Become Mired in the Day-to-Day (No. 21 in our list of IP mistakes)

Busy“It’s easy to put your head down and just work on what you think needs to be done. It’s a lot harder to put your head up and ask why.” (‘Rework’ by J Fried and D H Hansson)

Putting first things first is a universally identified businesses need. However, given the large amount of events bombarding us each day adding to the large stock pile of urgent things to do, taking the time to think about strategic matters that are not or do not seem pressing is often for most an unaffordable luxury.

This is a mistake… for the simple fact that it can trap people inside an intricate spider web of processes, meetings, deadlines, etc. increasing the risk that they will:

  • Overlook/fail to identity risks and inefficiencies that hide in your company’s operations and that will hurt the company over time (this can be related to resource utilizations, human capital distribution, costs, decision making cycle, etc.)
  • Fail to recognize and take advantage of strategic opportunities and fortuitous circumstances
  • Introduce additional risks by applying processes, matrices and other tools based on historic knowledge, without adapting to new dynamics of the business
  • Get trapped in a monotonous routine and loose the motivation to expand your horizons through your work.

Breaking out of the day-to-day tasks involves prioritizing workloads, delegating responsibilities and long term thinking that will make processes within your company work for you instead of against you. This will (should) inheritably imply strategic thinking – not only planning your future but constantly challenging your assumptions and the conventional thinking around your business model. From a business perspective, if the right persons are given the liberty and encouraged to dedicate time each day to challenge their business assumptions, it can significantly reflect in a company the ability to act rather than be acted upon, to learn and evolve to organize flexibility in its operations.

(This is number 21 in our list of IP mistakes and how to avoid them.)

Image credit: Bilboq

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