I have always stressed to our clients that our goal is to provide them with 2 or 3 key customer insights that they can start work on immediately. Too often, customer research firms and consultants seem to bombard their clients with tens or hundreds of pages of analysis and recommendations. While a big fat report with plenty of graphs and charts may look impressive it just doesn’t work in practice.
The reason that these approaches do not work is simple; any organisation, be it one person, a small team, a division or even an entire company can only focus on doing 2 or 3 things at once. Any more than that and focus gets too diffuse. With a lack of focus comes a lack of progress. Then one thing leads to another and none of the “ten key priorities” gets done.
A much better approach is to focus on doing two or three things. Get them up and running then pick another two or three things to focus on. In no time at all you will have all ten key changes made in your organisation.
It seems that recent research supports this approach. Today’s Harvard Business Review daily stat is that “Fewer Strategic Priorities Is Better.” Executives in firms that have fewer (one to three) strategic priorities “were the most likely to say that their companies have above-average profitability and growth.”
So how many things are you trying to do today? Maybe you should prioritise your list and get the top few done first.