Tag Archives: priorities

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urgent work

Urgent Work Is a Different Priority

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How do you decide what is going to get done? Are you doing urgent work or just work that feels like it should get done?

One decision you make almost every day is closely connected to what happens next.

What are your priorities?

Your Priorities

Will you brush your teeth first, get dressed, or take a shower? What is your priority?

Will you grab a coffee at work, report to your work area, or discuss the latest news with a colleague? What is most important? What is urgent?

There are lots of ways to determine priorities. Often it is driven by some form of need. However, the need is not always the same as what you or others want.

You also likely factor in the concept of what you should do.

I should…

Go to the gym after work.

Tidy up this mess before doing anything else.

Finish the report before the meeting on Wednesday.

When you consider the should factor, you may discover that should isn’t always the most important or urgent. Should is often considered a nicety.

In the workplace, or in your community, you’re often challenged by trying to decide on the right things to work on. What is the most urgent?

Will finishing the report early help my coworkers? Does that rise to the level of urgency?

Is picking up trash in the park more urgent than working on a campaign to help shelter the homeless?

Urgent Work

People often decide on what they’ll work on next by the urgency that they perceive about the importance of the task.

Individual perceptions which are often driven by group dynamics, peer pressure, and even the media affect your sense of urgency.

The next time you want something to happen you may want to consider how others may perceive the sense of urgency. Urgent work always seems to take a priority.

It’s not the squeaky wheel, but it may be the sneaky wheel.

Understand your priorities.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Workplace accountability

Workplace Timelines Create Accountability

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It is often easy to shout out the timeline. Are workplace timelines creating accountability or hindering productivity?

Depending on the work, timelines are either set or contingent upon availability or demand.

Workplace Timelines

Management sometimes sets the timeline. It may be based on historical performance, benchmark data, or even just management expectations.

In other cases, timelines are conditioned by availability or need.

Restaurants are busy during a breakfast, lunch, or dinner hour, but not so much during other times.

Personal tax service businesses have a peak time of the year.

In manufacturing or assembly businesses, efforts often depend on first things first, each step of the process relies on the step before.

In healthcare or firefighting, the timeline may be conditioned by an emergency.

For some businesses the timeline is conditioned by a project specification. Project managers assure the process is happening according to spec.

In all cases, accountability is often a concern. Matrix management or cross-functional teams often leave accountability in the hands of the employee teams.

What makes a difference for accountability?

Driving Accountability

There are two schools of thought.

The first is that management sets all timelines and provides oversight to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable.

Another is that management asks responsible parties to provide the timeline and then provides support and oversight to the process.

Are the timelines reasonable? Will the work be completed on time?

When the responsible party chooses the timeline and everyone agrees that it is reasonable there is little room for excuses.

Perhaps the quality, accuracy, and completeness of the project will depend on who sets the timeline?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace language

Workplace Language Changes the Priorities

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What is the talk around your office? What is the talk on the sales floor, the production floor, or in engineering? Workplace language has a significant impact on the priorities.

Have you considered the talk in your work area? Do themes exist?

That won’t fly, it’s not in the budget.

I don’t have time for another meeting. 

We’ll never make goal with this marketing plan. 

What we talk about conditions priorities. What we hear and repeat brings it to life.

Different Language

When we suggest that there isn’t enough time, it isn’t in the budget, or it is failure waiting to happen, we may really be suggesting that what lies ahead is not important enough.

Perhaps it didn’t make the budget because no one recognized the value. The meeting seems like a waste because participants don’t see the value. Individual or department goals and a connection to the marketing plan has not been established.

We can certainly suggest this language is built from excuses, laziness, or a way to shift blame. Perhaps some of all of that has truth. The real challenge though is to engage teams so the language is different.

Best Workplace Language

When people see the connection to what is in the budget and why, it may create more alignment. If the meeting is necessary, is it effective? Have the meetings been effective in the past?

Have goals been directly aligned with the sales and marketing plan? Is there a commitment to the brand promise?

Organizations that talk success, attain more success. It brings the everyday workload to life.

What are your employee teams talking about?

Workplace language changes the priorities.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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training priorities

Move Up, Move Down, Training Priorities

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A fundamental goal of nearly every business is to make money. Even non-profit organizations need revenue streams and outcomes associated with delivery. Do you have time for training? What are your training priorities?

The excuse that is hard to argue is the one that positions against the fundamental goal. Yet, there is a difference between never, and when the time is right.

Starbucks closed its doors yesterday (May 29, 2018) for employee training. In a move that many may criticize as having the wrong priorities, Starbucks appears insistent on change.

Move Up or Down

We filter our to-do lists every day. Some items move up, some move down, and some never seem to get any action. Is this the training plan for your business? Are the best businesses always shipping product or fulfilling services with no time for training?

It may be very tempting to believe that everyone just shows up, rolls up their sleeves, and starts shipping. After all, the business model is well known and the Company doesn’t survive without revenue. Certainly, revenue and fulfillment for today is important.

I would also venture a guess that growth is on the CEO’s mind. Scaling up, more people, more technology, and more costs, which means more revenue is required.

Most organizations don’t get better when they only believe in shipping. Their scale becomes balancing the status quo. Great people don’t join, good people don’t stay, and those who are left without options just continue to ship.

Training Priorities

It seems logical that not shipping wastes time and money. What is the cost of not training? What are your training priorities?

Is training worth closing the doors for a few hours, is it worth rotating some work or training in shifts? What will the outcome be?

Employees typically rise to the competence of the most skilled in their environment. They communicate, get along, and engage at the level of group acceptance.

Quality, service, and caring about the outcomes improves with training. Reducing harmful conflict, having a customer centric focus, and leading the way to future growth happens with advancement, not the status quo.

Most people have a fundamental goal connected with work too, they want to make money.

It seems ironic when the intrinsic goals are similar, that planning to improve employee performance slides so far down the list.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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