Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How Effective Are You?

Filed under Career Management, Personal Productivity, Professional success, Time Management

In the realm of time management, the word effective is used quite often.  In fact, there is usually a comparison made between effective vs. efficient and of course, both are needed for professional success.

As a reminder, a common definition of effective is doing the right things at the right time to get the best results. However, in this post, I’d like to expand our thinking around the concept of being effective.

I believe increasing our “effectiveness” is more important than ever in creating and maintaining value to our organizations. It’s a must have and do career strategy.

An Expanded View
Consider effectiveness to not only be getting the right things done at the right time, but additionally identifying and  addressing needs, identifying potential solutions, and getting high-impact results.  In essence, effectiveness is beyond just executing tasks.

If this expanded view of being effective is to be realized, then what’s needed in order for this new version to occur?

Consider the following:
1.    Broader knowledge of the players involved in key situations, their roles, their strengths and weaknesses.
2.    A clear understanding of the core needs of the company.
3.    Identification and laser focus on the core needs of internal and external customers and how your role (and that of your team or department) addresses and impacts those core needs.
4.    How does the specifics of your job description contribute to the above.
Compiling the information to the above will craft a bigger picture from which to work to develop and increase your effectiveness. In fact, you may need to volunteer to tweak your job description.  There are a lot of job descriptions out there that are not “value based” job descriptions (meaning they are more about being busy than get high-impact results).

From this big picture access how you go about your work week, what you do with your time and how the tangible results of the day impact this big picture.  If you’re a manager, do the same with your team.

Then ask yourself this question, “Am I getting things done or am I getting things done that also impact the bigger picture.”   Getting things done that impact the greater picture are high impact results.

The irony of productivity is we can go a full work week, get things done and yet have little to no activity that significantly address the big picture.

Coaching Tip: Plan and work with the big picture in mind. Make sure to track and language your performance with this in mind. This is a beneficial strategy in performance reviews.  You can communicate and show how you’ve demonstrated results with more value.

Career Management Bonus Tip: This is also a great strategy for how to communicate your experience in a job interview.