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Make it Personal, GTD and Your Executive Information System

June 09, 2011

Making things personal adds a positive sense of engagement to
whatever we do… and, surprise, surprise, that includes an Executive
Information System.  In fact any system you use to help yourself Get Things
Done benefits from personal engagement.  Given that, what are the top 3
things you can do to immediately make systems personal? … time’s up.
Let me help, it will pay off for you.

My executive information system

1. One of the quickest ways to make an EIS system more personal is
to focus it on this one area… think of the spotlight narrowing down to
the region lit up by this question:

– What frustrates me most about my business life?

That can be returns on your effort, goofy processes, delayed decision
makings, meetings, you name it… no literally you name it, and then
add that area to your information system to start planning and tracking
your success at turning it around.  That makes it personal very quick.

2. Here’s another one I like, it gets you thinking forward. Sometimes
it exposes reality, other times it exposes what turns out to be business
fantasy, but the best way to sort it all out is to plug it into your
EIS and find out using a series of basic get things done steps.
Here’s the question I focus on for this one:

What would you need to do to double your business this year?
or (if not self employed)
Double my impact on the business this year?

Think about that. That will lead to some interesting action plans, and
and if you create a scorecard about what you’re going to measure, it will
be something you will find yourself drawn to review regularly in your EIS.

3.  The third question is sort of off-beat.  But it gets you thinking in
a way that can be really helpful, as you apply it to all sorts of areas,
not to mention spawning all sorts of Getting Things Done actions.
Here’s the question, around which you will want to set up an
information and action plan tracking system:

What’s the story about you at work, your career, your business?

In defining the story, you end up looking at what are the beliefs, the patterns,
the expectations; what you’ve done, what you still hope to do, what’s been
tried and what hasn’t.  I guarantee you there is a story there.  Think about
it, because there will be one or more themes that tie it all together if you
take a close look.

When you look at the collection of your experiences and choices at work as
a story, it becomes a way to not only frame the experience, but make it clearer
as to which areas you would like to effect a change.

You have probably already figured it out by now, but tying an EIS into areas
you would like to change, is one of the best ways to make it personal,
to give it energy and to sustain your engagement.

Bottom Line:

Getting personally involved helps you actively engage at work, the process and
the outcomes. Introducing what you would like to change is one of the easiest
ways to prompt that personal connection.  Although it may not be obvious,
if you make your executive information and Getting Things Done system
personal, I think you’ll like the results.

Getting it Done and Executive Information Systems

3 Comments. Leave new

Elmer Astarita
October 4, 2012 10:59 am

Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write once more soon!


First of all I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question in which
I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
I’ve had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out
there. I do take pleasure in writing however it just
seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any recommendations or tips? Cheers!


Hi Antonietta,
More than half the time I start by identifying what’s the primary point I’m heading to, and then frame that in the opening, but with a challenge to common thinking patterns which my point is going to over-ride.
So primary point, with a twist or question to get engagement going. Does that help?



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