Resolving To Prioritise, Come What May

The business challenges finding their way to global executives’ desks these days are complex and sometimes dizzying considering the diverse range of organisational functions they influence.

It is easy to understand how a full business day encamped in the office can quickly come and go while tending a variety of tactical-level fires, only to wonder how the big, strategic ‘To Do’ items somehow escaped one’s focus.

The pressure for better performance, innovation and Lean-level waste reduction continues to mount, especially in global markets that expect growth in 2016. The advantages of a dominant brand positioning and significant market share only seem to ratchet up the demand to hit one’s numbers, no matter what the global economy throws at us.

No matter what your specific industry, or, for that matter, your precise role on the management team’s Organisation Chart, business and personal success in the New Year will likely hinge on your ability to prioritise and adapt.

If you’re not improving something, you may be asked why not. If you’re not leading some form of transformation, or at least driving the process to get to a better solution for clients, you might be seen as a laggard on the management team.
And if you’re not actively and repeatedly checking your alignment of priorities against your direct superior’s view of what’s most important, you should act fast to change that.

Organisational alignment with the company’s mission is critical. Leadership accountability for business outcomes that improve shareholder value and customer market share may well be the Chief Executive’s top concern these days. Focusing on those priorities is paramount, especially for anyone reporting directly to the CEO.
But getting there isn’t easy. You’re going to have to pick your battles. You’re going to have to fight for what you think is right and stand your ground. You’ll do that more confidently in 2016 if you have data and process supporting your arguments for investment in the enterprise.

Today’s CEO’s want their teams to show some backbone. They expect to be challenged. They don't expect people to agree all the time, and they’re also expecting to hear their direct reports make potentially disruptive or divergent cases for growth.

They want to sit and listen and let others lead so, with the benefit of sound judgment and inputs from all sides, they can lay their own careers on the line when it comes to projecting corporate strategy.

Understanding how the CEO is accountable to the board, it is easy to see how prioritisation of key strategic outcomes matters the most to global leaders.
Do yourself a big favour at least once a week in the New Year. Put everything down. Step away from the e-mail and the phone, and ask yourself these key questions: “Am I focused on the right things? Does my view of the biggest business priorities align with the CEO’s view of what’s most important? And am I scheduling my time around my biggest priorities?”

If you get into the habit of asking yourself these questions throughout 2016, good things will follow. 

Copyright © TRANSEARCH International 2015


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