Last year I read a good book, Essentialism — The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
I loved it for its simplicity and how powerful it is when I’ve seen it applied in the workplace when managing change and business improvement projects.
What is Essentialism? In short, it’s focusing your time and energy on the right thing for the right reason at the right time.
Sounds like a pedestrian vanilla ice cream approach, right? Yes, and in some ways it is. But focusing on being essential when delivering projects, actually builds a foundation to springboard innovation in a business and will create more time to explore the ice cream shop of life for the latest flavours.
Is it easy? It takes practise, but it is really fun giving it a go and you will see results.
In my experience with improvement initiatives, the teams that are successful are the ones that explore options with diversity of thought then select the essential projects and support them with time, money and the right resources to complete.
Successful teams avoid the shot gun approach of having many projects running at the same time and being busy for the sake of being busy, and always looking at the next new thing without completing the essentials first.
Improvements from well-managed projects are measurable and deliver benefits such as reducing re-work, neglect of human talent, and wasted time in the process.
These benefits result in people having more time to make valuable contributions to the business and grow their own personal development — which is the most pleasing aspect from my perspective — and assists organisations to retain good talent.
Enjoy the ice cream!