How do you make sure that you’re implementing the right strategy you want to implement?
You watch where your resources flow, what we call the resource allocation process. If this is not supporting the strategy you’ve decided upon and built goals around then you run the risk of hitting some serious problems.
In this bite-sized episode I share some thoughts on 3 areas we can avoid mistakes in our own resource allocation process.
Hi everyone. And welcome to this week’s Monday memo. And I was wondering, can you actually remember back however long ago it was to when you trained to be an accountant or did your MBA, or even completed your last leadership course or CPD CPE requirements? We were probably assessed in some way. We might’ve received a certificate.
[00:00:24] Of completion or recertified that we’d met some level of competence in a short period of time, or we probably did that with a sentence of trying to drive some progression in our careers. Right. It’s quite a conscious activity where we. Put some time aside to do this particular work, get this certification, get the qualification.
[00:00:47] So on. That’s what we like to think we’re doing when we’re allocating our time to such learning and development opportunities to partly be Soma return at the end of it. But I feel that a lot of us in finance, even though we probably should know better well making mistakes when it comes to resource allocation, particularly of our own time.
[00:01:10] Whether we know it or not, that we tend to put our resources into those activities that will yield the most immediate impact, which is ironic because we’re trained to appreciate the importance of building towards a longer term, without sacrificing too much of the short term performance. It’s a bit of a balancing act and some of those concrete returns might even be on the job immediately in front of us. So we put time maybe into implementing a new RPA robotic process automation solution that. Helps us get back some time, tens of hours or hundreds of hours. When we do these monthly reporting activities or weekly reporting, we might have put in place a nice dashboards or some variance analysis that allows us to drill more deeply into the numbers.
[00:01:59]Or we could have been helping sales when that last big tender and got a note from the president of the company, thanking us for our efforts and they couldn’t have done the job without us. And we’re hoping those sort of immediate results activities where we’re putting our resources will pay off to maybe getting a promotion or better pay or are more kudos in our careers.
[00:02:23] So having something to show for our initial investments of time and that payoff all those years, I asked you to cast your mind back to the last course we did, or our training that we invested in sacrifice time into become finance professionals.
[00:02:38] But I can’t help, but feel as I’ve progressed through my career and talked with many mentors on strengthen the numbers. That a lot of us, particularly as we’re developing early in those careers. Some of us who are more senior as well are still unconsciously putting our resources and time into essentially short-term activities, as opposed to those non-core activities.
[00:03:00] Joe, the roles we play outside of work as wives, husbands partners, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers. Friends community leaders, all those activities that will probably help us become more like the people we intended to be when we set out on our journeys, our career journeys. And if you think about it, we’ll probably have a better, longer term pay off for us.
[00:03:23] If we think of things like happiness. And there are a number of things we can do about it. And actually it’s quite ironic because we actually know how to allocate resources much better than other professions. For goodness sake we’ve been trained to do that’s why a lot of organizations have finance organizations, so we can track.
[00:03:44] And that’s where even language and numbers came from was tracking where resources were being put. So we could put put resources, make decisions, put resources in better places. And one of the tests that that I’ve come across. To help us do this personally. Anyways, some people call it the tombstone test.
[00:04:01] You might’ve heard of it, when we died and if we, our families, if they’re still around us or whatever, for Mark, by a particular tombstone, what would we like that tombstone to have said about us, about our lives? Do we want it to red dash. We were always known for delivering that accurate forecast or accurate reports at being a responsive business partner and making sure that trial balance is reconciled without any errors or closing the books on time, or do you want to be known as the person who’s provided for their family was fun to be around, offered their children the best possible opportunities were there for your friends and your family when they need you most, and you were a leading figure in your community? I imagine most people setting out on their careers are probably on that latter well-intended path.
[00:04:48]But I, again, talking with people in our profession, And our community there quite a few of us that have more hollower lives that they didn’t intend for themselves. But how many of us have done that tombstone test or we do in our companies a strategic plan that long-term focus, that long-term vision.
[00:05:08] How many of us have applied it to our own lives outside of our careers so that we know where our resources should be allocated towards and the type of people we wish to be seen as and become. So I encourage you first action to get around this mistake around resource allocation is right up that tombstone test.
[00:05:25] What would you like your tombstone to say? It’s a bit more, but I know, but just think about it as a good way of trying to set that long-term vision for you. It’s your life at the end of the day? Right? I then the second thing that we probably should know better run it to, to avoid poor resource allocation.
