Jim Collins in his best selling book “Good to Great” discusses a powerful leadership principle.
“put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems”
Collins noted that:
“…failing to grasp the fact that managing your problems can only make you good, whereas building your opportunities is the only way to become great.”
Leaders are overwhelmed by operational challenges and it’s tempting to keep the best people focused on solving on the most pressing problems, rather than focusing your best people’s efforts on your biggest opportunities. Instead what happens is that people who have time on their hands, usually those who are not getting much done, get assigned to work on the next big opportunities. A big mistake. What happens is that opportunities never get realized and the organisation remains trapped in the status quo.
Take a step back and answer the following questions:
- What are your organisation’s top five most promising value creating opportunities?
- Who are your five best people?
- How many of your five best people are actively engaged in and working on these top five opportunities?
- What do you need to change to fix this?