In last weeks, post I talked about how leaders are always looking to be more effective. To increase our effectiveness it helps to look for principles that can help us do that. I mentioned that the Pareto principle. Commonly referred to as the 80/20 principle is a powerful tool to assess not just what we do but how we do it.
As mentioned in last weeks post the 80/20 principles main take away is that there is a natural imbalance between my efforts and outcomes. In addition, that the majority of my outcomes are the results of a minority of causes.
Now having that established, we can begin to ask the next questions how can we improve our outcomes?
If the typical pattern is that 80% of the results come from 20% of the inputs it is necessarily typical too that 80%, the great majority of inputs are having only a marginal 20% impact. Again as alluded to last week…this means that there is a lot of room for improvement.
That our outcomes cannot just be improved…but multiplied!
So this of course begs the question how do we multiple our efforts?
Great question and here are two simple ways
- Reallocate the resources from unproductive to productive uses.
- Make the unproductive resources more effective
Let me spend the rest of the blog focusing on #1. Next week ill focus on #2
Reallocate resources from unproductive to productive uses. In the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14) This is exactly what the master did. He took resources from one and gave them to the one who already maximized his resources.
Thinking this through this requires a simple understanding of who and of what is producing the most yield for you?
What generates you the most income, subscribers, followers etc.? You have to identify these things.
This principle requires you to assess your outputs (the immediate effects of what you do).
Moreover, it requires you to make an assessment of your outcomes (the impact said results are having on your designated market, stakeholders) If you can’t evaluate this change you won’t be in the position to determine where you need to reallocate resources. In the case of the master in the parable of the talents. He had at least 3 means that he knew would produce different results. My guess is most of us have also activities, etc. that are producing differing results for us.
It is important to recognize, and quantitate the results of each one and monitor them closely. Often time some leaders can get lazy in this process. If that is you, then delegate or hire someone to make that assessment for you. If you cannot hire someone, perhaps investigate a local college program, students etc., that might want to evaluate your business or organization to help you.
In the end if we can admit that not all of our efforts (people) yield the same results, it will help to put us in a position where we can solve real problems, but also determine what you have to change to acquire more of what you are looking for.