Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Control and Perspective

I'm reading the latest book by David Allen, Making It All Work. This book is a follow-up to his successful Getting Things Done.

One of the themes in the book in control and perspective. Control has to do with how you are executing your tasks and projects. Perspective is focusing on your purpose, vision, goals etc.

I was in a meeting this week with a client and these same themes came up, but in different context. We were discussing program management and how the projects in your program should align with the organization's vision and goals - the perspective component.

During an earlier part of this engagement, I was providing project management mentoring - the control component. Obviously both components are important to success, whether for an individual or an organization.

I think Stephen Covey expressed it well; you could be working hard to climb the ladder (control) only to find it was leaning against the wrong wall (a lack of perspective). Is your ladder on the right wall?

So where do you start? David Allen says "you begin with where you are." If you have a crisis going on with work, you're not going to thing about your vision for the next 5 years, you have to get control of the crisis. You have to "clear the deck" first before you will be able to effectively address the perspective component and think about your vision and long term goals.

Look for more on the book as I make my way through it.

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