Initiative Overload: Is Less Really More?

How many of us are already on initiative overload and it’s the third week of January? It seems the economy and the need to sustain business has catapulted leadership to focus on too many “things” right out of the gates. New tools, new processes, new roles, new strategies, new products, new programs. While some of these might be necessary, I think we have lost our ability to prioritize.

Prioritization takes a huge amount of discipline. Many of us can see 50 feet in front and know what needs to be done to be successful. But, we only have so many resources to get it done. I don’t think a person can be successful if they are so splintered.

One of my favorite quotes I learned in business years ago is: “What gets measured, gets done.” Measurement takes a lot of effort. I mean true measurement. Not just logins, hits or activities but true measurement of success based on business goals.

I argue that focusing on 3 real priorities with real plans, measures and follow-up will yield more success than having a list of 20 projects to do. But, sometimes, that philosophy is not embraced. Being busy and churning out work justifies our existence. But, does it?

Establishing performance measures tied to business results will force a conversation about prioritization. It all starts there. Many of us will have to lobby for the less is more approach, and you can do so by showing what will be measured and what impact the less approach will generate vs. an endless task list.

My hope for this new decade is a focus on less. Less is better. Less is achievable. Less is necessary.

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