Whether you’re the CEO of a multi-national corporation or a junior apprentice, we are all equal when it comes to time – we each have an allocation of 24 hours a day.
How each of us choose to spend that time defines our true priorities
You may hear someone say:
“I’d really love to learn Italian, I just don’t have the time”
In reality, a lot of other things are taking priority.
The statement is really an excuse, and requires a reality check.
Do they really want to learn Italian?
What you choose to spend your time on defines your priorities.
I’m reminded of ‘Groundhog Day’ on visits to some sites. The same excuses are rolled out and a lengthy account is received of how busy things have been.
What it really means is that short-term agendas have overtaken the longer-term improvement objective.
In his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”,
Stephen Covey categorised time in this grid:
What proportion of your time is spent in each quadrant?
Ideally, our business leaders should spend time only on important issues. An abundance of urgent issues may point to an opportunity to improve processes.
It may also point to an absence of longer term vision and goals
Discipline is required to achieve a balance between
working “in the process” and working “on the process”
Allocating time to address this balance will achieve sustainable longer-term results.
Moving from “urgent” issues to “not urgent” requires definition of processes, training and delegation. Done well and supported by good standard work, the process can be trusted to
deliver better results
The added bonus is staff development and increased job satisfaction among those who take on the delegated tasks.
In some environments, being busy is seen as a badge of honour. Long working hours can be expected and applauded.
A lean approach looks at how productive those hours are.
How much time is value-add as seen by the customer of the process?
Start building your processes and your teams today.
You’ll be amazed at how much time can be released.
You may be interested in applying these ideas and Lean thinking to your business.
Enterprise Ireland and the IDA offer support to clients through their Lean Business programmes.
Click here for details.
The Skillnets ManagementWorks Lean Business programme will commence in Dublin on December 13th.
Click here for details.