I have friends you can’t meet for morning tea for 8 weeks because they are booked out. Others, you can consistently book a catch-up with so long as you give them 7 days notice and that’s that, every time. Then there are people who will be available tomorrow at 3pm or Friday at 9am and any further out than that and you can forget it!
TIME – Why is that the case?
Is it true that the person booked up for 8 weeks is more important, successful or has more happening in their lives than those you could get an appointment with tomorrow?
INTERESTINGLY IN OUR EXPERIENCE, NO!
Funnily enough, some of the leaders of the biggest organisations in the country operate very much in the now. If it weren’t for some very smart assistants, things would look very different. How might this information influence you and your team’s ability to get results?
Is everybody different around time? What kinds of people are similar and why? We will deal with only one part of this major body of work that up until now been badly under-researched.
How do I know? Well, all the time I see organisations facing people issues where certain portions of populations are extremely reactive and others are the opposite, far too slow to react. Where do you sit? How about your best people when you are “Managing Your Talent”? Are they reactive or more strategic? What’s needed more in your environment?
“Your interpretation of time is not a right or a wrong one. However, if you are too extreme either way with regard to your specific work context and what’s required, you can really lose out.”
What should you do to ensure your thinking around time fits with your business role? Here are three suggestions to consider with regard to the people in your workplace.
1)In a fast-paced sales or back office production environment, you probably want to be able to move quickly and hence timeframes are almost certain to be shorter.
2)In a strategic planning or IT implementation environment, it might pay to have a medium-term time perspective. However, watch out! Get this to be more a long-term perspective and that $500 million dollar IT rollout can easily blow into costing twice as much.
3)In Strategy & Planning roles in major organisations, the people involved are better to have a really good understanding of time in the long term. But they still need to be able to partner with the people on the floor conducting the rollout.
So what if you’ve got people in completely the wrong place?
What if you have people (even managers) on the floor who think learning a set of specific behaviours will take 3 months when your best manager considers it can easily be learnt in 24 hours? A problem in many IT, HR and L&D departments is that when major rollouts occur, the third parties always talk about giving things some time… until the budget’s blown and the business is locked into making even tougher decisions!