Having examined hundreds of companies in the process of writing this book and those that preceded it in the series, I know that there is no single formula for succeeding when you take on the execution of a worthwhile strategy, especially in a challenging economy. But some general principles can help guide your efforts. The only caveat is that you must adapt them to the culture of your own enterprise. Here, in brief, are the principles I hope you take away from what you’ve just read.

Be of two minds.Executing during challenging times requires you to manage two seemingly conflicting ideas at the same time, and that can be tricky. Most companies naturally focus on costs to improve their performance, but if you merely reduce costs and ...

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