Over time most organizations move from focused activity to more general activity. In the process they unknowingly dilute the results they are looking for (Return On Investment) or in the non-profit world (Return on Mission). This drift from focused activity to less focused activity is not intentional but it happens in almost all organizations unless there are tools in place to keep the main thing the main thing.

Remember that approximately 80% of your success comes from roughly 20% of your activity. So focusing on the most important 20% is critical.

One of the key disciplines of any organization is to determine which of their activities yields the highest results and then to ensure that the majority of the effort is focused on these key activities. Many staff start to believe that being busy is an indicator of their skill. It is not! An indicator of skill is being focused on the right things, not activity in general.

Scorecards are a way to ensure that staff are focused on those activities that will yield the most return. One of my coaching clients is a wonderful performing arts academy. Their front desk team have many tasks that they perform to keep the academy running smoothly. They are all important. But, the most critical thing they can do to add value to the organization is to sell their services to the parents who call in and inquire about lessons for their kids. If they neglect those calls or don't take them with seriousness they are ignoring the 20% that contributes to 80% of the success of the academy. 

In order to focus on the 20% of activity that yields the greatest result, it is often necessary to eliminate other activity that is good but not critical. 

In good times, organizations add programs or products that are good but not critical to their mission. When tough times come, it is necessary to jettison some of the good for the sake of the critical. Not all products or programs are of equal value. Covid is a wonderful time to ask what is mission critical for the organization and then have the courage to let the rest go. Hard economic times help to clarify what is truly important what is marginally important. 

The best leaders are those who can sift through the activities of their staff and the programs and services they offer to ensure that the most important are being served and the least important are set aside. This is one of the distinctions of a good organization compared to an average organization.

  • Aug 03, 2020
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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