Making time management the organization’s priority

Viewed in McKinsey Quarterly

When companies face major strategic initiative and projects, it can be tempting to assign them to a high-performing executive.

But this temptation overlooks the reality that such executives are already stretched thin on their existing time commitments

This McKinsey Quarterly article argues that companies need to do a vastly better job in recognizing that time limitations are a major challenge in corporate culture and may, in fact, represent one of the greatest challenges facing today’s organizations.

McKinsey’s Frankki Bevins and Aaron De Smet argue for a more systematic organizational approach to time management.

Their own survey of nearly 1500 global executives found large levels of dissatisfaction in how executives view their current time allocations.

A mere nine percent defined themselves as being “very satisfied” with their current time allocations. Less than half were “somewhat satisfied” and roughly a third were “actively dissatisfied.”

Perhaps most concerning, they found, nearly half of the global executives they surveyed admitted that they “were not concentrating sufficiently on guiding the strategic direction of the business.”

Bevins and De Smet identify five solutions to today’s time management crisis in the corporate world.

One of those five is simply budgeting time properly by organizations.

Companies budget for most things but commonly overlook one of the most valued items: The limited time of their executives. “Establishing a time budget for priority initiatives might sound radical, but it’s the best way to move toward the goal of treating leadership capacity as companies treat financial capital and to stop financing new initiatives when the human capital runs out,” they write.

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