Help with getting it all done on time
Cup of tea version:
When times are difficult, and when you work in an organisation with e-mail, you are never far into a working day when the first interruptions occur:
- Your team have persistent problems with their print suppliers.
- The operations board meeting is due to discuss cross company salary policy.
- A one sentence e-mail on a vital issue has arrived, which doesn't make sense unless you read the 19 messages in its ‘tail’. It is copied to your boss.
The paradox is this: ignoring or declining these opportunities to fritter time is often just not politic. After all, your colleagues are in the same boat.
But, ultimately, your organisation will judge you on how well you achieve the big stuff, stuff like:
- New-product development.
- Sales territory expansions.
- Product rationalisations.
- Supplier management.
- Brand reviews and campaigns.
Obviously, you can delegate some of this. But… most of it?
At some point you’ll be confronted with something you wanted to do that just isn’t happening. When that happens, call or e-mail me before you speak to anyone else.
It isn’t that there aren’t other experienced consultants about. But an awful lot of them, however grey their beards, have still only worked client-side, and often in three or fewer organizations.
They can draw on very detailed experience of a very limited number of things - but a lot of top-level projects don’t require detailed input as much as big, new thinking.
As I think I explained earlier, that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing for 15 years now. And still no grey beard.
Thinking about it…
The old Pareto Principle of “80:20” is well known to everybody, I’m sure.
If you’re a marketer, sales director or managing director then I have a new version of it to suggest.
(You could even call it the Herbert Principle. I wouldn’t, but you could…)
It’s this. The stuff they really hired you to do only gets 20% of your normal working hours. The other 80% is taken up with regular meetings, internal management and firefighting.
There’s no point in waiting for this to somehow stop happening so you can ‘really get on’. It won’t.