Time is a key issue today, there is never enough of it. So this is a challenge to think differently and to take some time to review your efficiency and effectiveness.
The key to understanding this is the 80/20 Rule. Research indicates that 80% of a company’s:
- profits come from 20% of its customers
- complaints come from 20% of its customers
- sales come from 20% of its products
Tight is managing the 80% scenarios that are relevant to your business.
This is about “doing things right”, in effect meticulous efficiency. (Dotting i’s and crossing t’s)
The ‘Tight’ is the engine room of the business and the individual, it’s where the profits are generated and the money is banked.
So follow procedures, be best practice experts, understand exactly what is required to be client excellent and prioritise the important tasks first.
Key questions are:
- Does each staff member know the 20% of things they do that delivers the 80% of their outcomes?
- Does the business have a vision that underpins the 20% of its activities that delivers 80% of its profits? Is this in a clear, accessible plan that is clearly understood by everyone in the business?
Loose is everything thing else. With individuals and organisations spending 80% of their effort delivering 20% of their outcomes, this is about “doing the right things”, in effect rigorous effectiveness.
So do what’s most important first, stop doing what doesn’t count, get people to create ‘stop doing lists’ as well as ‘to do lists’, innovate new ways of doing things, find and copy best practice in areas you are not strong and leverage technology whenever possible.
Ask the question: is what I am doing either increasing sales, improving margin or reducing cost? If the answer to these is no, then question why you are doing it.
Create the time to become creatively effective, hypothesise ideas to create these new ways, evaluate, test, and then retest.
In summary, know what counts and be excellent at it. For everything else constantly look to improve effectiveness and eliminate anything that isn’t critical to the business.
Bruce Roberts – The Alternative Board Auckland West
The Alternative Board provides peer to peer business advice and planning as well as business mentoring and coaching to support NZ Businesses.