I talk a lot about strategy … I recommend revisiting your strategy regularly, innovating regularly etc.
The bottom line is that if you don’t EXECUTE on your plans then there really isn’t much point in strategizing!
Generally accepted wisdom suggests … Create a plan, then work the plan! Good advice … but for many people WORK is the problem.
People look for all of the reasons NOT to work. Let me give you some examples from our industry, where the two “sharp end of the ship” roles are sales and recruiting.
Things sales people do to avoid actually working …
1. Research… the number one time waster in sales. You can research “till the cows come home” but REALLY, just get out there and talk to people!
2. Drop ins… just “touching base”. Meetings with no agenda, no goal and not just wasting the salesperson’s time, but also the person they are meeting with.
3. Buddy calls… meetings with friends, colleagues, former colleagues to “get market intelligence”. Funny really, why not get it from the clients?
4. Admin… not even sure what this really is. Perhaps entering notes in the CRM, adding contacts, doing expenses, writing reports etc. REALLY sales people are paid to sell, and earn most money by selling … so do ADMIN at night! Unchain yourself from your desk!
Things recruiters do to waste time …
1. Read resumes… seems counter intuitive, but reading resumes is VERY ineffective. You can spend a lot of hours scouring through resumes. Find people who “look” like a fit and call them, ask them, actually spend time talking and emailing candidates NOT reading resumes!
2. Chatting(instant messenger plays a big role here) … about orders, about the last candidate they met, about their social life, about how much work they have to do. When at work … WORK, don’t chat.
3. Admin… same as sales. Don’t make a meal of it … it really should not be a task in itself, its part of the process. Do your notes while you talk to candidates, keep up with it as you go and it just fits around everything else.
I am sure ALL industries are the same … the people that are most successful are those that FOCUS on the productive parts of their job and make everything else fit around that.
By extension … the COMPANIES that are most successful are those that manage to actually EXECUTE on their plans.