Focus on the BIG Rocks!!

Why do some many companies that want to grow think the best way to get there is to spread their resources across a vast landscape of projects that may or may not deliver the results. Companies have finite resources and they mostly reside in human capital. When spread too thin the quality of execution suffers.

Great leaders understand that saying NO is just as important as saying YES to projects. Not everything that someone dreams up can be or should be funded. Decisions have to be made about where the company will focus its resources. Leaders that shout out orders to get going on one initiative after another because it was their idea (mostly) are hurting the company more than they help it. Being decisive takes courage and discipline. It also requires a supportive board.

So how do you get there? Leaders need to focus on the big rocks. The analogy here is the teacher that walks in to class with a big jar on the desk in front of students and asks if the jar is full? Students obviously say no. He then proceeds to put a few large rocks in the jar and then asks again. The teacher grabs a hand full of smaller rocks and puts them in the jar. Asking again, is the jar full? No. The teacher then grabs a hand full of stones and fills in more space in the jar………again and again until finally the teacher puts a load of sand in the jar and fills up all the space in the jar. The point being that you can’t fill the jar (use all your resources) if you start with the SMALL rocks or sand. You need to identify the big ones and start there.

The argument I’m sure is that you don’t know which ones are the BIG rocks….well, isn’t that why they pay management the big bucks? So maybe management needs to spend a bit more time digging in to the details of some of the initiatives they support. I’m sure they would find that some of them really aren’t such a good idea….is that such a bad thing?

A problem well defined or understood is a problem half solved!

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