One of the critical characteristics of an effective management team is the capacity to determine which is the best and most realistic priority among every competing priority in the business. The establishment of a clearly defined purpose focuses and aligns the effort and enthusiasm of the team in order to produce outstanding outcomes.
So often, short-term goals and objectives are set in response to an incident or situation.
For longer-term priorities, it is essential to reflect and think about the possibilities and select the most appropriate priority. It’s an intentional decision to shift from decision-making reactively to making bold choices. It’s the fundamental shift of shifting away from functional thought to strategic.
It’s often simpler to say than done, So let’s take an examination of the steps to be taken into consideration when deciding what the top priority is.
1. Always Having the End in Mind*
What is the single thing that could bring you closer to achieving your target? What is the most likely to have the most significant impact?
2. Consider Cause and Effect
The focus is often on the result (the result) that is desired instead of the source (the input) to create the desired outcome or effect.
Let’s take a look at an agricultural scenario. Farmers must provide and care for the bees as well as insects (the factor or source of the problem) in order to get their crops pollinated for more yields (the result or effect). To protect the insects, the farmer might require taking care of the environment as well.
Sometimes, the goal might be at least one step from the result we’re looking for.
3. Consider Symptoms v Disease
A thorough review should be conducted to determine if the prioritization list addresses symptoms of an underlying structural problem. A solution to one issue could cause an expression of the underlying issue in another area of the company.
In business, for instance, the signs of low morale in the workplace could result from a variety of problems. In the short term, fixes could provide a temporary boost; however, the root of the issue hasn’t been taken care of. The cause could be the core corporate culture. As long as the illness isn’t recognized and treated appropriately, the symptom will continue to show up.
4. Consider Facts v Opinion
Be sure to check frequently if your choice is based on reality or your personal opinion. It is essential to acknowledge your gut feelings and then challenge them. Be sure to take the time to think about the facts. Think about whether the priorities that we have set are based on a belief that is our own or that of someone else’s.
They are based on our beliefs. A belief is something that we consider to be real. It could be true or not be accurate. We are unable to discern and locate evidence that supports this conviction.
If you can, verify the truthfulness of opinions, beliefs, and feelings in the bright and clear sunlight of factual evidence. If needed, be prepared to modify your beliefs, opinions, and gut feelings.
*In this piece from Ray Moore, he looks deeper into some of the ideas that he outlined in The Levels, his book. Does your business have the capacity to rise to meet the Growth Challenge available from Amazon.co.uk?
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