Too many things in motion simultaneously and not enough time in the day, week, month to deal with it all. The volume of emails, meetings, problems and fire fighting far exceeds the 24 hours available each day.
Unfortunately, we can’t buy more hours per day. There is no app for that. Dang.
The good news, however, is that many leaders out there are running some fascinating experiments on how they spend their time each day, week, month. These individuals are testing the concept of “leader standard work”; i.e. intentionally setting aside specific times of the day and/or week to accomplish specific tasks; intentionally practicing specific behaviors, asking questions, coaching to A3 thinking, etc. throughout each day.
They are intentionally spending a targeted number of hours in gemba each week to see and understand how their people are doing in serving the needs of their customers/patients; they are practicing focusing on the processes and results, versus just results.
These leaders are applying a very simple concept to themselves and how they lead. They understand that increased variability results in increased cost, increased time, increased defects, increased rework, increased costs, decreased satisfaction, decreased quality, etc.
They are applying this concept to their own leadership thinking and behaviors. Their hypothesis’ are along the lines of 1) standardization of how they think and behave will result in a stable form of leadership that they can then continuously improve upon and 2) this will result the variability in their leadership and therefore lead to improved outcomes.
As a result of this experimentation over time, they are discovering that the volume of email, meetings, problems and crisis’s are gradually shrinking; not disappearing but certainly less intense. As a result they are finding more time available per day, week, month to continuously improve how they lead and how their organizations perform.