Your time is your most valuable resource

I get quite agitated when I read about a police investigation (as you do) and the force concerned claims that it has cost them £1,800 or some other ridiculously low sum. Because it’s blatantly obvious that it hasn’t cost them that. £1,800 is what they spent on car parking and lunches. The actual investigation has cost them more like half a million. They just haven’t factored in the cost of their people’s time. And that’s a mistake.

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Think forwards, plan backwards

When we think about achieving our professional or personal goals, we tend to start where we are now and plan ahead. We decide what we’re going to do and where we want to be in three, six or twelve months’ time. But if we have a specific goal that we want to achieve, we can often benefit from doing things the other way around. From starting where we want to be and planning backwards.

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Ask not ‘how’, ask ‘why’

Potential clients frequently come to me because they want to do something. They might want to restructure their organisation. Or to develop and implement a new strategy. Or to streamline the delivery of a particular service. In such cases, I have two options available to me. The first will get my clients what they want. But the second will get them what they need.

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A time for reflection

This is one of my favourite times of year. Not because we’re approaching Christmas, as I’m not a particularly christmassy person. And not because I’ll be taking a few days off over the festive period, though this is, of course, very welcome. I like this time of year because, as we reach the winter solstice, the nights stop drawing in and the annual progression of our planet around the sun starts to allow the daylight back in again.

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Reading time

I wrote a while back about how I stay up to date with the news and current affairs. But just keeping track of the headlines isn’t enough. I need also to know what’s going on with the latest management thinking and what challenges and opportunities my clients are likely to be confronted with in the future. This means lots of reading. Long-form journalistic reporting, journal articles and books. It’s all great stuff. The challenge, though, is finding the time to do it.

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