Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Vision, Rainbows and Pots of Gold

I gave a presentation today at a MDHub250meeting in Brighton at the Metropole.

I was given the topic of Operations, and the audience was primarily owners and CEOs of companies less than three yrs old. I found it interesting that within about five minutes of planning my talk (my slot was about forty five minutes) I began to question whether the concept of ‘operations’ in business-terms still exists.

I found myself continually bouncing around two or three areas in my thinking:

  1. Mission, Vision and Strategy
  2. Time management and value-adding
  3. Communication and engagement

Obviously, just a fleeting look at this blog makes it no surprise that these areas came up. However, my role as CEO of Madgex means that the team of fantastic people who work for the company are continually ‘doing’ the operations of the company and I work with the rest of the senior management team to deliver improvements to those operations.

And yet, it’s the three areas above that we most discuss in our 121s or coaching sessions. These areas that (rightly) take up so much management time and focus.

Taking the areas back-to-front:

3. Communication and engagement is core. You may think that working proximity or interaction is a proxy for communication and engagement. It’s not. I sometimes think that this hinders because you have no mental prompt to communicate or plan how to engage your peers, team or others. Wider than transparent and timely (deep) communication, however, is the engagement with the team on the first item (Mission, Vision and Strategy). If you hire in excellent people, not to try and unlock their creativity and input into your strategy and journey to vision strikes me as madness.

2. Time management and value adding. It’s the question relevant to all people managing tasks: am I doing what ‘I and only I’ can do at this point in time? On the basis that if you’re doing something that others could do, why aren’t you delegating this to them or hiring someone else in to do it? Obviously this is wider and more relevant than my simple definition of ‘all people managing tasks’, but when applied to my audience in particular it is very relevant. I also ran through a load of other value-adding activities

1. Mission, Vision and Strategy. Big areas. Obvious areas, but nevertheless absolutely the reason why I’d originally set-up my consultancy, Scarlet Monday and that this blog is so much about the power of vision and goal-setting.

And the feedback I got today from most of the people that I spoke to after my presentation was how much these are the things that are always bumped down their task lists. Because of their focus on the apparent importance of the ‘operations’ (and the incorrect application of their time in this focus if the answer to 2. above is ‘no’)

How valuable they agree that some focused dedicated time on the Mission and Vision would be for them and their teams (1. aids 3.)

So I’m glad I called the talk Operations 2008. And I’m glad that I focused on the importance of these three areas. But I pretty much predict that Mission and Vision start to slip back down those lists again over the coming weeks. They’re big old frogs…….



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One thought on “Vision, Rainbows and Pots of Gold

  1. Well said Great information, keep up the great work!

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