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May 7, 2015

Just Do It – Really?

Ian's Morning Musing image

Several years ago, I was walking through our offices with the CEO en route to a conference room. We passed an office where the VP was facing a window, his legs outstretched with his feet on the radiator. His hands were supporting his head in this wonderfully relaxed pose. Not breaking stride, the CEO commented that clearly this VP did not have enough to do.

That particular CEO would have appreciated an article written about INSEAD professor Herminia Ibarra’s recent book, which was headlined, ”Hey, Leaders: Stop Thinking So Much and Just Do It.” Tom Peters, the renowned business consultant who co-authored the famous book, “In Search of Excellence” with Robert Waterman, is recently quoted as saying, ”I see managers who look like 12 year-olds with ADD, running around from one thing to the next, constantly barraged with information, constantly chasing the next shiny thing.”

In the interview with Peters, he goes on to ask, “did you ever read Leadership the Hard Way,” by Dov Frohman? The two things I remember from that book, are, that 50 per cent of your time should be unscheduled. And second – and I love that this is coming from an Israeli intelligence officer – that the secret to success is “daydreaming.”

Is it any wonder we get confused with the advice of gurus?

I am convinced, more than ever, that we have fallen into the trap of confusing “busy-ness” (the need to be frenetically busy), with smart business. In the past, other commentators have called it “Ready, Fire, Aim.” With resources so tightly controlled, and under constant scrutiny, the need to think strategically has never been more imperative. This comes at a time when studies are telling us that “innovation” is a key differentiator in many industries.

In my recent experience, I have seen the tendency of employees to chase too many shiny objects; this can take the focus off of key deliverables and result in targets being missed. This means that scarce resources have been misdirected. Perhaps organizational busy-ness really does trump thoughtful strategic planning.

What do you see? As HR professionals, do you think we do enough in-depth thinking? Or, do you take the position we should “do” more and do less looking out of the window?

Join the conversation on LinkedIn


Filed under: hr, leadership, morning musing, planning Tagged: hr, leadership

Ian's Morning Musing image

Several years ago, I was walking through our offices with the CEO en route to a conference room. We passed an office where the VP was facing a window, his legs outstretched with his feet on the radiator. His hands were supporting his head in this wonderfully relaxed pose. Not breaking stride, the CEO commented that clearly this VP did not have enough to do.

That particular CEO would have appreciated an article written about INSEAD professor Herminia Ibarra’s recent book, which was headlined, ”Hey, Leaders: Stop Thinking So Much and Just Do It.” Tom Peters, the renowned business consultant who co-authored the famous book, “In Search of Excellence” with Robert Waterman, is recently quoted as saying, ”I see managers who look like 12 year-olds with ADD, running around from one thing to the next, constantly barraged with information, constantly chasing the next shiny thing.”

In the interview with Peters, he goes on to ask, “did you ever read Leadership the Hard Way,” by Dov Frohman? The two things I remember from that book, are, that 50 per cent of your time should be unscheduled. And second – and I love that this is coming from an Israeli intelligence officer – that the secret to success is “daydreaming.”

Is it any wonder we get confused with the advice of gurus?

I am convinced, more than ever, that we have fallen into the trap of confusing “busy-ness” (the need to be frenetically busy), with smart business. In the past, other commentators have called it “Ready, Fire, Aim.” With resources so tightly controlled, and under constant scrutiny, the need to think strategically has never been more imperative. This comes at a time when studies are telling us that “innovation” is a key differentiator in many industries.

In my recent experience, I have seen the tendency of employees to chase too many shiny objects; this can take the focus off of key deliverables and result in targets being missed. This means that scarce resources have been misdirected. Perhaps organizational busy-ness really does trump thoughtful strategic planning.

What do you see? As HR professionals, do you think we do enough in-depth thinking? Or, do you take the position we should “do” more and do less looking out of the window?

Join the conversation on LinkedIn


Filed under: hr, leadership, morning musing, planning Tagged: hr, leadership
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