Accelerating Business Growth

Sunday, July 30, 2006

How good are you at creating focus?

In today’s fast paced world it’s so easy to loose focus – not just on a monthly or weekly basis – on a daily basis.

Our ability to truly focus on the things that really make the difference in our lives can be the difference between hitting our goals and being massively off track.
What if we had a simple tool which we could use to capture all the important things we needed to do. A tool which would take only minutes to review on a daily basis – however would keep us absolutely focused and on track with where we want to be. A tool which looks at the behaviours we need to demonstrate daily. Not just what we need to stop and start doing – but also look at what we might want to minimise, do more of or perhaps most importantly maintain or keep doing. After all the goal in life is to catch ourselves and others doing it right… not catch ourselves doing it wrong!

Well that tool is called the Focused Five.

The Focused Five…

It’s been said that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.

The Focused Five is based on 5 quality questions.

They are:

What will I stop doing? (Stop)
What will I do less of? (Minimise)
What will I keep doing? (Maintain)
What will I do more of? (More)
What will I start doing? (Start)

Let me give you a framework for these questions. You and I are certainly busy people. People whose lives have many facets. Work, home, family, friends, colleagues, partner and perhaps children as well! So many calls on our time. And over the years, no doubt, some activities have crept in, almost unnoticed, that use up that precious time.

I’m sure the same is true for your team members.

Perhaps - now is the time to step back and take a fresh look at what you and your team do and how you spend your lives.

These five questions can definitely help.

This is how I use the Focused Five firstly for myself and also secondly how I run an exercise with my team using the tool to focus specifically on the business.

The Template…

The Focused Five template is just one page – turned landscape. Imagine 5 columns with a maximum of 6 boxes in each column. The first column is headed STOP then moving left to right MINIMISE, MAINTAIN, MORE and START.
You can either create this for yourself or alternatively if you want a copy of my template just drop me an email and I’ll send it to you.

This is how to run the exercise with your team:

Accelerator Exercise 1…

With your team ask the questions and immediately ask them to write down whatever their minds tell them are the answers. Then of course – having considered the consequences and their beliefs and values about the answers – help them to agree on the actions they need to take.

Accelerator Exercise 2…

One month later organise with your team to share the contents of their Focused Five template with each other and to answer the following question – What, if anything would they add to each other’s Focused Five?

Also keep your personal Focused Five up to date – ask your team to provide feedback on the actions they feel you could add.

This exercise will bring out numerous strategies to improve everyone’s overall performance – sometimes the way colleagues see each other is a powerful motivational tool. We use this at Pti within the Director team and have found it to be an invaluable personal development method.

Accelerator Exercise 3…

Use the Focused Five to capture all the key actions from your team meetings. This will then create your team action plan.

Accelerator Exercise 4…

The Focused Five is also a great coaching tool to use on field visits - identifying key actions that the team member needs to take in each of the five key headings.


Use the Focused Five template weekly or whenever you feel you or your team are losing their way, getting tied down with detail and avoiding the tasks that will really drive the business forward. A simple and very effective team and self-management tool that takes only minutes to complete – creating laser beam focus.


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