Doing more with less? Start with focus say 40 top thought leaders

bigstock-Office-worker-with-a-sign-aski-30786518John Stahl-Wert, best-selling author and founder of The SHIP Company believes that challenging economic times provide an opportunity for individuals, teams, and companies to get better and to understand things more deeply. Yet, in his experience, “Many leaders and managers see times of restraint as a time to pressure people and provide less in terms of the human side and support.”

This is so foolish, he explains.  Instead, Stahl-Wert recommends that leaders “Look at ways to raise up the people capability, not try to pressure productivity.”

Stahl-Wert is one of 40 thought leaders who will be joining Ken Blanchard for a Doing Still More With Less Leadership Livecast on April 24.  A free event, this online webcast will bring together thought leaders, via video, to look at ways to engage and support people while meeting the increased performance demands of the current business environment.

Charlene Li, author, consultant, and founder of Altimeter Group who will be joining Stahl-Wert as a part of the webcast says that identifying the vital, critical work that will get you and your organization the results you are looking for is the first step.

“In order to get more done, you actually have to do fewer things, but very crucially, the most important things—and just as essential, make sure all the people around you understand what it is you will do and also what you won’t do.”

Jane Perdue, a principal with Braithwaite Innovation Group suggests that leaders begin by asking themselves some key questions.

“Are we doing the right work, with the right people, in the right way, at the right time, in the right pursuit of company initiatives, and are we using the right information and the right tools to make it so?”

Find a minute to reflect

For leaders looking to reexamine their own work, Ken Blanchard recommends taking a minute to reflect and get organized.

“The reality today is that leaders have to find quiet time to think through what’s really important to do. Today more than ever, you have to identify the 20 percent that is going to give you the 80 percent. You have to find out what is vital when you’re looking at everything you have to accomplish. In order to do more with less, you have to focus your energy on the work that is the most important.

“The next step is to prioritize that work and turn it into measureable goals. Identify three to five things you can get done on a consistent basis. Get your life organized so you can focus and help others organize their lives.”

“Doing more with less means that managers and their people have to be partners. It can’t be ‘my way or the highway,’” says Blanchard. “You have to empower your people. Micromanaging is a thing of the past. Managers can’t be on top of everything.”

There is a silver lining though, explains Blanchard.

“The good news is that if handled correctly, these tough times can actually lead to increased employee motivation. If leaders can create more autonomy by giving their people what they need when they need it, building competency and stronger relationships along the way, they will increase employees’ sense of well-being and overall performance.”

You can read more about what Blanchard and other key thought leaders have to say in this new article from Blanchard’s Ignite newsletter. To learn more specifically about the free April 24 webcast, Doing Still More With Less, check out this link.


9 thoughts on “Doing more with less? Start with focus say 40 top thought leaders

  1. All this focus on process ignores the elephant in the room. Workers will have more to offer when the rest of their life is less chaotic. Too many workers don’t have time to recharge or restore because they are working excessive hours–whether “expected” or not. A culture of fear pervades the workplace and too many are afraid that if they don’t sacrifice their personal lives, their jobs will go to someone or somewhere else.

    Workers will have more to offer when companies and those in the executive suite stop stashing cash off shore to avoid taxes. Those taxes pay for infrastructure that supports workers. Starving our governments impacts the quality of schools, health care, roads, and other public services that workers depend on. With incomes stagnant (or decreasing) and everything else falling apart, all of us suffer from these morally bankrupt, but often legal practices.

    • Hi Bonnie,
      I agree that we need to look at restoring fairness and balance to the workplace. Even though it is mostly left unsaid, I think you are right that there is an underlying fear present in today’s workplace that is not healthy or sustainable.

      • I see the fallout of current employment practices for employees in my practice. Health care and insurance premium costs continue to increase. Ironically, costs of turnover, absenteeism, and tardiness are often higher than the cost of health care. How will companies respond to these higher costs that are due to current thinking and practices championed by the executive suite and Wall Street?

  2. What is with accountability? I’m accountable as leader. I expect (and force) accountability from my staff members and partners, but my experience as employee was – lots of finger pointing was going around. Doing more with less is also a punctuality issue – often misunderstood – would you agree?

    • Hi Klauster,
      Yes, I think accountability is an issue but I believe that we have to rethink how we approach it. As a leader, are we approaching accountability as a compliance issue or an engagement issue? How you answer that question will send you down two different paths.

  3. Pingback: Doing more with less? Start with focus say 40 top thought leaders | People Discovery

  4. Engagement issue is a good description – streamlining businesses has primarily to with improving effectiveness in terms of time, costs and results. Of course that is a matter of healthy business structures, healthy employees, etc, but I would narrow the approach in direction what you actually want to get out of it (streamlining on purpose and target). Debating all and everything – where to start?

    IT infrastructure example: As a business we can’t constantly upgrade to the latest without investments, staff training and business interruptions. So – we moved on virtual platforms, keep the old stuff running as long as needed and implement parallel on the same hardware new business solutions. That is cost effective, streamlines business operation and is “doing more with less”.

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