I’ve been talking to my network of Sponsors – some of whom I coach – about how they are finding life at the moment. One actually said
“I am using 90% of my time for work. I don’t have evenings and weekends.
Between the operational pressures of my role and the projects, I don’t how it’s possible to do less.”
Wow! The resounding conclusion is that although it’s always been hard for those leading change, it’s now becoming impossible.
Lots of organisations have prioritised their change portfolios (unfortunately, some have taken a hatchet to theirs but that’s another story…) and that’s put pressure on those projects and programmes that survived the cull.
Programmes I’ve seen survive this year include a rollout of MS Teams to support remote collaboration; a programme to increase online customer functionality e.g. self-serve for bookings and account management; and the rollout of new HR tool that increases self-serve for things like holidays, sickness, payroll and reduces admin.
This surviving change is now in the limelight and has to deliver – in many cases the very future of the business is resting on it!
At the same time the whole process has got harder:
Sounds stressful right?
So, how do you navigate through the haze and reduce your work time from 90% to a more manageable number?
Finding a way through
You can probably tell by now that I used to get a lot of business done in the coffee queue – oh to be able to use that strategically bought flat white – but I digress.
1. Firstly, revisit who are your allies are and how can they help you. Your steering groups and project boards are there for a reason – they have expertise or access you may not have, and they have their teams and their network - illustrated by a favourite quote of mine from John Kotter:
“Producing major change in an organisation is not just about signing up one charismatic leader. You need a group – a team – to be able to drive the change. One person, even a terrific charismatic leader, is never strong enough to make all this happen”
2. Secondly, how are you managing your time? Presumably you have a day job to deliver too…?
3. Have you thought about what you can just stop doing?
4. Finally, are you breaking the change down into chunks that you have a better than halfway chance of delivering? Nobody can foresee 5 years out at the moment - we would struggle with 5 weeks in fact. So take that into account with your planning and budgeting and bite off one piece at a time
Try these steps and let me know if you’re able to chip away at your 90% worktime. What’s your new number?