Monthly Archives: February 2018

TNF #124: Divide and conquer

Welcome Professionals…

…There was a time in my business life when a work day started around 8 am and never finished before midnight. At the beginning of each day it was clear that there was no way to get out of office early. Very often, schedules would be modified and tasks re-arranged. Quite regularly, a superior would show up at 8 pm, alterate the plan and announce what had to be finished until the next day.

While the overall output of the team was still acceptable, the efficiency was very poor. Only by investing many hours, the results could be achieved on time and quality. The output per hour was rather low.

In contrast, I experienced other projects which felt much different and were much more productive. The key difference was that the principle of “divide and conquer” was applied. In the beginning, a rigorous master plan was developed, the project was divided into modules, the modules into work streams, the work streams into key deliverables, and so on. A continuous planning process made sure to adjust the project’s roadmap along the way.

With this plan, the overall work was divided into digestable chunks. Every few hours, there was a result which fitted into the overall picture like a puzzle piece. The effect was that both motivation and efficiency increased significantly.

The “divide and conquer” method offers another great advantage: It offers the chance of having meaningful breaks inbetween the small steps and celebrate intermediate results.

Taking a break,

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!

TNF #123: Call an expert

Welcome Professionals…

…These days it has become a habit to look up everything that we want to know on the internet. It is quite easy to type a keyword, a phrase or full question into the search engine, which is available always and everywhere. It is indeed a great invention and it is well-deserved that “google” has become a verb.

While using Google is very convenient, I believe it is rather insufficient or even misleading when we are looking up a topic that we do not know much about and where we do not know which are reliable sources. As top management consultants often have to tap into completely new subjects, I suggest a different method.

Call the expert. Think of someone you know or someone that you can access through a friend, a colleague or a network that is an expert or at least some kind of insider in the field. Get a 101 intro to the subject, the respected sources, key players, concepts, etc. This will lead to a much quicker ramp-up than an uninformed desk research.

The nice thing side effect is getting to know new people and/or refreshing existing contacts. People will be very happy to share their knowledge because every expert loves to talk about his/her area of expertise.

Make some friends and call the expert!

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!

TNF #122: I love my job

Welcome Professionals…

…Last week I wrote about the elementary frame conditions one should choose wisely to enjoy flow and happiness within the profession. Today, I am taking a different perspective.

Regardless of how well we have made our choices, often we loose sight of the benefits. They get normal over time and we tend to focus on the next big problem to solve. It is important that we regularly review what runs well in our professional life and not to be overwhelmed by the issue management of day-to-day work.

There is a great exercise to create this level of awareness. Tonight, I will hold a speech to alumni of my former employer. They want to know how I got into my new profession and why I enjoy it. While I prepared my speech and rehearsed it, I became more and more aware of what I love about my job. Strong motivation kicked in.

So next time you meet your spouse or a friend, don’t get into complaining about workload, stubborn clients or helpless team members. Instead, tell them what you love about your current job. If you don’t have anything to say, well, that is probably a case for change. If you can list a few things and make yourself aware of them, they will certainly be a strong motivator and energy source.

Need to run to the alumni event –

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!