Why change when you can go faster?

David Armes | 11th August 2018

I had a moment last week. One of those moments that seemed so obvious you felt an idiot for not having it a long time ago.

I was sitting in my office, facing one of the busiest periods of work we have had for a long time. I mentally prepared myself to roll up my sleeves and get my head down for the next 3 weeks to get through the workload. I mapped everything out that needed to be done, in the way that I had always done it, and thought. ‘I am not sure whether I can get this done!!’ So I went off, made myself a coffee, came back with fresh eyes and realised, I definitely couldn’t get it done.

 

Panic started to rise in me, I could feel the stress, the brain shutting down, and the only thing I could think about doing was to work harder, faster and longer hours. I mapped it out, and although the volume of hours I would have to do still looked overwhelming I could at least get it done.

Then my moment came. ‘Why am I not looking at doing things differently? Could there be a new way of doing things?’

I went off and made myself another coffee (I like coffee) and came back with not just a fresh set of eyes but a fresh brain and sat down and put my plan together again. This time asking myself:

  • Have I thought about all my options?

  • Have I analysed what is working and what is not?

  • What can I do differently to make things better?

  • Have I thought about everyone who I can ask for help and asked them?

  • Have I stripped out everything that is unnecessary noise?

  • Have I made all my tough decisions?

  • Am I clear what I am and am not now going to do?

 

What was the outcome? It felt lighter, more achievable and even a bit more enjoyable.

Therefore, from my own personal experience, if you want to be more successful in the 2nd half of this year please don’t fall into the trap of asking your teams to work harder and faster. Give them these questions (or ones like them) and see what they come up with. I promise you, if nothing else, it will give them energy to go again.

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