Marking Time…

Get ready, Start! Ok, times up next task!

Yesterday we spent some time waining about the selection or maybe better put the appointment of Tim Cook the prior COO (Chief Operating Officer)  as the new Chief Executive Officer of Apple by Steve Jobs. As the reasoning for this was that the skills of a COO are far different than those typically needed by a CEO as one is focused on (the prior) being the “here and now” while the later is concerned with what is to come down the road as “what is in the future”.  So today let’s take a deeper look at “operations” as it’s worthwhile to understand this enigma a little better as it also applies to our lives as a whole.

To achieve this it struck me that a key to “operational” efficiency is the ability to “Mark Time” as what is the Marking of Time you are asking yourself.  While it’s the relation of all the tasks we do to a point in time.  Ok, think of it this way as you move through your day be it getting a cup of coffee, making a phone call or playing with the kids, you view them as a task with a time in a Gantt chart.  As just like any of my PMI ™ certified friends will tell you, the key aspect of a project is it must have two things, the first is a “start” and the final is an “end”. While doesn’t your day have both a start when you awake and an end when you lay you head upon the pillow?

So accepting this axiom means that everything which happens between these two points mean they are “tasks” which are intended to carry us from “start” to “end”.  Therefore when we awake and make or way to the coffee pot, that is a task which requires use to invest a set amount of time therefore value in the task.  As it’s here we see the bane as well as boom of marking time as to “mark time” we need to recognize three things about this, as the first is to acknowledge the “task” itself as this is key because as you reach for that coffee you are investing something more valuable than money, as yes your time as once it’s gone, you’re not getting it back.

As once the commitment to task (getting a cup of coffee) the “marker” is set and the clock is running so the mark is set, thus the operation types out there will next think how much time can be devoted to task to return the optimal value also allowing all the remaining tasks to be completed before their head hits the pillow even if it’s in the wee hours of the next morning.  As it’s here that the separation happens as Cook’s roll was to make sure you had an iPhone when you wanted an iPhone (save for the market scarcity hype to convince you, that you wanted one) while it was Steve’s  Job (pun intended) to figure out what it was that you wanted (i.e. iPhone) in the first place.  So do you really think if Steve spent his time worrying  about how long he spent at the coffee machine that we would have an iPhone today…

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About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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