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The Fundamentals System and The Time Management Matrix

By Al Curnow, Senior Consultant

Two weeks ago, I was working with a client that was just beginning phase one of the Fundamentals System, our proprietary system to design, drive and sustain an extraordinary culture. In phase one, we help our clients identify the key behaviors that, when repeated regularly throughout their organization, will lead to the firm\’s success.   We call these critical behaviors Fundamentals.

Important Not Urgent

In attempting to identify one of these Fundamentals, a member of the company\’s senior management team provided the following description,  “I want our people to always focus on the most important tasks and not get caught up in things that are urgent but not necessarily important.”  His description immediately brought to mind Steven Covey\’s Time Management Matrix.  In his book, The Seven Habit of Highly Successful People, Covey suggests the use of a four quadrant system (Time Management Matrix) to prioritize tasks.  The four quadrants are:

Covey suggests that many of us spend too much time in Quadrants Three and Four, reacting to things that may seem urgent yet are unimportant.  He suggests that, “Quadrant Two activities are clearly the heart of effective personal management,” where we put “first things first.”  This Quadrant emphasizes such things as relationship building, personal improvement, planning and being proactive.

Fundamentals and Quadrant Two

Quadrant Two is all about being intentional. It\’s about focusing on those activities that are most impactful to one\’s personal and professional lives.  Quadrant Two is where all Fundamentals reside.   Covey asks, “what one thing could you do, that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life?”  Fundamentals are all of the things that, if we do them over and over, will not only have a huge impact on us individually but organizationally as well. Now that\’s powerful!

Impacts Individuals and Organizations

Our clients understand the importance of being intentional and staying focused on Quadrant Two activities. Our clients recognize the importance of creating a culture that encourages their people to be intentional and stay focused on tasks and behaviors that are most critical to personal and organizational success. This is how individuals and organizations grow and thrive. This is how they become extraordinary.

If you\’d like to learn more about how we can help you and your organization to become extraordinary just give us a call or shoot us an email. Or consider joining us and other leaders for Culture Summit 2017.