Busy work gives the false illusion of excitement! And who does not love excitement?
You have an overture from a new client who seems ready to sign a contract. Or, your engineering contact seems ready to accept even the most edgy design solution you have to offer. Then again, you are targeting marketing, selling or serving an entirely new industry and cannot wait to take that deep dive into an undefined Whatever.
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Feel like I am speaking directly to you? Good! Now, put your hands above your head. Step away from your computing device. Take a walk: around the room, the block, the office, the park.
Gain some objective space in your brain. Then, evaluate whether you are chasing busy work, instead of objectively pursuing opportunities.
Otherwise, you perpetuate the habit of chasing after anything that vaguely resembles a business opportunity. Then, you dive head first into a plethora of busy work – and RFPs and RFQs – which go Nowhere.
The start of a new month and new quarter offers the promise of new beginnings. Also, a new quarter signals the start of yet another round of business-building frenzy. Consider that your current and prospective clients also are engaged in the same, busy activities. Are their overtures to you false promises of work that will not materialize?
With everyone throwing allegedly business-building spaghetti against the wall, you may become too busy to remain objective about the value of your activities. After all, just what types of customers are you targeting? And then, will chasing all the busy work prevent you from remaining objective enough to identify solid business opportunities? The types upon which you can grow, expand and sustain your organization?
Chasing busy work fulfills the emotional need of taking action and doing something. However, when that “something” is not continuously connected to well-defined and understood strategy, process and discipline, you waste your time.
Chasing busy work makes employees (literally) look good to managers. And, when leaders hear reports of everyone charging heads-down into a frenzy of busy work, they can interpret this activity as a sign of Productivity.
However, once again, Leadership, take a walk around your organization. And take a look at the objects of employee busy work. After all, busy work is neither productive, nor profitable. It just occupies employee work hours. It is a space-filler and a time-killer.
Ultimately, chasing busy work impedes pursuing solid business opportunities.
Which is why leadership must ensure that all employees have a solid understanding of the type of activities and actions which identify solid business opportunities. Because in today’s industrial IoT business ecosystem, the entire workforce is responsible for developing business. It’s not just up to the sales and marketing guys and gals anymore.
As a result of this new-school perspective, chasing busy work becomes a thing of the past. Aligning every employee activity and process to exploration of business opportunities pokes holes in Yesterday’s departmental silos. Consequently, the workforce collaborates. They focus on leveraging the value of combining their core capabilities on behalf of creating remarkable and enduring client outcomes.
So, before you once again become involved in the excitement of chasing busy work, decide whether – or not – the project and the client present a solid business opportunity.
And define a solid business opportunity as something different than anyone who will hire your organization. Instead, discover whether this potential client is a solid fit for not only your current capabilities, but also future capabilities.
Because clients representing solid business opportunities target doing business with consultants, suppliers and vendors who offer the promise – and experience – of becoming better and better throughout the duration of their relationship. They seek strategic partners instead of tactical piecework-based output. Where do you fit into this picture?
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Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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