Friday, December 11, 2009

Turnaround Management – Focus

CEOs and companies are charged and in fact forced to do more with less. That means greater results using fewer resources. The advent of our technological advances was meant to streamline our work processes and make us more productive. In fact, when the first desktop computers came out, there were predictions that most people would be working less than a one day work week. It hasn’t worked out quite that way. Life and business have become more complex and there are more and more demand on us, our resources and our time.

Focus has become more and more important. How do we target our activities and how do we use our scared resources?

As a simple case in point, the most common complaint in companies at all levels is about e-mail and the inbox. How to handle it is a good example of what successful executives must do to be able to survive in turnaround times. E-mail and the inbox seem to be controlling our lives.

Each day we have entries, sometimes many entries, into our inbox. They come from a wide variety of sources. Some are quite important. Others may be jokes or inspiration notes that are passed from person to person. Some are promotional messages trying to sell us something. Some are spam and get moved without our help to the discard file.

Which ones do you open first? Do you open the “special” ones from friends and family? Do you go for the ones which you know you can get rid of immediately? Do you start with the most important ones and use your best time on them? How do you choose?

Do you read the emails and handle them as you read them or do you read them all and then have to re-read them to decide how to handle them? Do you delete the emails once handled or do you leave them in your inbox to further clutter your life and cause you to make some decisions over and over?

Life is like an inbox. It constantly presents demands of one sort or another. If you have a predetermined way of sorting the demands and activities you can speed the review process. You can make yourself more productive.

The way in which we choose to handle e-mail demands is indicative of our focus. If you take all the fun ones first, you are left at the end of the day with the problem ones and that causes stress, since we generally are not at our best at that time of day. We may even be mentally and physically exhausted. If you take all the easy ones, you can increase the number completed, but that may not mean anything if you didn’t work through the important ones that will really impact the business.

Or alternatively, do you focus on the most important ones and make the tough decisions? Do you send them off to get the advice and council you need along with the facts that will help your decision making process? Do you do this while you and your support staff are fresh and therefore can be at your best for these decisions?

Of course, this is a simplistic example of a very complex job that you have. Running a company is not an easy task. Many executives will answer these questions with their egos in mind and choose “the right answer”. But they will miss the point of the lesson.

Think about it. How are you choosing? What is the impact on your business and your life from the process you use? Whatever your process make sure that it brings you satisfaction and success.

If you need help to identify the really key issues and focus the right resources on them for maximum effect, contact us. We can help.



John Maver
Maver Management Group
(925) 648-7561
Maver Management

View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn

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