I’ve recently found myself talking about focus, again and again, like the proverbial broken record, so I thought I’d capture three ways that you can increase the focus in your business.
“If everything is important, nothing is important.” – anon
Visions, missions statements and corporate objectives, often evolve into exhaustive to-do lists, and creative minds can always find another “shiny new thing” to add to the priority list.
For creating a strategy, I have been a fan of OKRs since they require a company to prioritise ruthlessly. it’s about prioritising the top 3-5 things the business should deliver on, and consistently monitoring their progress above anything else. This creates a simpler message to communicate to the team and saves time on irrelevant work.
To get to grips with the concept, I recommend Radical Focus as a quick read.
“If you say then things you say nothing” – Chip & Dan Heath
I’ve sat through many presentations (and awards entries) where a company tries to explain why they’re so great. Most of them seem intent on including every stat, insight and feature of their product/service and I get lost in all the noise.
Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick is a great read for refining down your message to a few salient points, including the great example from Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign – “It’s the economy stupid!”
Talk about the thing your great at, and which is most relevant to your prospect. When they sign-up they can discover all your other greatness for themselves
“There are only two reasons an employee doesn’t work out: you either hired the wrong person or they were right and you broke them” – Me, (unless I can find the original quote!)
Many employers recruit for a set of skills, but the right person needs to be much more. For example, a quick Google search uncovered job ads for a Front End Developer and a Data Analyst that talk purely about the technical skills required for the role.
In the digital/tech industry in the UK we’re undergoing a mahoosive skills shortage, but that doesn’t mean you should be recruiting any warm body into the business. At times like these recruiting and retaining the best talent can be the difference between a scale-up and a flop. So, while it might sound counterintuitive, you need to be patient and be exacting in your recruitment of the right team members.
Recruit for attitude, intelligence and motivation not just skills. This will mean even fewer candidates will match all your criteria but that focus will be worthwhile. Trust me.
Right…I’m off to focus on my own work now 😉