At the cost of putting up with these people, we have learned a lot and have given them even more opportunities. Too many, because none of them have ever worked. Mediocre people don’t change, no matter how much time you spend on them. They only seek to protect their status and comfort. The mediocre are time thieves, the guardians of charlatanism and false consensus. The creators of overwork. The thieves of the time of those who are not mediocre at all. Unfortunately, the mediocre still have too much room in organizations.
But fortunately enough, we have found the perfect formula to make the mediocre run away:
Focus on priorities that are wildly important.
Prioritizing by thinking in terms of activity is a reflection of deterministic mentalities, forged in the Taylor factories in which we have all been educated: the universities and the new “Business Schools”.
Some leaders resist prioritizing simply because they lack the ability to decide what is essential to achieve and what is not. By the way, prioritizing does not mean each function or department compiling a wish list. That’s not prioritizing, even on the contrary, this avoids prioritizing. Focusing means understanding what really drives the business, what is the flywheel of impact, what we need to accomplish, and most importantly, what we will no longer pursue.
Prioritization is an organizational habit, not a once-a-year workshop.
One of the best practices we have implemented over the last few years is to communicate with equal emphasis both the priorities that are wildly important through OKR and what we should no longer spend one minute on.
Putting focus is also about eliminating this stupid phrase “we don’t have the resources” at the root. At ActioGlobal we like to hold up the mirror to that phrase.
We don´t have the resources =
We haven´t decided yet what to stop doing.
And by the way, focusing starts with the leadership team. Lack of leadership focus translates into chaos in every team in the organization
Speed leaves behind the mediocre. Speed leaves behind those who are too busy giving their opinion on everything. Those who spend their time creating Powerpoints to justify their incompetence.
Speed follows focus and precedes impact. Once we have decided what we need to achieve, we all focus on it: we act quickly, we achieve the objective with quality and impact, and we move on to the next priority.
Likewise, speed creates focus and, in turn, highlights the lack of focus: you can’t move quickly if you want to cover everything.
Speed eliminates organizational dead weight. When we set out to move fast, we bring to light all the waste we’ve caused by too much navel-gazing.
Those of us who grew up obsessed with Toyota’s practices (which are no longer cool for those who live in the show of Agile certifications and one-day workshops to learn agility with snacks included), know very well that speed brings to light at least these 5 wastes:
1. Work overload
2. Inventory (of trophies)
What if the survival of the company depended on achieving this in
1. Know who doesn't give a damn about the company's survival.
2. Bring to light the 5 wastes described above in order to eliminate them at their roots.
3. Achieve results in at least half the time we would have achieved them previously.
Speeding up in the wrong direction is a waste
If you tell a joke and no one laughs, has it made an impact? No, not at all. It has only served to make you try to be funny and to please yourself.
There are too many clowns in the corporate world who only tell jokes to themselves.
Impact is also an effective antidote to corporate narcissism. In the words of our honored Elena Arnaiz:
It’s pure narcissism if we do not talk to our customers because we do the talking and only talk about ourselves. And, to make matters worse, if we disdain their feedback because we consider them inferior, our value proposition deteriorates more and more. This is how a company is destroyed.”
For us at ActioGlobal, impact means that everything we do is focused on achieving the organization’s most important priorities and transforming each organization’s “5 Moments of Truth.”
The customer must be able to find us in an omnichannel way.
The customer's choice must be us.
The customer must have a good experience in onboarding to the service or when launching the product.
The client must be satisfied with the product or service.
The client must decide to come back to us again.
The impact, today, is no longer made in a single channel and much less, in purely physical channels. We live in a world that hybridizes physical and digital reality, in a world that is approaching the metaverse, consequently impact can only be made in a Phygital way.
Ultimately, regarding impact, as well as focus and speed, there is no middle ground. There are no three-color traffic lights: there is no “yellow”. There is either green or red. Either we make an impact or we don’t. Either we focus or we get bogged down. Either we go fast or we fall behind.
To borrow from Steve Jobs,
Finally, we are very excited to present our new homepage. A reflection of what we are and of those who have contributed to this day, our fans: our clients.