Early morning a few weeks back I had a friend of mine, T.A. McCann, pick me up for a hike not too far from where we live. We started out on the trail and it’s quite a slog. But do you ever notice how time flies when you’re lost in a good conversation or a deep thought? We got to talking about how to prioritize and he shared an acronym with me that he likes to use at his company and those that he invests in.
The acronym is:
And it means:
Important Things I’m Not Doing Yet
You see, there are so many things that you can do at your company to drive growth, improve profitability, up level the team, build culture, invest in systems, find new customers, and on and on and on. And many of these great ideas often emerge as a spark of a “great idea.” Have you ever come to a morning meeting and said something like, “I think we should go do x,y,z. Yeah, here is why it makes so much sense”? And because you’re the leader, people shift to your idea and resources get moved and you are feeling pretty good about it.
But there’s a problem…
When resources get moved to the current idea of the week or the month, things definitely move, but they don’t get done—as in, completed. So now all of a sudden, the organization is “slammed” but nothing is getting completed to the level of systematization. And the false feeling is that you’re an organization that is so, so busy and that becomes the proxy for accomplishing a lot of things. But you consistently get frustrated that things aren’t moving forward as quickly as you’d like them to. Ahhh, the irony.
What I like about ITINDY is that it does NOT minimize really interesting, important, and exciting ideas and opportunities. Rather, it puts them into a container to be reviewed and potentially acted upon when the current important things that you ARE doing get completed.
In order for ITINDY to be effective, a couple of things must be present. First, there needs to be a clear set of objectives that the organization is committed to, with key results to measure effectiveness and high transparency to measure status. Second, there needs to be a shared agreement that ITINDY applies to everyone, including the CEO.
ITINDY is harder than it sounds, which is why it warrants a bit of reinforcement and explanation. It is hard because as a leader it requires some discipline. As you continue climbing in 2022, consider how ITINDY might apply in helping complete the objectives in front of you while you accumulate many very important ideas that you just aren’t doing….yet!
ITINDY is the term coined by T.A. McCann, a Partner at Pioneer Square Labs. You can read the blog post on ITINDY here: http://www.tamccann.com/important-things-im-not-doing-yet-itindy