Sometimes you learn from your clients, as I did from this long term client that clarified some of what he learned from me in a recent discussion of Primary vs Secondary Responsibilities.
The client has grown fairly robustly in the past four years. It is a different company now that back then, and in very positive ways. Back then, to build infrastructure to support growth and strategic initiatives, as with many smaller growth companies, important projects were divvied up among the staff. They took these on in addition to their existing priorities and responsibilities. Many of the projects, which were important strategically to differentiate the firm, got bogged down. You know the drill. This happens everywhere.
It may seem obvious to repeat this, but my client recently explained what he learned from this, “Primary Responsibilities get Primary Effort, Secondary Responsibilities get Secondary Effort. These projects needed Primary Effort and Talent to succeed. So, on important initiatives going forward, I have to make sure they get Primary Effort from the people who have that Talent. So we’ll outsource or bring the talent in to get the Primary Effort going forward.”
Great insight and a simple question to ask yourself on any new important initiative. Does this need Primary or Secondary Effort? The follow up questions become, “How can we make this a Primary Responsibility for someone?” and “Does this person have the Primary Talent?”.
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