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After 90 Days, Follow the Money December 1, 2011

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership, Organizational dynamics, strategy.
Tags: , , , ,

One of the most-read posts on this site is something I wrote over two years ago about starting a new job and figuring out what’s needed. See: 30-60-90 Day Plans. After 90 days the initial disorientation should have passed, and it should be clear what the immediate priorities are and where you should be focusing your attention in order to meet deliverables and short-term performance objectives. Whether you’re new-to-the-company or new-to-the-position you’re generally given a honeymoon period to get settled and learn the ropes, but eventually expectations will be raised and you will be asked to take on more responsibility for defining your own deliverables and objectives, or at least exercising more independent judgment. If there’s any question about where to look for guidance my advice is simple: follow the money.

At a fundamental level a business is concerned with profit and growth, and that translates to generating revenue and managing the expenses associated with generating that revenue. Your work contributes to one or both, either directly or indirectly, and your contribution to the business ultimately comes down to how your accomplishments help improve the bottom line.

Activities that help revenue generation include identifying profitable market segments, designing and delivering products and services that others want to buy, and then enabling those sales. There are expenses associated with each of these activities, including the cost of time spent, and managing those expenses (ideally, improving the business’s ability to turn expenses into profitable revenue) is part of the job. This includes support functions (for example, legal, HR, finance, and IT) who provide information and enable others to focus more time on activities that directly add value.

The specifics will vary from one job and one business to another, but a perceptive leader at any level in the organization should be able to generate measurable goals and achievements that help the bottom line and are consistent with the firm’s strategic objectives. By the way, if the strategic objectives aren’t clear, that needs to be taken up with senior management. Generally, organizations need their leaders at all levels to have the insight to figure out what needs to be done, and the initiative to get the necessary support; and not to wait for someone else to tell them what to do.



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