With today’s pressure to outperform, grow and provide value to shareholders, organizations struggle to meet and exceed expectations. Many companies invest significant resources in annual planning and articulating yearly strategic initiatives… and then don’t deliver on them. Despite all of the work and best intentions of everyone involved, these companies can’t seem to gain any “traction” on their objectives. It’s very frustrating to work so hard and then wonder why you cannot deliver on the issues that really matter.

I see this dynamic often, having worked with clients and researched the subject. And the one thing that I know can help in “gaining traction” is the power of focus. Regardless of an organization’s size, the ability to prioritize initiatives and focus on a finite number of objectives plays a very important role in generating momentum and meeting your strategic goals.

Size Doesn't Matter
Organizations can make the mistake of taking on too much at once. Larger companies assume that just because they are big, they must do more; while smaller companies believe growth requires numerous goals. This is not the case for either. I’ve found that the larger the organization, the greater the level of effort, complexity and time required to deliver strategic initiatives. Smaller organizations have to be even more careful since directing resources and attention away from the day-to-day fundamentals of running a business can have disastrous results on sales and overall productivity.

The Formula to Achieve MORE
If you want to achieve more, you need to FOCUS! Companies must concentrate on less in order to deliver more. By focusing on a few goals, the chances of producing results are much greater. Just as a lack of accomplishment creates significant “drag” on corporate momentum, a sense of accomplishment is a very powerful “stimulant” for higher productivity.

How to Build Focus Into Your Organization
Practice the following to increase your focus and your company’s focus and therefore your success:

1. Keep It Simple. When going through any goal-setting exercises, I coach my clients to Keep It Super Simple (KISS) and remember the “Triple S” factor: Simplicity Spans Success. Most of us prefer simplicity in life. Trying to keep track of too many details is distracting and dilutes our effectiveness to get anything done.

2. Prioritize Your Goals. There is always so much to do that it’s hard to identify what’s most important; this is where prioritization is critical. You must focus your resources—time, people, money—on getting the best return on investment. Prioritizing ensures you and your company or team can concentrate on the top goals that will have the greatest organizational impact.

3. Stick To Three. Our minds are well connected to thinking in 3s. Research shows that when there are more than 3 objectives, chances are individuals will not deliver well on any of them. If you choose to concentrate on 1, 2 or 3 initiatives, then your probability of success increases substantially!

4. Publicize Your Goals. The top three priorities are the “guiding post” for the entire organization, so make sure everyone—from senior management to frontline staff—know what they are.

5. Celebrate Your Success. As you progress toward and achieve your goals, take the time to congratulate those involved on their effort. Success is self-perpetuating and once “traction” begins, it will pick up momentum as employees see and “feel” they are accomplishing something of value.
6. Refocus By Returning to Step #1.

A common saying goes, “If you don’t know where you are heading, you might end up at the wrong place.” That is true; however, unless your have clear and simple directions, there is also the chance you might get overwhelmed with the details and get lost anyway!

Keep the above steps in mind and you will possess the focus to get things done and move on to your next opportunity.

Be amazing!

Author's Bio: 

Denis Lévesque, CEC, PCC, is owner of Big Dashan, a high-performance coaching, training and speaking firm. Big Dashan provides the tools and support business professionals need to get from good to great. Mr. Lévesque’s expertise focuses on executives, entrepreneurs and rising talent who want to improve their performance and their organizations' effectiveness and profitability.

For more information, visit www.bigdashan.com.