Clear or conflicting messages

I thought about a quote in one of David Allen’s books last night.

“It is possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.” Lee Segall

My daughter was complaining to me because I was giving her conflicting directions. I asked her to do something that took her away from a task that her Mom had her start. After considering the sound advice of my 10 year old, I told her to finish what she was working on and then I have something I’d like her to do.

This same thing happens in business. Conflicting strategic goals and objectives that don’t have clear action plans being issued by multiple bosses or departments that may or may not have conflicting priorities. Measures and scorecards that don’t integrate the efforts of the organization are just as distracting. The questions in the Baldrige criteria can help you ensure you aren’t issuing multiple watches to your employees.

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