…but always enough time to do it again!
During my corporate career, we used to joke that anything that began with “re…” was a bad thing. Specifically, we were referring to re-engineering, re-work, re-bid etc. The premise was to keep our focus on doing what we needed to do the right way from the beginning. While the concept seems so obvious, it amazes me how leaders continue to struggle to avoid the re-peat performance!
Based on my own experience with leaders across many different types of organizations, there are three key ideas to address this challenge of getting it right the first time. They are Dealing with Time Pressures, Making Good B+ Decisions and Understanding the Context of the Business. Let’s take a deeper look at how dealing with each one helps optimize doing it right the first time.
- Time pressures are very real! Gone are the days when we might have had the ability to get everything on our to-do list completed. The time management skill that prevails in today’s business environment is the ability to get the most important things done. The ability to prioritize the activities and decisions needed to move forward while minimizing taking any steps backward (doing it again) is crucial to sustainable success.
- To keep up with time pressures, leaders must get comfortable making the right decisions without the luxury of having all the information available to them. The world simply will not slow down to give leaders more time to make the decisions. Therefore, the decisions must be made faster and still be the right decisions. The biggest obstacle is generally not the availability of information, but the leader’s mindset preventing them from making the decision due to the risk (real or perceived).
- To overcome the risk of a wrong decision, leaders must have systems in place to fully understand the ongoing context of their business. We live in an information (content) rich, knowledge (context) poor world. Ignoring the contextual elements of the business until a crucial decision is needed puts the leader in a position of greater risk of a poor decision and elevates the likelihood of re-work. Getting it right the first time means always understanding the context of the business.
Making the time to do something again because it was not done right the first time costs the business resources in very tangible terms. The time made to do it again is time not doing new things to grow the business. The cost of doing anything multiple times has a very measurable impact to profitability.
How are you getting your business right the first time?