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Are you leading your organization, or are you inadvertently enabling a culture of inefficiency? In the world of business, where time, talent, and treasure are invaluable resources, how you manage your people’s time can make or break your organizational culture. Let’s delve into how your company’s behavior aligns with the principles of the 80/20 rule and the Action Priority Matrix.


Know that – leadership isn’t just about making decisions; it’s about setting the tone for the entire organization. When leaders fail to prioritize their employees’ time effectively, they sow the seeds of discontent and inefficiency. Anxiety, confusion, and a sense of aimlessness will pervade the workplace, leading to cultural inertia. But it doesn’t have to be this way.


Streamlining Communication

Email inundation is a common woe in many organizations. Instead of drowning your team in a deluge of messages, adopt a more strategic approach. Limit email chains, encouraging dialogue among relevant parties to foster collaboration and problem-solving. Resist the temptation to inundate inboxes with trivial messages (e.g. thank you and emojis); instead, opt for meaningful recognition and communication that truly resonates with your team.


Innovative Leadership Practices

Option 1: Ban instant Email responses.  Require your people wait at least two hours before responding to an email.  If a matter is truly a Crisis – URGENT and IMPORTANT, your people should problem solve through dialog, not email. 


Option 2: Set the behavioral expectations that people are required to respond to an email after 24 hours have passed and watch the number of emails decrease and the amount of real dialog and problem-solving increase. 


Taming the Meeting Madness

Unstructured meetings are a breeding ground for inefficiency. By categorizing meetings based on purpose—Operational, Business Builder, and Strategic—you provide clarity and focus for participants. Distributing concise updates before meetings primes attendees for productive discussions, eliminating redundant information exchanges. Concise updates shared with stakeholders will reduce the number of people that must participate in each meeting and construct an easy information sharing process enabling your people to focus on their vital work.  Lastly, restricting calendar access empowers individuals to carve out dedicated time for deep work, fostering creativity and productivity.


Embracing Accountability

Access Jim Collins’ advice, by holding up the mirror, assess performance, take responsibility, and act. Addressing inefficiencies requires a candid evaluation of organizational practices and a commitment to positive change. Take stock of your email habits, evaluate your time allocation, and engage your team in a collaborative effort to optimize productivity.


Leadership Actions


1. Audit Your Email Culture: Assess the frequency and relevance of internal communications, aiming for quality over quantity.

2. Evaluate Time Allocation: Rate each block of time on a scale of 1-10 based on its value for task completion, fostering self-awareness and accountability.

3. Facilitate Team Reflection: Encourage team members to assess their own time management practices and compare results, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

4. Dialog with the team about what the future state of productivity could look like and act on next steps.


By aligning your company’s behavior with the principles of efficiency and prioritization, you can cultivate a culture of purpose, productivity, and progress. Remember, true leadership requires action in the face of inefficiency—you are not leading if you allow this behavior to continue.


Contact KBD Consulting to learn more about our Leadership Development Program: Adaptive Leadership: Concepts to Real World Practice.

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