In an excellent book, The High-Velocity Edge, author Steven Spear identifies characteristics that set companies apart and why some organizations get out in front and stay out in front. A key theme of the book is that the successful organizations have a paradigm of problem solving and continuous improvement. The value chain of an organization is only as strong as its weakest link. When organizations have a major failure or breakdown, the assumption is that there was a break in one of the process links, that someone didn’t do their job right, or that there was an unusual set of occurrences that predicated the failure. The reality, as pointed out by Spear, is that organizations that do not have a culture of problem solving and allow or even reward work-arounds have weak links throughout their value chain. They are constantly patching problems and performing minor rework. The value chain is subject to failure anytime additional stress is placed on it, and it could come anywhere along the process chain. Why talk of this in a book about strategy execution? The answer is simple. Executing a strategy requires changes to the way an organization operates. It requires additional resources, separate from the day-to-day operation, to drive the projects and events required to execute the strategy. These resources are made available through continuous improvement efforts that eliminate waste and free up those resources. A continuous work-around culture creates many small wastes of resources that, when accumulated, add up to a major waste in the resources that are required to make the inefficient processes work and holds the organization back. Additionally, the numerous work-arounds reflect a lack of truly standard work throughout the various processes in the value chain, and as Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System and Lean as we know it, stated, “Without standard work, there can be no continuous improvement.”