Is a CEO job to crank out widgets?

image With limited time available in the quest for productivity, we multi task. Or do we? If this is not true what is it that we do?

Multi-tasking I just learned it  is a myth. Something you do when you drive home and then wonder who drove.

This week I was challenged as I juggled my priorities and my personal life.  Having already reduced my to-do list to something sensible, it still looked foreboding.

To make it worse,  the unforeseen political agenda in Thailand where I have done business this month has thrown normality into chaos. Plus,  my daughter just announced she was arriving early to  visit me this week from her India trip, before we then head home to Australia together next week .

So it was time to step up my skill in multi tasking.  But before I did I decided to do some research on just what that was.

It was through this I  found that multi tasking is fiction. Many people believe they can multi-task, but it seems it is not so.  In fact,  multi-tasking is something invented for the computer and seeing how some computers perform,  that is even questionable.

I found a great definition that says”

image Rapid refocusing is what you are doing when you say you are multi tasking.

These days we expect people to do it at lightning speed at multiple depths of field and many levels of exposure and importance all at once.

On further research, it seems that ability to generate power  is directly related to an ability to relax. Having a very tight a grip on a position or a long list of to-dos increases anxiety, reduces focus and limits flexibility. Check out your golf game and see if this is true. And if you are a fisherman you also know to be good you have to think like a fish and have no distractions.

And an ability to deal with surprise is another thing that gives power and edge. Conversely if you are not relaxed, overreacting may result which means you will most likely lose. Like any game, as in business, your competitors know this and want you to over commit.

Cranking out widgets is actually one of the most imagesatisfying of all  jobs, according to author David Allen. Why so?. Because the simplicity of completion provides success we need to relax. Think about it?  When widget guys are done they go home and relax and do not think about widgets again till the next day.

The more complex jobs are,  the more ambiguous they become. Hence they  need more disciplined with more structured working styles and systems to help, so they can also be managed like widgets cranking.

Too much to do is also a  common ailment that stops widget cranking. Without tools to keep things in focus and cut millstone bottles necks we can get into trouble. Individuals often manage to get things done by using things like notes and to do lists to filter and process their activity . But how often do notes get put in the drawer and workflow systems full of alerting information overwhelm us.

There is no mystery  that so often external constraint imageor third-party action is what gets things on the to-do list. And it will unlikely come off without some encouragement or effort.

To bring about change, at some point when you decide to do something it gets done. A key to success is transparent processses that share responsibility and brings actions and decisions forward. This  a shift is needed for  more productivity.

Organizations use dashboards metrics and analysis systems to imagemanage things and in them also often set up key performance alerts. Clearing notes and alerts then is just like cranking out widgets.

But the complexity to understand what is important can imagebe equally daunting as the CEO may then have the worry about the devil in the detail.

To overcome this requires integrated management planning and control processes with medics that keep it all in harmony. Then decisions can be ordered and leveled. Without this, organizations cannot grow, as they stay  bogged down and can never relax.

AS for a CEO’s the job; Running an operation means having a process in place that allows shared focus on what is important at a high level; And to remove bottlenecks so others can do. To be effective the CEO planning and decision-making work must be just a process as easy as cranking out widgets.

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Footnote:

Here is some recommended reading. A great book that inspired me to do this imagepost.   The book is called.

“Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” In it Author David Allen expands a concept of breaking down tasks into actionable items he calls widgets.

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