Is Your Absent Mind Holding You Back?

Published on 2013-07-15

Source: enki22 @ Flickr
HOW ARE CHAMPIONS MADE? And what does it take to become the best? Was Mozart simply born with talent, or was he the result of purposeful practice? Who better to uncover this mystery than a three-time Commonwealth table-tennis champion, Matthew Syed. Oh, and he’s also an award-winning London Times columnist and author of Bounce.
What Syed does say is that ‘purposeful practice makes excellence’. Many of us do our jobs, but with our mind absent, so Syed’s ideas are a great wake up call for those of you who still want to accomplish more in life.
And here are my tips to reduce your absent mindedness, which I summarise into ‘people’ and ‘process’. It’s also something that ClarkMorgan practices:
We have a culture of TALK in our organisation. TALK stands for ‘Tell’, ‘Ask’, ‘Listen’ and ‘Know’. Everyone in the organisation is required to tell those around them what they are working on, what help they need, and even if they think others need help. Equally important is to ask. Everyone must ask for help, if needed. They must also ask if they are not sure of what is happening. Using the excuse that “nobody told me” is no excuse in ClarkMorgan. Likewise, “I’ve already told you” is banned.
When we listen, we must be active. That means clarifying and paraphrasing. Nodding or simply saying “yes” might indicate that your ‘heard’, but doesn’t mean that you ‘understood’. And finally, if you tell, ask and listen then you, and the entire organisation, knows what is happening. This is a holistic approach to information and knowledge that prevents our team members from having an absent mind, and thus encourages purposeful practice to create excellence.
When I joined ClarkMorgan in 2004 we were using OpenEye version 1. This was a computer system that allowed for the sharing of information across our multiple offices, and staff. Today, OpenEye has evolved into version 3, and can be used on mobile phones! Furthermore, it has combined all of the processes of sales, marketing, HR, finance and  operations under the one platform, creating an intra-independence, or ecosystem. Staff that fail to input data in one part of OpenEye3 limit the functionality for staff using other components. As a result, the data input is kept up-to-date and clean because it has many sets of eyes (who are quick to ‘tell’ others if they missed data!). It also ensures that staff entering data in the first place are doing so purposefully to avoid being ‘told’.
Developing people and process is a great way to increase your organisation’s effectiveness. If you’d like to learn more, then contact ClarkMorgan.