[00:05:45] Is, that’s look at our last week, what things did we prioritize? Where do we put our time at was the tombstones has to have the longer term vision you’ve just written out. What’s where you put your time consistent with this, or did you focus on those immediate returns a bit more on automatic pilot, those ones that would help you move near to the promotion or the bonus or the raise are the ones that.
[00:06:10]Require the longer-term work, do things you don’t see a return on in decades, like at raising well-adjusted children or helping them with their homework so that they can have better opportunities, better grades and so on. Or did you contribute to an initiative in your community, whether it was virtually in a lot, for a lot of us in these times, or did you go out there and pick litter in the streets or something like that?
[00:06:32]Or go and develop some more meaningful friendships with people, I mean, the fact of the matter is most of us do actually set out twin 10, satisfying sorry. Building satisfying personal lives along with our professional lives making choices to provide for. Our families better lives for our families. A bigger house, better car, more fun holidays, bigger holidays, et cetera.
[00:07:00] But I think a lot of us tend to overlook some key people in our lives. Those immediately around us, our partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, children. Because if you think about it, when we go home at night after work they’re still there. There’s. There’s no sort of sense of deterioration relationship they’re still around.
[00:07:20] And, I don’t have to be sad to say it but it’s not as exciting as that immediate buzz when you get to achieve something on the job. Right. But it’s a bit perverse because. A lot of us don’t want to have references so much to our job on our tombstones. It’s more what we have our families and friends and those closest to us think of us.
[00:07:40]So if you believe your family are deeply important to you, how much time have you been allocating to them and similar to your community and friends and so on and church or whatever. So that Alton nugget of wisdom. What gets measured gets managed. If you’re not measuring your priorities, that’ll hone to help you get towards your vision.
[00:08:00] Someone else’s priorities will be taking charge of you. So timebox you’ll week figure out in advance where you’d like to spend your time, allow that time for those activities, build them in, allow a bit of scope for the things come up that you hadn’t expected. We’ve talked about this in previous Monday, memos from a work perspective, try and apply it to things outside of finance. Even if it’s activities you have to do at home, like making the dinner, maybe make it to dinner with the kids or play a board game together. If you’re looking to switch off our schedule in some times, contract with friends or parents, we don’t have to travel as much anymore. It can be done over zoom or WhatsApp or whatever platform you’re using. Even contribute to community. A lot of us can’t do that in proxy nowadays, but we can do it for actually, whether it’s on a social platform of sorts, or if it’s helping a charity with their business plan or how to fund for the year ahead or meet their plans, given all the change that’s been going on in our environments.
[00:09:00] Now track where you’ve been putting your time and see it’s if consistent with the person you want to be seen as, or become as one of my favorite sayings from the ex CEO of Intel, Andy Grove is if you really want to understand the company strategy, look at what they actually do rather than what they say they’ll do.
[00:09:17] So that’s very key as well because ultimately resource allocation decisions that you make about where you invest your blood, your sweat, your tears, your time. If they’re not consistent with the person you inspire to be, you’ll never become that person. So check if your actual behavior, what you’re measuring is learning of put your strategy or a longer-term vision, the tombstone test. If you variances, what are you doing to correct them for goodness sake, we’re trained to do this professionally. Why not put some of that good training to practice in our own lives?
[00:09:48] Because ultimately we’re the ones that would benefit most
[00:09:50]part me. The thing that gives us that longer term happiness, which is what we try and balance, right? Our short-term actions with having that longterm going concern, sustainability aspect.
[00:10:03]of running a good organization.
[00:10:05] Probably a third angle is for people doing the work you want to. Do professional, understand how they’re managing their time out side like we, we help strengthen the numbers by trying to bring a guest mentors on to the show to share with you their stories on how they fit it all together. In terms of how they allocated their time, how they prioritize, and that’s the great thing about asking people, other people on how they’re managing their time, how they’re allocating their priorities, how they can see me managed to do it all. All where certain sacrifices had to be made and what they did then to catch up, make up for it or prioritize our time as us there’s loads and loads of really great tips down our gas mens as our sheriffs, or encourage you to check out some of those episodes as well.
[00:10:50] And if you did like this Monday memo
[00:10:53] really appreciate it. If you recommend the show to your friends and your colleagues on all the major platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. And as always, really appreciate 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.