In X-engineering, your aspirations are as important as your capacity for fixing broken processes. Managers who aspire to a higher level of business performance ... are well suited for X-engineering. ... For them, change is relished, not dreaded.

But change does mean that work will be different. ... Technological changes, such as the Internet, are more threatening to employees than other kinds of new initiatives. It can be daunting to be suddenly confronted with the need to learn a whole new set of skills. Anxiety and opposition escalate when the company actually moves ahead with X-engineering. And if all this comes on the heels of an earlier change program, people may feel understandably weary and cynical. ...

A good manager responds with a strong statement of the case for change and a heavy dose of inspiration. Eventually, when change is well executed, an appetite for it develops.

First, Last, and Always: Flawless Execution
I have one [last] piece of management advice that is no less vital...: Execute flawlessly. When Bud Mathaisel, Solectron's chief information officer, was asked how Solectron was able to compete since it gives all its "secrets" away, he said: "Our basis of competition is execution. We simply do very well what we say we will do."

Companies such as Solectron, EMC Corporation, ... Wal-Mart Stores, GE, and Cisco Systems aren't secretive about what they are doing. Wal-Mart doesn't care who knows that it obsesses over its supply chain; ... [former GE CEO] Jack Welch lectures publicly on how to manage. Cisco puts all of its processes on the Internet. What these companies have in common, beyond generating brilliant ideas, is the ability to execute nearly perfectly.      

From the book X-Engineering the Corporation: Reinventing Your Business in the Digital Age by James Champy. Copyright © 2002 by James Champy. Reprinted by permission of Warner Books, Inc., New York, NY. All rights reserved.