Deciding where to focus and what to focus on are two of the most important ongoing decisions you’ll make in your role. As a leader, reaching your next performance level will be determined and underpinned by you identifying and driving the opportunities that matter – to maximise the return for your time and energy investment. Anything else is an opportunity cost – for you and your team.
McKinsey Research has consistently shown that one of the key non-financial motivators for high performance is ‘creating opportunities’ for performance and career growth.
Being mindful of your business situation and delivering to the strategic agenda, think of the ‘core’ of your role/operation as the engine that drives 80%+ of the results. Then for your engine, you need to determine whether to:
- Rev it up – focus on core; or
- Turbo fuel it – optimise core; or
- Build the next engine – innovate core.
“I like thinking big. If you’re thinking anything, you might as well think big” – Donald Trump.
When to focus on core: If you are not meeting your performance benchmarks (e.g. KPI’s, scorecard targets or like terminology) in your role (assuming they: exist, are the right ones, and; are set at the right level), then your focus must be on core and closing the important gaps first. Focus elsewhere will be a distraction if your engine is not running smoothly.
When to focus on optimising core: If you are consistently meeting or exceeding your performance benchmarks then it’s time to create opportunity that will drive incremental positive gain = optimise core. Benchmarking and exploiting the biggest gains will set you and your team’s performance apart and help you reach or exceed industry best practice.
When to focus on innovating core: If your engine is optimised with no tangible obvious gains to be made within the performance environment, structure/systems/processes, day to day implementation and your people resource/allocation, then it’s time to think inductively – to change the game – and create a new best practice standard within your industry.
So, where does your focus need to be and what are the biggest opportunities that must be on your 90 Day Plan? Focus there and you will shine.
One of the biggest determining factors in accelerating your results and potential is the degree to which you focus on driving the opportunities that matter. Deciding on whether your focus needs to be within core, optimising core, or innovating core is a great place to start.