We know we can’t do everything – but that does not seem to stop us from trying.
At the organization level – this can create Strategy Overload. That is, too many goals, initiatives, and projects to the point that none of them are truly “strategic.”
Everyone in the organization should know the top three Strategic Goals that should be completed in the next three years. The necessary human and financial resources need to be directed to these – first and foremost. If there is time and money for other things, fine. If not, initiatives and projects not connected to the goals may need to be shut down.
Saying “no more” to initiatives from the past is actually one of the most important aspects of being truly “strategic.”
Identify three initiatives or projects this week that are candidates for “no more.” Explore the implications and get ready for pushback – because each one will have their fans.
Here are some questions you can ask:
*What are the true total costs of this initiative and its proven benefits? Make sure that you are using an Activity Based Costing approach so that all costs are considered. So often, many staff costs are unaccounted for.
*How do the benefits of the initiative connect to our Strategic Goals?
*Can we gain better benefits with other initiatives if we apply our efforts and resources there instead?
Stopping an initiative is not a failure.* Let’s assume that every project or initiative starts out with the intent to make a positive difference for the organization. But, at some point it’s time to produce results or move on to invest resources more wisely. Making these strategic decisions is a key aspect of a leader’s responsibility.
*Inspiration for this blog came from: “Too Many Projects,” Hollister, R. & Watkins, M. D. Harvard Business Review, September – October 2018.