Saturday, May 8, 2010

Are You Stuck!?

Thriving in the New Economy - WOMEN PRESIDENTS' ORGANIZATION - Annual Conference
KEYNOTE ADDRESS – PROFESSOR REBECCA HENDERSON, Senator John Heinz Professor of Environmental Management, Harvard Business School
SPONSORED BY: Foley & Lardner, LLP

Professor Henderson finds that most companies do not achieve their strategic plans because they just have too many of them. We tend to have a hard time saying no. What does your pipeline REALLY look like? Are you trying to do too many things at once? Goals that are beyond the resources of your company? Are you "being too busy"? Most companies run at ~300% overload

These are the dynamics of overload
-The dangers of firefighting
-Why we tend to stay stuck
-How to break the cycle -what can be done
What are the realities of overload?
-Most everyone knows that the bottom projects will never get done
So kill those projects
Stop burning up your people
Over commitment reduces productivity
When you are constantly moving from project to project there is no time to reflect
Attention to projects actually declines
Focus shifts to short term versus long term
-Why does overload persist?
Overload is not about the person failing, it is a structural dynamic
people get blamed instead of the systems
Imposes pressure
Switch into firefighter mode, providing insights, fixing things instead of developing strategy, setting priorities and systems, and killing the project
Want to get unstuck?
-Manage your capacity - look at your projects like your product production pipeline
Don't take a bottoms up estimate approach
Most often tasks established are unreliable
it NEVER goes as planned
Always easy to make space for 1 more
keep good records of actual times required to complete past projects
Compare past projects to the new one - understand how really feasible the new one is
-Learn to like killing projects
Have a clear strategy and live by it -even if it is a "good" project - say NO!
Run a funnel not a tunnel
Clearly articulate the priorities
Let staff know what can "fall of the table"
Learn to face worse before better
Accept short term pain for long term benefits
fix problems - don't punish
-Change your habits around dealing with problems
respond to them as opportunities
-Build trust within the organization
Think about your relationships - don't just CYA

No comments:

Post a Comment