“Hello. Since I came into the business six months ago as your CEO I’ve sat and observed the organisation in action and I’ve been impressed by what I have seen. There is one matter, however, and it is a behavioural one, that I want to tune up to ensure that our success continues. Going forward I intend to manage “time” as a finite resource of this organisation just as I would any of our more obvious resources.
Cutting to the chase I know that many of you are working 55 hours or more per week and have been for years. I’m not convinced that it’s a good long term habit so we’re going to change that.
I want you fresh, motivated and ready to go every single day, not worn out by working yourself into the ground. What I intend to do is unlock the full discretionary efforts of the entire team for 8-10 hours per day and then send you home to enjoy the rest of your life. Some may say this is aspirational – maybe so – but I am committed to make it our new reality.
To do that we need to be laser focused and only work on those things that matter to our future. Everything else will be jettisoned. This does not mean that our goals suddenly got easier. They haven’t. In fact our two goals remain unchanged – that is, we must:
1. Achieve all of our financial objectives including hitting our earnings target of $20m this year.
2. Ensure that the culture of our business, which is already excellent, doesn’t diminish but actually improves.
To show how serious I am here this is how we will operate going forward and this will start in seven days time:
1. The office doors will open at 8am and close at 6pm Monday to Friday.
2. No emails will be allowed to be sent after 7.00pm.
3. You don’t need to be available 24/7/365 – just ~45 hours pw.
4. You’re required to take all your holidays every year.
I won’t be increasing the size or structure of the organisation to achieve the two goals I’ve listed above. And I will challenge every sacred cow, process, behaviour or habit that gets in the way of achieving these objectives. I don’t expect to get there overnight but if it takes longer than 6-8 months to embed I will be disappointed.
I appreciate some of the changes needed may be painful as we learn how to operate differently but I won’t accept anything less than 100% success. Are my expectations clear? OK, now tell me what YOU need to change and what the organisation needs to change to get this done.”
Maybe this actually happened or maybe it didn’t. I won’t say. Nor does it matter. However, it is an interesting challenge and arguably one that many organisations could benefit from especially if they want to treat time as a valuable, finite organisational resource…