Someone once said to me “I don’t need more information, I need more insight”. That was over 10 years ago. It’s even worse today! There’s more information and, it seems, less attention to go around.
A valuable insight, is to be able to distil the vital few from the trivial many. Whoever you are – whether you’re a chief executive, policy analyst, HR specialist, mother, fireman, or anyone. Malcolm Galdwell wrote an interesting book on this – “Blink”. It takes experience to pick the ‘right’ vital few.
Many organisations are currently operating with significantly constrained resources (compared to a year ago). For too many the response has been for their people to pedal faster! Do more with less, but the underlying thinking hasn’t changed. Too many organisations/teams still lack a coherent and simple strategic plan which shapes the focus and engagement of their people. And the current economic pressures aren’t helping. Everyone is simply to busy to think differently.
This is part two in my emerging leadership framework. It seems important that leaders can take what is personally important to them and turn it into a strategy that creates relevance for them and their teams in their work environment. This is a piece of “thought leadership”.
A useful tool can be to build a team charter . This would be explicit about the future that the team is building. I call it the intended shape of the future. While we can’t control everything that influences our future, there is a lot that we can control. So it is important to make some deliberate choices about where to focus. And there should only a few areas of focus! I’d recommend 3-5. I call them the pillars, that support the intended shape of our future. I understand that Microsoft, with all it’s resources, has their “3 big bets”. I’ll bet their people can remember 3!
It sounds simple, but it requires the ability and intention to synthesise a wide and diverse range of inputs. It requires a discipline to stop doing some things. And, it requires the courage to keep going. Then we can start to shape the future we want, rather than react to the future that simply arrives.