A year ago I was explaining to a client that to operate at optimum effectiveness a leader has to have the knowhow to navigate three domains.
Domain 1: The knowhow to design and manage the organisational system
This means being able to look at the world outside-in from the customers’ perspective, designing work so that it moves quickly from and to the customer breaking down functions en-route, using measures so that organisational purpose and capability is made transparent and taking action on the system rather than the people.
Domain 2: The knowhow to manage the system of work
Leaders should, for example, be able to understand whether the work should be managed on a transactional basis (one and done), or as a complex case-working system or whether the environment is process based. Knowing what you’re managing and how to treat each system will ensure that the correct rules, processes and measures are used in the right way. A simple analogy is the vet, he or she starts by identifying what type of anatomical system they’re looking at (is this a horse or a guinea pig?) and then treats each one appropriately.
Domain 3: The leader must be able to manage themselves and their own stuff
Without effectiveness in this domain you can never have the time to think about and manage the other two. Clarity of thought about how to design and manage tomorrow’s world is lost as the leader never sees beyond their immediate runway.
As I discussed this with the client they caught me off-guard about how to be more effective in the personal/individual domain. Whilst I had all the answers for domains 1 & 2 I was struggling to know what systems to set up for self-management. I remembered however that a client I had immense respect for in the US had pointed me in the direction of a method called ‘Getting Things Done’. He had even given me the book to read. I took it from my bookshelf that night and read it. Here was the answer.
Over the next year I attended all the courses, webinars and got all the personal coaching I could get in this area and I found it made a huge difference in my life. Now that I had stopped dropping the ball I had a clear head and I even slept better. The definition of work is anything that needs done and is still outstanding, if you need to be better in this area or want to do it with more elegance and less stress then I have the very thing…
This week I interviewed Ed Lamont, founding director of Next-Action Associates in the UK and Germany. Ed is a master trainer for the Getting Things Done method. In the interview he outlines:
- Tips and tricks to get more things done now
- How to ensure that when you need to do work it’s been right-sized so that you have no procrastination
- The GTD system
- The 2 minute rule for being effective immediately
- And much more
Ed has a course coming up in Edinburgh on the 19th of November if you’d like to attend, here’s the link www.next-action.eu. And no I don’t get commission.
I hope you get involved and, as ever, keep on improving your organisation and yourself.