Wow what a fantastic 2 days at the very 1st Accounting Business Expo in Australia! I’m still on a high from all the fantastic conversations, the great presentations, panels and the awesome exhibitors. A big shout out to Sholto Macpherson and Laura Venables and her team for such a great event for Accountants, Bookkeepers and Finance Professionals in Australia.
So after such a great two days, how do we ensure we implement the learnings from the content sessions? And how do we go about following up with the exhibitors we want to talk to, or even implement some of the fantastic tools into our businesses?
Here are my top 5 tips.
Time (to review)
It doesn’t matter what your intentions are if you don’t schedule time in to work on these things they just won’t happen.
I like to dedicate an entire day post any conference to put my notes together, research the tools I’ve learned about, but more importantly sit back and really think about what I want to change now vs in the future. I find just taking this time within the 1st few days after a conference is best, the ideas are fresh, you can decipher your notes much better and you are still on a high.
So before you tackle the ‘inbox’ be sure to take some time for ‘post-conference action planning’
Time (to execute)
Now that you have scheduled a chunk of time post conference and you have your list of action items you need to set aside time for yourself and the rest of your team to execute on those ideas and changes. I love a little slide Guy Pearson puts in a lot of his presentations about the need for R&D time and costs set aside in your business. Think about this execution time as R&D, time for improvement.
Ideally, you want to be working on these things at least weekly. I personally like to set aside Fridays for this. It’s a great way to finish the week knowing you are smashing through those improvements. I know others like to set aside Monday so they don’t have other work distractions.
Whatever you prefer….just ensure you are setting aside at least 4 hours per week to execute on the changes you want to make in your business.
Process for what’s important
There are thousands of things we all want to do / change / look at in our business. But we are all human and only have 24 hours in a day so how do you decide what to work on 1st. And there is nothing worse than paralysis by analysis!
To figure out what to work on 1st I like to use a little 4 quadrant technique
I break all of my ideas / problems to solve / tools to look at implementing into 4 categories:
- Things that are easy/quick to implement but will make a big impact in our business
- Things that are hard/long term to implement but will make a big impact in our business
- Things that are easy/quick to implement but won’t make as big an impact in our business
- Things that are hard/long term to implement but won’t make as a big an impact in our business
The psychology behind this is part of the eating an elephant analogy. We all like to tick things off, to have the win, so picking a few things that are quick and easy to get done, but will still make a big impact on your business, are fantastic to start with. The trick is to ensure you are mixing the easy and quick ideas with the hard and longer term ones, but always concentrating on the things that will make the biggest impact on your business.
When you are starting to execute the hard and longer term ideas you use this same technique on those ideas, breaking them down piece by piece.
This technique ensures you capture all of your ideas, but that you are concentrating on the important things 1st.
Make this part of workflow
Having scheduled time will assist you but use a technique that works for you. The next step is ensuring this is part of your workflow. Unless you and the team can see what needs to be worked on for your business it’s too easy to concentrate on the client work and leave everything else.
Whatever workflow system you are using you need to have the tasks assigned and allocated as part of your normal workflow. We use Karbon so we have our internal projects setup as ‘work’ in Karbon and the detailed checklist of everything we need to get done for that project setup, allocated to the right person and with a due date.
Set and monitor OKR’s
If you want to make changes in your business the best way to ensure these happen is to set Objectives and Key Results you share with the entire team. If you don’t have a team share them with me and I’ll touch base with you to ensure ‘you are winning’ each month!
These Objectives and Key Results need to be focused and detailed. They need to be directly related to the ideas and problems you are trying to solve. And you need to be monitoring progress weekly, monthly and quarterly.
I’d love to hear what works for you post a conference…..