When the pandemic first began, I never imagined it would last this long, and yet there is no definitive end in sight. Many of us have found ourselves cursing 2020 for all of the bad things that have happened, but we all hope 2021 will be different. In our personal and professional lives, we know that we will need more than “hope” for 2021 to be better. We need to start setting a vision for 2021 and begin working towards it.
I used to pride myself on my ability to multitask, and I was surprised when I started reading articles about the “myth of multitasking.” You can Google that phrase and find many articles that discuss the negative consequences of multitasking on productivity. One particular article can be found here.
As I have learned about the advantages of clear focus, my personal productivity has significantly approved. I try to start each day with key priorities in mind, and this approach allows me to spend my limited amount of time on what is most important.
Many organizations are guilty of multitasking. We take on numerous goals, initiatives and tasks and struggle to focus on what is most important. It is too easy for us to get caught up in our day to day responsibilities and ignore more strategic items. A survival mindset prevents us from looking at the big picture and setting a vision for where we are going. I think the survival mindset has been particularly prevalent in many organizations throughout the pandemic.
In The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling, the authors urged leaders and organizations to set a clear goal and provided a framework for executing it. They wrote:
“MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller says, ‘Trying to concentrate on two tasks causes an overload of the brain’s processing capacity…Particularly when people try to perform similar tasks at the same time, such as writing an email and talking on the phone, they compete to use the same part of the brain. Trying to carry too much, the brain simply slows down.’ If this is true of simple tasks like processing emails and phone calls, think of the impact of losing focus on the goals that could transform your business.” (2012, pp. 25-26)
The pandemic has certainly changed how we do business and live our lives. Does your business or organization have a clear vision for 2021 or are you merely in survival mode? Have you spent time focusing on what is going well and what needs to change? We often neglect to carve out time to discuss some of the most important business discussions. These questions might include but are not limited to:
- What successes have we experienced?
- What lessons have we learned?
- What opportunities exist for growth, better services, and new products?
- What is one area that we could focus on to improve our business or organization significantly?
- Where are we going as an organization?
- Where should we be going as an organization?
Setting aside time to bring together employees and/or other stakeholders to discuss these questions is a valuable investment to set clear priorities, develop buy in, improve as an organization, create accountability, and learn from others.
These discussions often take place in the context of an extended strategy meeting or retreat. Utilizing an external facilitator can ensure all employees and/or stakeholders are able to fully participate in the discussion and not be worried about running the meeting process. After the meeting, we can provide a report with key priorities to consider. T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is trained and experienced in facilitating these types of important discussions and are now scheduling facilitated team retreats and meetings for the end of the year and early 2021. Facilitated meetings can take place in person or virtually.
Please contact us to schedule an initial discovery conversation and learn more about how a facilitator can help your organization plan for success in 2021. We offer customized retreats and meeting facilitation in various time formats and locations. In addition, we can include team building activities to enhance the cohesiveness and effectiveness of your team.
If you are looking for a way to establish a collective vision and focus for 2021, please contact us. We wish you a safe, happy, healthy, and successful 2021.
T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is located in Evansville, Indiana, and we focus on enhancing organizational leadership, strategy, and creativity in the surrounding region
Dr. Tad Dickel is a leadership, strategy, and creativity consultant who works with businesses, nonprofits, colleges, schools, and churches. He received a Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute, a Certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fund Raising School, a Certificate in Foundations of Design Thinking from IDEO U, and holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Tad is a Certified Basadur Simplexity Thinking Facilitator and Trainer, Certified Basadur Profile Administrator, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.