We all know that simply having a strategy isn’t enough. But sometimes the sheer effort of creating one, and tweaking it, and doing all the hard thinking work of determining where we’d like our business to be by when, can become overly consuming. Just how important the actual work of execution is provides the underpinning of a Harvard Business Review article from 2003 titled “What Really Works”. The authors actually followed a group of business for five years to figure out what management practices produce the best results. And while culture, structure, and strategy are all important considerations, it turns out that execution — where the rubber meets the road — trumps everything else. It’s a good read, not to mention a reassuring one for those of us who prefer to be firing on as many cylinders as possible, rather than planning which cylinder should fire when.