Earlier this week, one Conservative minister reportedly commented that the UK government was trapped in a “Brexit vortex of s**t!” The language might be a little crude, but the metaphor is clear: the government cannot do anything except suffer day-after-day of Brexit misery. There seems no way out and the vortex seems likely to overwhelm drown the Conservatives.

While hopefully not so smelly, many organisations have their own specific vortex of urgent issues that disproportionately consume people’s time and energy, preventing them from moving the business forward. Your to-do list gets longer and your diaries become even more packed, yet at the end of the day, week and year you fear that you haven’t really achieved anything important.

My experience of working closely with over 50 different businesses over the past ten years is that three things help leaders and organisations to overcome the vortex.

First, your business needs a clear sense of purpose, a reason for being over and above the desire to make money. Second, you need one or two ambitious, meaningful goals that align the business and enable the entire enterprise to get its collective shoulder behind a handful of priorities. And third, you need the individual, team and organizational disciplines to set aside the time and resources to deliver on those priorities.

Which of these three elements are prevalent in your business and, if you’re suffering in your own vortex of whatever substance, which of them could you work on to help you focus, escape the vortex and get the important stuff done?


Off The Record: Sandstorm by Cast

I’ve got a sandstorm

Blowing in my head

But the only one

That’s coming through is red

And it’s stopping me dead!


© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.