Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Execution vs. Strategy 
Interviews are officially over.  I think.  I just finished a pretty tiring day of 8 interviews at an operating company in Houston.  Now I’m sitting on a packed Continental Airlines plane approaching Boston, and I’m going to be wiped out after this.  The bad news is that I have major work to do for my paper in International Financial Management and I need to make the most of the 40 or so hours I have in Boston before Jie and I leave for Chicago on Thursday afternoon.  So, my free time will be spent in the library over the next few days as I try to get up to speed on this assignment.

One of the major issues I’ve been thinking about over the last month has been this issue of Execution versus Strategy that my MSO professor raised in class just before Hell Week.  She asked us to write down whether we preferred Execution or Strategy, and then also estimate what percentage of our classmates agreed with us.  I wrote down execution and 60%, thinking that sounded about right, but I was off a little, the class favored Strategy 60/40.

Anyway, as I consider whether to begin my career in consulting or operations I’ve been wondering a lot about that question.  There is no doubt in my mind that execution is where the real value is created in a company.  However, it just may be that I am better at the Strategy side than the execution side.  Case in point: My Dynamic Markets class (or investing in general), where I am great at creating trading strategies (or picking stocks), but I usually botch the execution and leave a lot of money on the table.  Of course, those are both pretty harsh tests, since not many execute well when it comes to the market.

I should find out about this operations job over the next week or so, basically over the same time frame that I will be visiting consulting firms in Chicago and Houston.  I am hopeful that I will have a decision by Christmas Day, but I’m not sure it will be much earlier than that.

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