There are endless quotes and meme’s related to “Important Things”. Some highlight that those items of importance are not really things, while others focus more on the available time for “Important Things”.
It has been said “Important Things Whisper, Urgent Things Scream”. While the exact origin of this quote was not easily identifiable, it has important correlation to business life. Over the past decade, companies have taken on buzz words like “Customer Centric” or “Customer Focused” as part of their core philosophy. Unfortunately, this has given far too many companies a reactionary work environment rather than one that focuses on meeting the needs of the customer and providing growth for the shareholders.
Changing a company from reactionary to proactive is a serious endeavor and requires a leader who is willing to wake each day and focus their team on those items that are most important for growth, something that is easier said than done. What is important? Those employees who are front and center with the customers have are constantly being barraged with customers calls with issues requiring responses. Unsure of whether your company is strategic or reactionary? Reflect back over the past week, month, quarter. What percentage of your work is devoted to advancing your strategic plan vs. addressing those items that are continuously being received unexpectedly during the same period?
The key is getting the employees a clear vision regarding what is “Important” and what the expectation is relative to those sections of the business. These are the sections of the business that are being relied upon to bring growth in the upcoming years. It is critical for these front-line executives and managers to have a clear enough vision to make the correct decisions while dealing with their daily challenges.
This does not mean that other segments of the business aren’t important. It does, however, mean that the resources employed and the focus on non-growth segments needs to be appropriate. Many of these business segments have been an active part of the business for years or decades and cover a significant amount of overhead. In short, they are the bread and butter of the revenue stream, but they may no longer be worthy of the significant number of resources employed and could possibly be long overdue for an adjustment.