2022: time to focus on what really matters to your business

2022: time to focus on what really matters to your business

2022-focus-on-what-matters-to-your-business

The New Year is a time for reflection on the year gone by – both your business’s achievements and missed opportunities. With this comes a sense of new beginnings – and we have an age-old tradition that helps us put our good intentions into practice: New Year’s resolutions.

In your search for a dynamic approach to developing and delivering your IT strategy in the months ahead, your top resolution should read something like this: “we will focus on a select few goals that we believe matter the most for our business.” By zeroing in on the important stuff and allocating your resources accordingly, you won’t be waylaid trying to multi-task.

C-level executives are sometimes guilty of attempting to spin too many plates. Instead of focusing resources on doing a few vital things properly, they get caught in the trap of trying to do too much at once – to the detriment of project delivery. If your business falls into this bracket, you should take a leaf out of Warren Buffett’s book.

The 5/25 rule

Warren Buffet – one of the most successful businessmen of all-time – advises professionals to follow his simple technique for prioritising goals: an exercise used to focus on your most valued aims – the activities that seem most meaningful to your business.

Warren-Buffet

His productivity strategy involves three simple steps:

  1. Write down a list of your top 25 business goals.
  2. Circle the five most important goals for your business – these will be your most urgent goals and highest priority.
  3. The other 20 goals should be put on a do not do list.

Buffett believes you should park those 20 non-urgent goals because any effort invested in them will distract your focus and energy from your five high-priority goals – making this do not do list just as important as your to-do list.

The four disciplines of execution

Another simple, repeatable and proven formula for achieving your most important strategic priorities can be executed in parallel with the 5/25 rule for maximum effect:

  1. Focus on the wildly important
  2. Act on lead measures
  3. Keep a compelling scoreboard
  4. Create a cadence of accountability
The-four-disciplines-of-execution

Having identified your must-do goals with Mr Buffet’s help, the next step in your strategy is to achieve them – and these four disciplines complement the 5/25 rule be providing a structure for success.

This focused approach to executing your most important priorities and creating lasting organisational change was devised by Clayton Christensen – an American academic, business consultant and professor at Harvard Business School.

Aware that major initiatives can be suffocated by other competing priorities that strangle resources, Christensen created what has become a proven set of practices that help business leaders focus on what’s important and produce breakthrough results.

Tarek Meliti explains how aligning TDM Group with the four disciplines of execution has helped the business to define and deliver its most important strategic priorities:
“At TDM Group, our wildly important goal is engaging with operational C-levels at midsized businesses that are open to looking at technology through a holistic lens. We have clearly defined our lead measures based on the number of operational C-levels that visit our website, read our articles and like our LinkedIn posts. We understand that our people are more driven to achieve our goals when a score is applied, so we provide them with incentives to meet targets. And we have created a cadence of accountability by implementing robust performance-management systems that highlight successes, analyse failures and implement corrections.”

Looking ahead

As we take our first few tentative steps into 2022, there is cautious optimism in the air for businesses – from forecasts that the UK economy will continue to recover at a rapid rate to suggestions that the acute phase of the pandemic could end sometime this year.

So, take a leaf out of Mr Buffett’s book and seize the opportunity to adopt focused goals by taking a step back from the whirlwind of activity that is daily operations and ask yourself: “what critical goals will allow us to narrow the focus of success and what must be done to achieve them?” Get this right and your strategy will become a streamlined framework that delivers meaningful results – and you can thank Mr Buffett for the sound advice.