Helping Managers Focus on Important Priorities

At Full Circle Feedback w have worked with thousands of managers and leaders during the past decade. During this time the workplace has become far more demanding and complex. The impact of globalisation, the Information Age and an increase in consumer/client expectations have all resulted in work environments that are complex, changing and faster paced.

Our conversations with managers have highlighted a sharp increase in the challenge for individuals to achieve a reasonable work life balance. Most managers are achievement oriented and responsible by nature so their solution to the increasingly demanding work place is simply to work longer hours. This solution allows people to maintain a feeling of control. For example one comment we heard recently – If I work on Sunday afternoon and get all my reports done I can hit Monday morning ahead of the game. This same individual rarely exercised, neglected their family and friends, ate lunch at their desk every day and logged into their workplace after dinner each night to fit in an extra couple of hours work. They were providing a short term, bandaid solution at a great personal cost. The difficulty for them was that they saw no alternative solution. They viewed the problem as one to be measured by quantity – there is simply too much work to be done in one day. Delegation is not always the easy answer with cutbacks on staffing numbers and the reality that staff are already also overloaded. The other difficulty is that often the workplace culture is reinforcing the working longer hours syndrome. People wear their early morning and evening work hours as a badge of honour and a passage to further promotions. However exhausted managers are not going to be super productive in the longer term. We are not machines.

At Full Circle Feedback we challenge and assist overloaded managers to view their dilemma differently. Firstly we get managers to view their working like through the Pareto or 80/20 principle. We help them understand that whilst we expect that all of our efforts will result in the same level of results that this is not the case. In fact only 20% of our efforts are of real value. We give people examples to closely consider as the principle is counterintuitive. We all expect the world to be linear but in fact it is not. We ask managers to consider the following facts:

  • 20% of products = 80% sales
  • 20% of customers = 80% profit
  • 20% of criminals account for 80% of the value of all crime
  • 20% of motorists cause 80% of accidents
  • 20% of those who marry comprise 80% of divorce statistics
  • 20% of your carpets get 80% of the wear
  • 20% of the population has 80% of wealth
  • 20% of your wardrobe is worn 80% of the time