I was riding with my parent this weekend who has Alzheimer’s. Clearly she has difficulty integrating new information, due to forgetting or not assimilating recent events that would change her world view. Furthermore she locks in her world view by retelling her world view supporting stories over and over again, partly because she’s lost the ability to engage, to listen and inquire.
2) Time Leaks
Imagine for a moment, that everytime you filled up your car’s gas tank, you knew that it would leak out 20% of the gas you put in. That’s right, 20% of what you put in, would be wasted. Would you accept that? No, of course not. But guess what, you probably operate with a much higher leakage when it comes to investing your time. There are gas leaks, oil leaks and then there are time leaks; keep reading and I’ll explain.
3) PM and the Power of Priority
In Scott Berkun’s “The Art of Project Management; How to Make Things Happen” he boldly headlines, “Priorities Make Things Happen.” And he has a point, but it almost sounds magical, and we all know it isn’t. In fact if you looked back over this week, which would be most true: “Priorities make things happen… or Distractions take up much of my day and upstage priorities”? I bet it’s often the latter, and I want to show you how to solve that; but first another question.
4) Outsourcing Truth and Lies
90% of mid-sized companies outsource one or more job functions (starting with HR & IT). And it is predicted that by 2020, the current 16 million freelancers, consultants and other independent workers in the US, will become the majority, not the minority, of the workforce. In just 6 short years down the road, over 50% of the workers in America will be independent or freelancers. That means if you aren’t already outsourcing some of your work, you will be soon. The typical reason for outsourcing is that it will save time and money. But what if, as some suggest, that’s a big lie! If so, how do you avoid the “4x Rule” and the hidden costs of outsourcing? Let’s start with defining the 4x rule and the hidden gotcha’s inherent in outsourcing.
5) Working Strategically, 3-Legged Stool
What if the secret to working strategically wasn’t a set of tasks or a series of decision steps? What if there wasn’t any protocol to follow, but instead it was grounded in perception. Yes perception. What you and I attend to. See what you think, as I present in this blog the case for working and managing strategically as fundamentally requiring a developed scan as well as optimization of resources and options. In fact, this blog is aimed at describing three practical techniques you can use to work more strategically. Techniques that focus on how and what you attend to and scan, as contrasted with working in a “heads down” style. For everyone who manages projects and people, think of working strategically as directly tied to or enhanced by your capability to balance what I call a three legged stool in your field of view. Keep reading, I’ll explain.
6) Strategic Planning, Lies and Making it Fun
Two very different articles, crossed my desk recently, both have a bearing on how to approach strategic planning, and even more so when you get around to implementing strategy and making it real. The second one is a research study out of Queens University in Canada following the effects of 22 women exercising. You’re probably thinking, “What, I thought this blog was on strategy?” It is. And I’ll explain in a minute, but let’s begin by looking at an article coming out of Harvard around the topic of strategy and lies.