Effort Beats Perfection

So once again, I’m a bit behind in my blogging. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it just takes time away from other “decided” priorities. It seems relatively easy for most of us to focus on the urgent vs. the important. Things crop up every day that seem to get in the way of doing what we really should be doing that day.

A few years ago, we worked with a company that engaged us to help them prepare for an eventual sale of the company. We helped them create their strategic goals, key priorities, actions and measurement. Typically once the planning is complete, we stick with clients for six months to a year on a more limited basis to help them be sure the strategy is being integrated into their daily activities. This company, however, wanted to go it alone, without our continued support.

Originally, they had 15 Key Priorities, which were force-ranked. This enables them to know exactly what should come first and gets the entire organization aware of their priorities, thus enabling appropriate decision making throughout the company without having to command and control to get things done. We would generally advise that 15 key priorities are far too many, but they were insistent they needed all of the 15. So off they went on the strategic journey.

We met with them two months later to learn that they now had 136 key priorities. This is not good. They were struggling with how to work on these key priorities when they were so busy doing their typical daily activities. In other words, they were so busy doing what they were used to doing that they were unable to do what they should be doing. Needless to say, progress was not being made to achieve their key priorities and ultimately their strategic goals.

When you agree on what your priorities are, you also need to decide what you will stop doing. It’s called focus. Many companies struggle with this concept and thus the ‘urgent’ gets done and the ‘important’ gets pushed aside.

Achieving strategic success is all about focus. Each day, every day.


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