Managing Initiative Overload
Initiative overload is an ailment that permeates nearly every large company. You don’t have enough time to do anything well or enough bandwidth to absorb what you need to absorb. Unfortunately, you may not escape it, but you can learn to manage it, and in the process make yourself a better contributor to good decisions. Read on to discover how.
Create A Personal-Time Feedback Loop
Review where you spend your time, determine the fit between time spent and your strategic priorities, and then adjust your time allocation if necessary. This may sound daunting, but many executives follow such a procedure rigorously. Lack of a personal-time feedback loop leads to a predictable result: People stay busy, but don’t necessarily spend their time in the right way or on the right initiatives.
Carefully define your responsibilities for each initiative
Understand what the expectations are and spell out how success will be defined and measured, both for the initiative and for yourself. Spelling it all out helped the individuals involved manage their time and helped the company keep its challenging plan on target.
Managing Your Involvement
Delegate so that you can balance the demands of initiatives with the requirements of your regular job. The key to successful delegation is to establish a crystal-clear framework within which your direct reports can make certain decisions, and ensure that you see only decisions that fall outside of that framework.
Establish Clear Decision Processes And Roles
Understanding the what, who, how and when of critical decisions and actions will enable you and your team to pace the work appropriately with the right people involved, drive the right level of detail at the right point in time and manage key stakeholders along the way (without managing too many of them).
Transparency And Open Communication
Be realistic about the effort you are putting in, the progress you are making and the impact you are having. Superheroes are for the movies. If you need more time, ask for it. If you need more people, fight for them. If you need more budget, find places to get it.
Initiatives can overwhelm any executive, but a well-managed portfolio of initiatives and thoughtful engagement with them on the part of each participant. It can help any company make better, faster decisions and thereby boost its performance.