How does Mary enable her people to focus on just three highest priorities at any one time? By setting a few “Power of 3” ground rules, as follows:

  1. The three goals should account for around 70% of activity in any given week. In other words 70% of a persons time should be focussed on delivering those three goals. Much more than 70% is unrealistic – there is always other stuff to do. Much less than 70% suggests these three are not the most truly important things.
  2. The trick is to get them at just the right level. Too broad and they lack focus and clarity, too detailed and it is unlikely that there will be only three.
  3. Each goal will contain detail below it of how to make it happen, how to execute the goal. Of course the devil is in the detail, but at this level they cannot contain every piece of it.
  4. Each goal must be measurable and regularly reviewed and measured.
  5. In some roles, goals will be long-term and the focus will be on breaking them down into manageable chunks. In other roles the goals may actually change regularly.

Mary understands that her role is to enable her people to deliver their goals. She ensures they have the clarity but are given the freedom to deliver. She holds regular reviews to monitor progress and support delivery…

When this works effectively, it can make monitoring someone’s performance so easy. It provides a real focus for one to one’s but can also be built simply and elegantly into performance management systems and appraisals.

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