There are dozens of different productivity tools which can help to facilitate focus, and action, on the part of team members. One that is really simple in sharing, and is likely to have immediate use in helping people get even more focused, is the IS/IS NOT tool. Straightforward in its' structure (which usually is the sign of a great productivity tool), this asks us to consider the question what is it and what is it not?
First, think about a current task or project you have this quarter. Maybe you are responsible for designing a new presentation or report for stakeholders. On one side of your page write out everything this presentation is, or is aiming to be. That might include, "the presentation is:
Aimed for fellow team members
Focused on the 5 things to....
Geared to get listeners up to speed with the project
Intended to create alignment
On the next side of the page, list out "the presentation/report IS NOT..."
Longer than 10 minutes
A replacement for the other resources people need to review
Meant as a comprehensive briefing on the topic
This productivity tool is really useful when we delegate and hold a 1-1 to talk about the task, in terms of creating clear and shared expectations. It's also an invaluable tool for virtual team members or project members who are working through their own thinking on a project. Finally, this can be a great coaching tool, helping people work through/think through what the initiative IS and IS NOT to gain clarity, focus and alignment.
Let us know how you use the IS/IS NOT framework by sharing comments below.
Potentials Realized | Coaching Team Leaders
Team and Leadership Development | Coaching | Retreats.
Follow us on Twitter @Teams365
Looking to enhance your virtual conversations - Conference calls? Webinars? Virtual coaching work? Pick up a copy of my new book, Effective Virtual Conversations, at Amazon.