Original insights in international business and marketing

The Secret to Getting Things Done

Too Much Stuff

The road to hell is still under construction.  The company hired to build it hasn’t been able to finish it.  They haven’t even ordered the good intentions to pave it with.  Why?  Well the firm got side tracked with other projects like the road to perdition and the road to riches.  Too much stuff going on at once you could say.

Full Plates

Corporate executives have a lot to worry about these days.  But that’s exactly the trouble.  We all simply have too much on our plates and are being pulled in every direction.  In turn, this creates confusion, stress and frustration throughout an organization.

Lack of Focus – Not Competition – is the Ultimate Enemy

Too many projects are dividing our attention and robbing us of our ability to see things through in a timely fashion.  We push on multiple – often conflicting – fronts, only to wonder why we aren’t making progress on anything.  Too many projects, campaigns, initiatives create havoc in an organization the same way that too many messages can confuse customers and sales teams.

A Simple Test

Look around your business and count the number of projects on the plate at any one time.  Do you or your department have dozens of initiatives being worked on simultaneously?  Have any of these been evaluated for cost, importance or revenue impact – against each other?

When Everything is a Priority, Nothing is!

The trick – albeit a hard one – is to prioritize all the plates you have spinning in the air.  Pick the top 2-3 and stick with those alone.  Sure, other plates may fall and break, but just imagine if your top, must-do projects fail to see the light of day.  Which is worse?

The Relentless Pursuit of… Focus

A few simple steps can help organizations stay the course and avoid returning to the bad old days of saying “yes” to too many things.

  1. Identify & Inventory all your projects.  Look for communication materials with too many points or messages.  Watch for marketing plans that are chock-full of programs.
  2. Prioritize them all using basic principles of portfolio management
  3. Enforce compliance with the top selected activities.  Don’t allow new projects to sneak in through back doors!  Call out any instances of people pushing their pet projects outside the normal process.
  4. Regularly track and review progress & new projects.  Priorities can change and new information can always change assumptions.  Review the list at least quarterly, if not monthly.
  5. Support and reward single-minded focus within your team/organization.  Behave with the same determination, urgency and steadfastness you expect from others.
  6. Take time to review your programs.  Did they deliver and meet expectations? Retrospective analyses become more feasible when the focus goes from quantity to quality.

Thoughts, suggestions, emotional outbursts?  Leave a comment or follow the Parifornia blog (Original insights in international business and marketing).

photo credit: antwerpenR via photopin cc

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2013 by in Marketing.

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June 2013

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Andrew Hyncik

Andrew Hyncik

Parifornia is the creation of Andrew Hyncik, an experienced International Marketing executive who's lived and worked for over 20 years in both Europe and North America.

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