Initiative is the first stage of implementation, and should be followed by execution.

Implementation is the next logical step that follows immediately after all of the necessary and appropriate evaluations of the performance of a process have been carried out.

Implementation first requires initiative. Someone or something needs to initiate the execution of whatever has to be implemented. A fire detector has to evaluate the temperature or smoke, and then implement the action appropriate to its purpose. It has to execute the actions of sounding an alarm, turning on a water sprinkler, closing fire doors etc. An animal detecting a forest fire is likely to send out a cry of alarm and then display the initiative to execute the action of running away. A human being who detects a fire in a building has to go through the same logical steps of using initiative and executing the appropriate actions. In every case power is a necessary requisite of implementation. A fire alarm cannot work if there is no power. Neither animals nor humans can escape a fire if they lack the power to walk or run.


Initiative may be derived from self-motivation or group motivation or from persuasion or authorization by others. Animals and humans have the motivation to run from danger. Persuasion by a colleague or authorization by a manager may give a worker the initiative to carry out an action that they might otherwise not choose to do.


The Roman army was highly organised, trained, and controlled. Every day when on a campaign a staff officer would be sent ahead to evaluate the situation. He would make an examination of the terrain, and make a decision as to where the camp should be located. On his own initiative he would mark out its position. When the army arrived they would use the power of the troops to execute the plan (within the rules laid down for the Roman army) by building defences and erecting tents. Every officer and soldier knew exactly what to do. No Roman army was ever defeated in its own camp.

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