory for job-related personality description is one aspect of implementation expertise with the scale of the action orientation comparable. This measures the will to implement a decision quickly in targeted activities. The emphasis is on the time aspect, namely the question of the extent to which action-oriented people will take up their activities faster than others. In the case of implementation competence, however, the emphasis is on the factual aspect (actual, observable behavior).
In Management ( Innovation Research), the term of implementation expertise interpreted as a realization of creative ideas with the motto: "We are knowledge giants, but implementation Dwarfs". In the Anglo-Saxon language area, this phenomenon is known as the “knowing-doing gap”. For example, Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton complain: "Organizational performance often depends more on how skilled managers are at turning knowledge into action than on knowing the right things to do." According to the authors, it is a paradoxical situation (performance paradox) that Managers often know exactly what to do, but in fact they ignore this knowledge and do exactly the opposite of what they actually want.
The subject of implementation skills also plays an important role in marketing. In this discipline, there is a scientifically not yet adequately explained “gap” between the willingness to act ( purchase motive ) of a consumer and the actual outcome of the action (purchase). Example: If the status motive was stimulated in a person, that does not mean that the customer actually buys more in a certain situation because he controls his thoughts, feelings (motives) and actions through will ( volition ) can. Further examples from the field of management theory can be found in the article Volition (Management) . In this context, the empirical study by Steven Brown and co-authors is noteworthy, who empirically demonstrated the importance of volition for the success of salespeople in a long-term study. Robert D'Intino and co-authors come to the same conclusion when evaluating various studies on entrepreneurial success (see bibliography).
Implementation competence of companies
To operationalize and validate the implementation competence (implementation strength) in relation to companies, Gary Neilson and co-authors in the Harvard Business Review conducted a survey of over 1,000 organizations with over 25,000 employees to find out which traits characterize companies with strong implementation. The results (17 properties) can be summarized in four blocks (topics):
- Subject information
- Important information about the competitive environment reaches the company headquarters quickly
- Employees usually have the information they need to understand their contribution to the company's success
- Subject decision-making powers
- Managers at higher hierarchical levels lend a hand by intervening in decisions
- The corporate headquarters has a supporting rather than a controlling role
- Subject Incentives
- The ability to meet target agreements has an impact on career and compensation
- In a bad year, even less successful departments receive a bonus
- Theme structure
- Promotions are not only hierarchical, but also horizontal
- Middle managers usually have fewer than five direct subordinates.
To promote implementation skills, the authors propose a system of indicators that is similar to the balanced scorecard . However, the prerequisite for the effectiveness of such a system is the development of the appropriate skills on the part of managers and specialists.
Implementation skills of specialists and managers
Waldemar Pelz from the Technical University of Central Hesse carried out an empirical study with 13,302 participants to operationalize and validate implementation skills (volition) for specialists and managers . The aim was to operationalize the phenomenon of implementation competence as a human ability and to make it measurable so that it can be used and trained in practice. A prerequisite for this, however, is a valid diagnosis of the partial competencies of the persons to be trained, for example in an assessment center or 360-degree feedback .
This so-called Giessen inventory of implementation skills distinguishes the following five sub-skills:
- A. Attention control and focusing - Can the person concentrate fully on the essentials, even if influences occur that impair motivation and attention; can she set clear priorities?
- B. Emotion and mood management to increase personal energy - Is the person able to put themselves and others in a positive mood and can they aptly anticipate their own and other people's behavior and thus better control them?
- C. Self-confidence and assertiveness - Is the person convinced of their own abilities and successes based on their experiences, and can they achieve goals constructively and prudently?
- D. Forward -looking planning and creative problem solving - Is the action basically pro-active (instead of re-active) and future-oriented; is the person well prepared for risks and problems?
- E. Goal-related self-discipline by recognizing the deeper purpose of the task - Does the person have strong perseverance until results are available; does she recognize the deeper meaning in her activity; can she deal constructively with the rejected expectations of others?
The graphic opposite shows examples of items with which the sub-competencies were operationalized. These items can be used for training and development measures in order to achieve behavioral changes in the sense of promoting the top five and reducing the bottom five. The latter also include empathy , for example .
The quality criteria for the success of the implementation competence recorded with this set of tools are the individual financial growth in annual income (r = 0.44) and the correspondence with the personality traits of above-average successful entrepreneurs according to the psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (r = 0.78). These include ambition, energy, integrity, and optimism.
- Expectation of self-efficacy as expectation of one's own ability to act
- Structured imagination
- Volition (psychology) as behavior control in general
- J. Beer et al: Insights into Emotion Regulation from Neuropsychology. In: JJ Gross (Ed.): Handbook of Emotion Regulation. New York 2007.
- SP Brown et al .: Effects of Goal-Directed Emotions on Salesperson Volitions, Behavior, and Performance. In: Journal of Marketing. Vol. 61, 1997, pp. 39-50.
- JP Forgas et al: Psychology of Self-Regulation. New York 2009.
