Business Magazine

Beating Inertia

Posted on the 28 May 2013 by Alanhargreaves @RechargeToday

Beating InertiaBeating InertiaWhat’s your big opportunity?

You probably know that you or your firm can go better. You are aware of specific strengths and you know you could knock the cover off the ball if you really gave it your best shot. Trouble is you don’t seem to get around to it.

Can you do anything about it?

There’s a couple of roadblocks you need to clear. The first is that you only need one idea, not lots of them. Having too many great projects can create more inertia than not having any.

The second is that we often feel we should do it alone. You shouldn’t.

Most great ideas require input beyond our own strengths. Managing in isolation limits our options. When people get promoted they often think they now have to be good at everything. They don’t.

The art of managing is to continue doing all the things you are really good at. Those are the things that got you promoted or made your business successful in the first place. Get the people who are good at other things to go ahead and do those other things. That’s delegation. It’s a key management skill.

Beating Inertia
Try this

To sort out the first problem, do a simple process. It can take five minutes – although you’d be surprised how enjoyable it is to spend an hour on it.

Don’t do it alone. Get someone else to help – a friend, colleague, family member or some kind of mentor. Doesn’t matter, as long as you trust them. You can have several but one is enough.

Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. Make a list of what you are good at on the left side. It can be anything. Even just being a good person is a skill.

On the right side, list the half-dozen best ideas you can come up with. They can be anything. Big, small; long-term, short-term. Doesn’t matter.

Take the following steps to shorten the list. 

  • Strengths: there they are on the left. Rate your six ideas by the extent to which they play to your strengths. Cross off the lowest.
  • Avoid duplication: look for the leverage of overlap. Work on it. There is always some way to partially or competely combine two into one.
  • Get realistic: do you have the time and resources to do them all? Unlikely. Cross off the least realistic. Down to three.
  • Impact: which ones would make the most difference? Drop the one with least effect.
  • Identify the doable: there’s two left. You are going to lead this. Choose the one you really want to do.

This is a very simple process. Most good ones are. You can do it with your firm. You can do it with your team. You can do it with yourself.

When you’ve done it, you will have put in practice a number of management concepts that are currently buzzwords. You have managed a collaboration; you have come up with an innovation; the idea is strengths-based; you have focused on leadership; you’ve even got a strategic initiative.

Not bad for an hour’s work.  

Beating Inertia
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