At Executives Unlimited, we love the quote from H. Jackson Brown, Jr., the author of Life’s Little Instruction Book, “When you can’t change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails.” Although lately, it seems that the wind is blowing in many different directions, with more velocity and at a more frenetic pace. Add in the drop in oil prices, volatility in the stock market, and an election year, and you’ve got the makings of the perfect storm.
Specifically in the 1st quarter of 2016, we are seeing some trends that contribute to—and are possibly the result of—this turbulent environment:
- Lack of Focus
- Desire for Instant Gratification
Let’s look at the implications:
Lack of Focus
There are two sides to this coin: Lack of focus by executives who are on overload, and the lack of clarity around company vision and priorities today. Businesses and their shareholders often want to be all things to all people to capitalize on too many initiatives. This can sometimes result in unnatural growth that can overburden an organization. Tighter focus, measured growth, and being the best in your chosen field will produce better results.
Desire for Instant Gratification
The need for instant gratification manifests itself in many ways; specifically, we see shareholders and executives requiring instant actions rather than taking the time to identify a problem and strategically plan a significant solution. This often results in costly and poor decision making that could have been avoided had the urgency been removed or at least ratcheted down. We believe the focus should be on emphasizing strengths and measuring success, rather than on solving the crisis of the moment.
Preparation for the Storm: Get Back to Basics
Getting back to basics may be the most straightforward answer to get back on track. As mentioned above, focusing on what matters will help improve our overall environment by utilizing a few key tactics:
- Good old planning: Set goals and document your targets for the year with an eye on a small number of key priorities. This will improve focus and minimize the distractions.
- Expand communication strategies for multi-generational and busy multi-tasking teams. Many organizations rely heavily on one strategy for communicating to their stakeholders.
At Executives Unlimited, we are committed to helping our clients develop their strategic executive workforce planning. For information about our services, please call us at (866) 957-4466 or contact us online today.