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The Power of Focus and Persistence to Achieve High Performance

Last week I was working with a company that had a handful of clear issues that were significantly affecting their operational performance. From talking to them they sometimes focused on them and sometimes they didn't.

If you want to make headway with your improvement and performance challenges then you need to keep your issues in front of your team until they are dealt with.

There are lots of improvement methodologies available to improve how a business functions and performs, but none of them are worthwhile if you don't demonstrate sustained effort with your challenges.

I see lots of businesses that get close to completing their improvements, but fail to properly finish them off. They never stick with the improvement, because they have lost focus, and therefore don't get the rewards.

Many issues are linked to discipline. Discipline comes from habits. Habits come from focus. You have got to keep your eye on the issues that you want to resolve for long enough if you want something important to happen.

This isn't rocket science; prioritise what you need to improve and then find a way to keep it in your sights until it is no longer an issue. I am sure that you will have the tools necessary to help you keep it in your field of view:

  • Daily team meetings - your focus becomes a key point on the agenda.
  • A heading on a whiteboard in your office - the bigger the better!
  • The action plan located in a prominent place in the office - so everyone can see it.
  • Specific Key Performance Indicators - measure it and focus on it.
And, of course, you can make a great big sign that you can hang in the office to remind everyone what needs focus.

Don't lose the focus, do whatever you can to keep it until the problem has been resolved and the performance levels have been reached!

Have fun making that big sign!


About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.

business process improvement