Are You Managing From The Monkey Bridge?

Can you answer yes to any of the following questions? 1.  Does your company tends to write a plan every year but mostly it is put in a binder to gather dust?  Maybe you don’t even do planning because “what’s the point?” 2.  Do you spend too much of your time fighting fires, eliminating emergencies and chasing “what if’s”? 3.  Can you quickly explain your current business strategy and how it fits with your company’s vision?  Your 3-yr strategy?  Your marketplace position? 4.  Can you show your current program performance measures and make the appropriate mid-stream corrections? 5.  Do you have to go through more than one layer of management to get a decision made about any program – even one that has already been given a green light? 6.  How many times each year do you have to justify your budget? More than during the annual budgeting process?  Do … Continue reading

Breaking Down Template Thinking – Prioritization

Template thinking leads to under-prioritized laundry lists of to-do’s. If you’ve been in the business world for more than a few months then you have probably experienced the damage such thinking causes. Lots of work being done, nothing truly important to the organization being accomplished. Sound familiar? My favorite solution to this problem occurred in a senior management retreat for a major company. The Corporate President asked his team to put together a list of priorities for the coming fiscal year. The list that came back was a staggering 20 points long. He sent it back. “Shorten it.” It came back 18 points long. Every point strongly defended. Bob said, “Fine, we’ll go with this.” The list was carefully typed up. The first page included our mission and the first three priorities. The second page the other 15 priorities. His team approved the two pages. Bob then proceeded to forget … Continue reading