- RF Baumeister, Kathleen Vohs: Handbook of Self-Regulation, Research, Theory, and Applications. New York 2004.
- P. Haggard: Human Volition: Towards a Neuroscience of Will, Neuroscience. December 2008.
- E. Heinen: Business management theory. 2nd Edition. Wiesbaden 1984.
- V. Heyse, J. Erpenbeck: Competence training. 2nd Edition. Stuttgart 2009.
- R. Hossiep , M. Paschen: The Bochum inventory for job-related personality description . 2nd Edition. Goettingen 2003.
- HM Kehr: Integrating implicit motives, explicit, motives, and perceived abilities: the compensatory model of work motivation and volition. In: Academy of Management Review. Vol. 29, No. 3, 2004.
- W. Kroeber-Riel et al: Consumer behavior. 9th edition. Munich 2009.
- W. Pelz, W. Pelz: Speakers Corner: Volition is more important than motivation. In: Manager seminars. March 2011.
- W. Pelz: Focus instead of getting bogged down. In: Personal, magazine for human resource management. No. 4/2010.
- W. Pelz: Volition: How to implement ideas and achieve goals . In: professional goal. 1/2012 (supplement of the Süddeutsche Zeitung) (PDF; 2.5 MB)
- J. Pfeffer, RI Sutton: Turning Knowledge into Action, Reducing the Knowing-Doing Gap. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (MA) 2000.
- Brian Tracy : No excuses! The power of self-discipline. Gabal, Offenbach 2011, ISBN 978-3-86936-235-9 .
- R. Wunderer, H. Bruch: Implementation Competence. Munich 2000.
- Example of a test to assess implementation skills / willpower
- Example of a self-regulation questionnaire for students
- Career guide to volition / implementation skills
- ↑ HM Kehr: Integrating implicit motives, explicit, motives, and perceived abilities: the compensatory model of work motivation and volition. In: Academy of Management Review. Vol. 29, No. 3, 2004, p. 479.
- ^ W. Pelz: Competent leadership. Wiesbaden 2004, p. 217.
- ↑ See for example: Joseph Forgas, Roy Baumeister , Dianne Tice: Psychology of Self-Regulation. New York 2009.
- ^ V. Heyse, J. Erpenbeck: Competence training. 2nd Edition. Stuttgart 2009, p. 136 and W. Pelz: Volition is more important than motivation. In: Manager seminars. March 2011.
- ↑ E. Heinen: Business management leadership. 2nd Edition. Wiesbaden 1984 and P. Drucker: The Practice of Management, Responsibilities, Practices. New York 1954, pp. 130 f.
- ↑ JP Tangney et al: High self-control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success. In: Journal of Personality. Vol. 72, 2004.
- ↑ J.-P. Broonen et al .: Is volition the missing link in the management of low back pain? In: Joint Bone Spine . 2010, online version.
- ↑ R. Hossiep , M. Paschen: The Bochum inventory for job-related personality description . 2nd Edition. Göttingen 2003, pp. 28 and 61.
- ^ SP Brown et al .: Effects of Goal-Directed Emotions on Salesperson Volitions, Behavior, and Performance. In: Journal of Marketing. Vol. 61, 1997, pp. 39-50.
- ↑ R. Wunderer, H. Bruch: Implementation competence. Munich 2000, p. 4.
- ^ J. Pfeffer, RI Sutton: Turning Knowledge into Action, Reducing the Knowing-Doing Gap. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (MA) 2000, p. 1.
- ^ J. Pfeffer, RI Sutton: Turning Knowledge into Action, Reducing the Knowing-Doing Gap. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (MA) 2000, p. 2.
- ↑ W. Kroeber-Riel et al: Consumer behavior. 9th edition. Munich 2009, p. 55 ff. And Brockhaus: Psychologie. 2nd Edition. Mannheim 2009.
- ^ SP Brown et al .: Effects of goal-directed emotions on salesperson volitions, behavior, and performance: A longitudinal study. In: Journal of Marketing. Vol. 61, January 1997.
- ^ Gary Neilson, The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution. In: Harvard Business Review. June 2008; published as a German translation in: Harvard Business Manager. under the title: How implementation strength develops. Issue 9/2008.
- ↑ Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert Sutton: Knowing "What" to Do Is Not Enough: Turning Knowledge Into Action. In: California Management Review. Vol. 42, Fall 1999.
- ↑ W. Pelz: Implementation skills as key skills for leaders. In: Corinna von Au (ed.): Leadership and applied psychology. Volume 5: Leadership in the Age of Change and Diversity. Springer Verlag, Berlin 2017, ( online ; PDF).
- ↑ The Giessen inventory of implementation skills Link to inventory
- ↑ W. Pelz: Volition: How to implement ideas and achieve goals. In: professional goal. 1/2012 (supplement of the Süddeutsche Zeitung) and M. Csikszentmihalyi: Flow in the job. Stuttgart 2004.