Learn to Let Go

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” 
– Peter F. Drucker  
In 1886 Vilfredo Pareto discovered a phenomenon that 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained.   It’s a fundamental principle that affects our everyday life to this day.



Effectively managing priorities across an Organisation is essential to delivering profitable results; priorities must be distributed properly in order to achieve peak productivity, sadly business today is rife with conflicting priorities.

Helping organisations to create dynamic, visible workflows managed through technology, goes long way to help teams with a systematic approach to working smarter and faster in the decision making around the best investment of time.

In their 2013 article about McKinsey & Co discusses how improving the fit between the priorities of managers, their direct reports, and their supervisors—all the way up to the CEO—is a good place to start.

This is a great article which shows how to link the actions and activities of various stakeholders in teams.

“The biggest and most destructive myth in time management is that you can get everything done if only you follow the right system, use the right to-do list, or process your tasks in the right way. That’s a mistake. We live in a time when the uninterrupted stream of information and communication, combined with our unceasing accessibility, means that we could work every single hour of the day and night and still not keep up. For that reason, choosing what we are going to ignore may well represent the most important, most strategic time-management decision of all.

To illustrate, let’s look at the experiences of Todd,1the head of sales in a large financial-services firm and a direct report to the CEO. Todd had been struggling to change the way people approached the sales process. He wanted more measurement. He wanted people to target prospects that were more likely to bring in higher margins. He wanted people to be more strategic about which prospects to visit versus which simply to call. Finally, he wanted them to be more courageous about pursuing “stretch” prospects where the odds of success were low but the rewards would be high—and more willing to ignore prospects whose accounts weren’t likely to be particularly profitable.

“I’ve told them all this multiple times,” Todd said. “I’ve even sat them through a long training. But their behavior isn’t changing. They’re still selling the same old way to the same old prospects.”

Todd’s salespeople knew what he wanted from them and were able to do it. They also weren’t lazy; they were working long hours and were working hard. Rather, the problem was that Todd’s salespeople thought they could do it all. That’s why they resisted segmenting their markets or measuring the potential of each prospect before planning a visit: they didn’t want to miss any opportunities. Yet because their time was limited, they ended up missing some of the best.

If this problem bedevils salespeople in organizations like Todd’s, imagine its impact on senior executives. The scope, complexity, and ambiguity of senior leaders’ roles not only create near-infinite permutations of priorities but also make it more difficult to get real-time performance or productivity feedback. Is it any wonder that only 52 percent of 1,500 executives McKinsey surveyed said that the way they spent their time largely matched their organizations’ strategic priorities? (For more on this research, see “Making time management the organization’s priority.”)

We don’t often place organizational problems (such as weak alignment between the priorities of a company’s strategy or poor collaboration among the senior team) in the domain of time management, which is generally seen as an issue for individuals. To meddle with someone’s to-do list or calendar feels like micromanaging. In addition, time management seems too simplistic a solution to a complex organizational challenge.

But in this case, the simplest solution may be the most powerful because most behavior-change challenges are simply about how people are spending their time. That’s precisely where individual time management and organizational time management need to intersect. The question is how. Here’s a straightforward approach …” (Read Full Article Here)

 Christine Petersen is an authority on Time Management, Productivity and Workflow Management solutions. With over 20 years’ experience working with in excess of 20,000 Senior Managers internationally; Christine has a passion for rigorous processes and the effective use of business technology.