“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” – Warren Buffet
Welcome to 2016. I wish you a prosperous New Year!
2015 was a year I spent learning a lot of golden principles about success and interestingly one of the best, if not the best lesson I learnt is the significance of a To STOP doing list. Tons of books, articles, white papers, info graphics, blogs, etc. have been written on what we should start doing, how to start doing them and the importance of creating To Do lists but hardly will you find a book or anyone talking about what we should stop doing – a subject I have come to regard as completely vital in the pursuit of outstanding success.
In his bestselling book – How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In; Author Jim Collins coined an interesting phrase “the undisciplined pursuit of more,” where the pursuit of greater success leads to loss of focus and diffused results and ultimately failure. The tendency for us to continue to pile up our plate with more things to do is the reason for so much mediocrity that we find in the world today. Even the word priority has evolved into priorities which in itself is an oxymoron. It’s like saying one wants to buy new antiques. You can’t buy new antiques just like you can’t have several priorities.
The tendency to do more and more affects organisations and individuals alike. Even when companies know that an advantage has run its course, they will still continue to defend it to the bitter end simply because they are unable to confront their brutal realities and adapt to the changing environment. This goes for individuals too. We keep doing something that is of no value simply because we do not want to experience uncomfortable feelings usually associated with letting go of what we have become comfortable with.
So what are the signs that you are engaged in an undisciplined pursuit of more? And most importantly, what can individuals and organisations do to help them avoid this dangerous trap in 2016?
This article provides some insights and useful tips that hopefully will help us have a great 2016.
STOP DOING LIST FOR COMPANIES
1. Endless Pointless Meetings: Officebrokers.com carried out a study on 500 office workers in the UK to find out how many hours are spent in meetings, on average, and what percentage of these meetings are actually useful. The results show that the average office worker spends around 16 hours in meetings each week, and that around a quarter of this time is usually wasted. That’s four hours of pointless meetings every week.
Over a year, this works out to more than 200 hours. Over a career, the total is even more alarming with the average worker sitting through around 9,000 hours of needless meetings – a full year and ten days!
2. Annual Performance Reviews– Performance reviews should be done on a regular basis; preferably after each assignment. Having regular performance reviews and feedback sessions will implement a more fluid system, in which employees receive timely feedback from their managers on an on-going basis following every assignment. What really is the logic behind having employees wait till the end of each year to get feedback on their performance? I totally fail to see how this profits the employees and organisation alike. Imagine how many blows could have been avoided throughout the year, and on the reverse, worthy matters that should have gained more focus.
3. Not Evaluating Managers’ Management Styles– It is not a myth that people join organisations but leave managers. It is unsafe for any organisation to live in blissful ignorance of how its managers manage its employees, especially where they’ve had no form of preparation or training for that position. The effect of managers’ relations with employees on employee retention and performance cannot be overemphasised and should not be overlooked.
4. Hiring replacements as opposed to having an effective succession planning: If nothing else, at least consider the cost of replacing a wrong hire; management, administrative and legal costs, plus the indirect cost of stolen/damaged goods, equipment, employer reputation, etc. According to a survey conducted by Right Management Consultants, the replacement cost of a bad hire is 1 to 5 times the salary of the job in question. Every forward-looking organisation should have a comprehensive succession plan.
Now pause to reflect on this ‘To Stop Doing list’. What do you think would be the result if you cannot stop any of these? More importantly, also create your own “To Stop doing list”. What would be on your list?
Share with us. Drop a comment!
Are you an employee? Watch out for Six things you need to stop doing in 2016
Bolaji Olagunju is the Lead Consultant and CEO of Workforce Group. He helps organisations with transformation and business improvement efforts via the design and deployment of service offerings in the areas of Strategy Planning and Execution, Organisational Design and Development, Corporate Universities/Academy Design and Implementation, Change Management, Performance Management Design and Implementation as well as Business Process Outsourcing.
He is a member of CIPD UK, SHRM, NIM, a Licensed Member and Test /Assessment Administrator of the British Psychological Society and a Certified ROI Practitioner.
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