Not too long ago, I had lunch with one more member of the “Free Agent Nation”, the increasing army of independent professional service providers. There are over 35 million of us nationwide, now. We spent a tiny time developing rapport and acquiring to know every single other better and we discussed company models and swapped examples of what we do and how we do it, in an work to uncover how we may possibly be capable to help each other.
One of the observations that came from our conversation, was how a lot of folks we both talk to, that frequently fail to make the link between enterprise strategy and day-to-day activity. She works with senior teams on establishing and implementing method and I do 1 on one particular coaching with several men and women in related roles. Numerous executives commit a huge portion of their day on either operational concerns or on issues that have tiny lasting worth for the organization, at least inside the priorities set by those exact same leaders.
Dozens of books are written each year on these topics, however it nonetheless keeps taking place. I consider two of the principal culprits consist of inertia and interest. On the one hand, virtually each technique level particular person today, was an operations particular person a month ago or a decade ago and it is easy to continue performing what you appreciate performing and what comes straightforward to you. On the other hand, your day is spent operating with and talking with people who have operational concerns and their personal tactical priorities and they continually demand your consideration.
The list of any day’s activity involves dozens of interactions in meetings, conversation in the hallway or on the telephone as will as high-tech communication that is all important, however not strategy driven. So, at the end of the day you have worked quite hard, have created substantial progress on many fronts, yet not spent a single second on your prime strategic priorities. Days grow to be months, which turn into quarters, which turn into fiscal years. Quite soon, this year’s “Bold New Initiative” becomes next year’s #1 priority!
If this sounds familiar and you would have listened in on our conversation, you would have learned that you are not alone. So, senior leader, how do you break the cycle? Obviously, new habits are in order. You keep in mind habits, never you? Habits are the behavior patterns that save you hundreds of choices and act as large time savers each day. The bad news is, they also make it easy to maintain moving in a familiar direction along a familiar path even when that familiar path no longer requires you where you need to have to go.
In exchange, try posting your leading strategic priorities exactly where you will see them on a day-to-day basis. It is okay for other individuals to see them, too. We do not want them to be secrets, you know. You could pick one particular every day when you are placing collectively your to-do list, and choose upon an activity that will move that one particular forward that day. How about selling, not just announcing those priorities to your group, so that everybody knows what is most essential each day? Yet another concept is setting weekly schedules primarily based on a percentage of time that you (and other individuals) will devote on each and every of a brief list of strategic priorities that week, moving these suggestions forward a small at a time.
While coming up with technique could appear like rocket science or fortune telling, implementation is not. It is moving a handful of important priorities forward a small at a time. This is where operations knowledge comes in handy how can you break these massive, dreamy tips into doable components. 1 process at a time, a single day at a time. You just have to get them on the schedule in the initial location.
Understanding strategic priorities and discovering a way to make progress on them on a day-to-day, consistent basis that is what strategic leaders do.
Copyright 2009, Gary Minor