Archive for the ‘Delegation’ Category

Find Time For Life

Avinash is Head of the International Business (IB) division at a consumer goods business.  The division sells entirely to other organizations i.e. they don’t sell retail.

Lack of time came up as the largest problem facing Avinash. He was working 10 hour days. Work-life balance was a problem. Family was unhappy. So was he.

I asked him to track the time spent over 2 weeks.  This is what he came up with:

Emails 30 hours (he spends 3 hours each Sundays!)
Working a new model for allocating overheads that would show that IB margins are 10% higher than stated 6 hours
Trouble shooting client issues 13 hours
Time spent on solving interpersonal issues between subordinates 5 hours
Time with subordinates for solving specific order issues 16 hours
Preparing Monday report for his boss 6 hours (“It’s complicated, no one else can do it).
Visiting institutional clients in Bangalore 2 days (16 hours)
Time spent with the plant sorting out quality and delivery time problems 15 hours

Avinash was packing in 10 hours a day, working Saturdays and spending 3 hours every Sunday!

The obvious observations were

Email addiction (a common affliction)

Not delegating enough

This was however only a small part of the problem.

On closer examination it turned out that he did not know what else to spend his time on!

“Well, I am making the numbers. It’s my job to run the department and I am doing precisely that.  Get better at delegation, reduce my email-addiction and I am all set.”

I then asked him to list down his goals and outcomes.  Here is what he came up with:

Grow IB sales by 40% coming year

Protect existing sales

Additional sales with existing customers

New customers

Create a long term platform for business growth through

Higher end products

Deepening relationships with existing customers

Exploring South American markets

Improve the division’s margins

Within the company, IB was making lower margins than domestic business.  Exports no longer got the mindshare it received till the 90s. This irked Avinash no end. “I want to restore IB to its past glory.”

Develop higher end products

Change the method of allocation of overheads


Participate in strategic initiatives with the organization

Manage his team

Grow his people to take on more responsibilities

The next question was, “How much of your time in the last 2 weeks was spent on these goals”

Avinash had spent only about 10% of his time in realizing the above outcomes!

“I am not doing my job at all!”

Watch this space for more.