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Are You Cheating Time on Your Own Strategy?

How do you spend your time? What you spend the most work time on ought to be what you value the most in the business. Right? That’s your real priority.

watch handsWhen I was an active consultant, one of the problems I had with business strategy consulting was getting the client companies to manage their spending and activities according to their own priorities. The danger was that they’d set strategy one way in the off site strategy meetings, then go back to the office, get back in the routine, and follow a completely different strategy in what they actually do.

I don’t know if this is universal; I didn’t read it, I just started using the term strategic alignment, which I define as making your actual work match your strategic priorities.

In my consulting mode, with groups in larger companies, I did two things to help with strategic alignment:

  1. First, I’d help them build a strategy pyramid to relate strategies, tactics, and programs (business activities).
  2. Second, I’d build a database of spending and track program spending to tactics and strategies, to see how the spending matched the priorities.

So lately I’ve been trying to apply that kind of business strategy concept to my own work. It’s scary when it’s just me, not a big company. Try this for yourself: look at how you spend your work time. It doesn’t take pyramids or database, just watching and seeing yourself accurately. Does your time spend match your priorities?

(Image credit: Janaka Dharmasena/Shutterstock)


  • alexander says:

    Its easy to tell clients to do something and then do something else yourself. Its important for strategy consultants to be able to take a step back and take a critical look at their own work.

  • JayTurn says:

    Do you find it harder to do your own planning Tim? I always finding working on our own business in our field is harder than working on the business of a client.

    It is a strange phenomenon. Working from the outside, the answers seem to come much easier. Working from the inside, I often find our own attachment interferes with the results.

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