Nightclub rules

In or Out by Hendrik Wieduwilt (CCCP Bar Berlin Mitte)

A common complaint of senior executives is that they don’t have enough time. Particularly they don’t have enough time to focus on thinking strategically. There seems always to be a deluge of things that are important – often defined by others. In parallel there is often a clichéd demand to achieve more with less.

Here are two thoughts to help. Firstly define your main-effort. This is a planning device used by the military to help align activity through the organization by being very clear about what is the most important thing. You can think of it as the lead domino in a stack – if you knock this one over all the others follow. We all have a lot of important things but being very clear about the main thing, is a great device for creating clarity and therefore focus of effort.

The second tool is what Brigadier John Ridge CBE, the Chief of Joint Force Operations, who recently commanded the UKs response to Hurricane Irma calls ‘Nightclub Rules’. He defines this as one in one out. For every new idea or plan, something else gets stopped or dropped. Similar to the idea of a main effort, one in one out, forces you to be clear about priorities.

Defining what is important is equally about what is not important. What do we choose not to do in order to focus.


Related Posts

judge
Too busy Judging when we should be developing

We have been working with several groups of leaders recently who are in the midst of the annual cycle of performance reviews. This often involves talent identification, evaluations and various pigeonholing tools like 9-box grids, success circles and values matrices.   My problem is not simply with the tools or…

Read more
Do You Know Any Good Stories?

Amos was an old Askari, a night watchman in the highlands of Kenya. He told me once how electricity had come to their village and that it made him sad because they no longer gathered around the fire together to tell stories. Instead, each stayed in his own house, enthralled…

Read more
Freedom Inside Constraints

The Legendary Basketball coach John Wooden[1], would begin each new season by sitting down his new players and demonstrating to them how they were to tie the laces on their shoes.  Surely unnecessary? – These athletes had been playing the game for years. Wooden’s point, was that for many things…

Read more
Man laying bricks
Good or Bad? Your Choice

‘Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference.’ Winston Churchill   There is an old story about a little girl walking past a building site. As she walks by, she asks in turn 3-workmen what they are doing? The first replies that he is laying bricks. The second…

Read more