The Art and Science of Herding Cats

by | Connecting the Dots ©

No matter your line of work, you have probably experienced the challenge of trying to herd cats. It is a near universal complaint about conducting business today for a lot of reasons.  It’s especially hard to stay focused on the big picture objectives when you, your colleagues, staff and probably everyone you deal with face daily distractions that usually do require attention.

Trying to satisfy immediate demands and stay on agenda in a dynamic and reactive environment can at times seem comical.

Most professionals have the best of intentions about staying on top of the strategic activities amid their daily responsibilities. Those intentions usually don’t last beyond the first morning crisis as priorities change quickly.

The difficulty of staying focused is compounded when the strategic activities involve implementing a marketing plan, change management, cultural transformation or other areas that require specialized expertise, skills and advancing into unfamiliar circumstances.

Keeping yourself, let alone others, on task and agenda requires drive, vision, and, above all, patience. It also requires time, effort and resources. All of that means money. Unnecessary delays cost you and become even more expensive when you don’t reach your goals.

There’s something you can do about it. Cat herding assistance is available and it’s cost effective.

Many firms turn to a project management consultant to help with their strategic activities. The purpose is to ensure accountability via an individual who can maintain the perspective and discipline required to advance the necessary progress, outside of the day to day constraints. It’s still not easy and may never be perfect. But it’s a whole lot better than blind faith  or wishful thinking.

It’s easy to justify putting off the big picture stuff  to another day in the interest of productivity but the reality is you probably never get to it. If you’re serious about achieving objectives, you just can’t follow the same old routine and think things will get better.

Advancing the strategic activities really needs the attention of a good project manager dedicated to getting the job done. The work is often painstaking and time-consuming and somebody has to do it.  The challenge is to keep moving everyone forward towards a better place while  coordinating with those daily constraints.

The very fact that you assign someone the  responsibility and charge to ride herd will give you an advantage over the cats.

(c) 2023 Stephen Madarasz is a consultant specializing in Communication Audits, Assessments & Marketing Plans – Sharing and use of this material is encouraged, provided the source is identified and credited.