The biggest issue my clients face in innovating and growing more quickly is capacity. They – and their organisations – simply do not have the bandwidth to get all their ideas delivered at the pace and impact that they want.

Unfortunately, many still try to pursue every good idea, only to end up delivering 100 things badly rather than a handful of things brilliantly. Ruthless prioritization is the best way to drive pace and effectiveness.

There are other solutions, though. I’ll talk about others in the coming weeks, but my first idea for you – becoming a ‘time expert’ – is essential to effective delivery. Time expertise is more than paying lip service to your diary, it is about ensuring that every minute of every day is focused on your biggest priorities.

Earlier this week, for instance, I met an executive director of a FTSE 350 business who is working on a new commercial strategy for the business. Over the previous seven days he had spent over 12 hours writing a PowerPoint presentation on the strategy – not thinking through the key pillars of the strategy, but translating those ideas onto a 15-page deck!

There are probably 100 or more things this executive could have done with his time that would have helped deliver his priorities better than writing a PowerPoint pack. And while it may be obvious to people on the outside that this was not the best use of his time, it’s a lot more difficult to notice when you’re in the middle of the everyday mayhem.

The remedy is to regularly and critically review your calendar to understand how much of your time you’re wasting on unnecessary meetings, activities and tasks – and then take action. Ask yourself, how much of your current calendar could you delegate, do more efficiently, put off or simply stop doing?

Effective time management is not simply about becoming more efficient. Done properly, it is all about growing your organisation’s bandwidth and accelerating growth. How could you drive more growth for your business by becoming a time expert?


Off The Record: Life’s What You Make It by Talk Talk

Baby, life’s what you make it

Celebrate it

Anticipate it

Yesterday’s faded

© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.