How do we decide which opportunity or initiative is the right one to take?
How do we do this at work? Or outside of work? Given the Gallup organisation estimate 69% of employees are not engaged in their work, is that because we are picking the wrong opportunities? Surely our work should excite us?
In this Monday memo I share threes steps to focus on how to pick the right opportunity.
Hi, welcome to this week’s Monday memo. And today I’d like to talk about a question. I got a lot, which is really how do we decide what is the best opportunity or initiative to take or prioritize? whether we’re trying to make an impact at work and making sure we’re working on the right things, prioritizing the right things for, from a career perspective, outside our careers.
[00:00:25]and if we look at the workplace in particular, Gallup recently reported that 69% of employees are not engaged in their work. So I find that quite confusing just from my perspective, because with all the change that technology and the new tools and. And even the focus on more opportunities, for example, it didn’t finance itself.
[00:00:51]I still can’t quite figure out why we would be disengaged when there’s all this opportunity there. So part of me feels that, we’re not making the best use of this diversity, or maybe not maybe picking the right opportunities, that are in front of us, that will help us become more engaged. And maybe it has changed.
[00:01:16]and that’s not really the topic of this conversation as human being. Some of us may prefer change more than others, because when we’re put into positions of change, it forces us to think and work harder. And there might be a bit of flight or fight response going on. But anyway, if we were to focus on opportunities, I’m picking the right opportunities and prioritizing those what will be some good steps and where to start.
[00:01:44] And, based on a lot of the feedback we get from our gas mentors on the show, I think the first thing that a lot of them would say is it’s the F is know what you want, the starting point of a journey up picking the right opportunity, having a great career, having great life outside of our careers as well.
[00:02:04]is one that reflects the discussion of priorities. It’s what are your core decision-making criteria what’s most important to you on that journey? Whether it be career outside of S and again, that disengaged statistic keeps coming back to my mind. I think there’s a problem here in that what we think matters most in our jobs. Often doesn’t really align with what really make us satisfied or happy. And for some of us, we don’t realize that gap or our problem until it’s too late. so in terms of figuring out what it is that we really want, I try and break that down to three areas.
[00:02:49]The first one I in mind is mostly about control and how much autonomy we have to get something done. That’s generally the first one, the second one is the ability to enhance or display our mastery.
[00:03:04]And then when people are typically doing that, we find ourselves in a state where time flies by but we still enjoy or get great satisfaction from being in the moment. And the third element of that is. Is having a worthy cause to follow a purpose, something we identify with.
[00:03:22]it never ceases to impress me all those volunteers out there who put in efforts behind community initiatives, live aid or Wikipedia without any pay and deliver really great results and are really engaged in it. So in our careers, we really need to, as a first step, understand why we do what we do.
[00:03:44] And how many of us have actually asked that question lately? Why do I still want to career doing the things I’m doing? Why do I want a career in finance? Why do I want to be a family person? Or why do I want to support that team or do this, or do that? I think it’s important to ask that question. that, why question?
[00:04:03] why do we want that? Yeah. At the second piece is once we know what we want and why we want it’s to execute against, I always say what gets measured gets managed and to do that, you need to perform some sort of outcomes, benefits, analysis, understand what it is that people value. and we’ve talked about this previously on the Monday memo, there’s a value ladder in finance where value is crafted. Whether that be the collection of information or data points, the reporting of it, analysis of it.
[00:04:36] And then you’ve got the following. So the monitoring of it, then translating what you’re finding into insights that are actionable for the business, and then evolving those insights with the business, with our stakeholders and deploying them, which is the ultimate level of value you can offer them. And, the value, it was on a various different spectrum.
[00:04:54] Those benefits, those outcomes. It’s on a spectrum. so my heart, you can distill them to physical cost flows, net present value calculations. Some of them are impacts that a P and L and some of them are just a bit more intangible in terms of improving customer satisfaction or simply the right thing to do to have a sustainable organization.
[00:05:15] That’s a going concern. And I explore those more in a recent episode. Number 303, whether a hard benefit is better than a software
[00:05:25]And the reason why I say to measure it as is doing any way a strategy can get implemented is if you dedicate resources to it, good intentions about what you want to do is not enough. When you’re implementing strategy, you have to spend your time, your effort, your resources, or resourcefulness, where resources may seem.
[00:05:48] To be locking on, has to be consistent with your intentions in step one. Hence why it’s important to remote report and monitor on progress towards delivering the value that you want from it, as well as your stakeholders. And then the third one is,
[00:06:07]yeah. Yes. It’s great. Having this deliberate path to follow. But it’s actually also being open to emerging opportunities on the watt on how to get there as Henry Mintzberg taught, there’s two options for our strategy. The first one is anticipated opportunities, which is really the first two steps.
[00:06:26] Those that you can see and choose to pursue. that’s why I love the story of how Honda cracked, the United States motorcycle market. They had a deliberate strategy on the big bikes taking on the Harley Davidsons and so on, but a sort of shortage of resources, but also understanding what it is.
[00:06:45] People really wanted allowed them to pivot to the smaller trade or scrambler type bikes and build the resources then to go and compete on the larger bikes. Ultimately.
[00:06:55]But they moved from a deliberate strategy to one that was untested on anticipated an emerging strategy. And they, that usually comes from, again, if you’re on that path, you’ll come across a cocktail of problems or opportunities that emerge and.
[00:07:17]I want you on that sort of path of a deliberate strategy and so on you’ll come across a cocktail or problems and opportunity that emerges. You could be that used to be providing a report on a monthly basis. And in discussing with shareholders, our stakeholders or management, they want a particular bit of analysis.
[00:07:38] Over walked through the numbers actually mean are a comparison of a particular area within that report, a product line of business unit.
[00:07:47]So now you’ve realized that, actually, maybe. The right path isn’t reporting. It could be an artist cause that’s the one that provides value. And guess what? I’m actually enjoying doing some analysis and the additional exposure that brings me in those conversations with decision makers. And I find again, the D difficulty of have a lot of people going on.
[00:08:09] Those three steps is actually knowing where to start or how to formulate or what to put in. And no one knows all the answers straight away, but the more we share our career journeys, and that’s why we bring us mentors onto the strength. And the numbers is to share with you their hard won lessons, what they’ve done, how they’ve gone through these steps, how they’ve been deliberate about their career and approach a career and activities outside their careers, but also how they seized emergent problems and seize those opportunities to go and make an impact and build influence.
[00:08:44] So it gives you those ideas to pop it into your own strategies, your own plan
[00:08:49]and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to follow in their footsteps, but it’s a really great way to at least some of the pressure off is where do you begin? Where do you start? and how did other people do it? How did they get on? and the great thing is a lot of these people, these mentors are open to being reached out to and having a conversation with them and sharing with you what it is they actually did.
[00:09:11] And giving some really good advice better than what I can give on this Monday, marrow
[00:09:16]because I’ve only got my perspective. There’s plenty, more perspectives that matter out there. On how you can make better decisions around which opportunities to seize. So look, hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. If you did, please remember to share it with your friends colleagues. You can subscribe on all the major platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon music.
[00:09:39] And as always, we really appreciate you investing your time with us today. So until next time, take care of yourselves and let’s keep on building our strength in the numbers.