Coordinating Director Rachel Eden explores how you can turn an accounting concept into a practical 4 step approach to increasing your impact.
I have been pondering a blog post for about 3 months on the accounting concept of ‘limiting factor’ or what I prefer to think of as your key resource.
This is the thing that makes your organisation tick – it’s what makes your organisation successful and people want to work with it.
However, what is meant by it being limiting is that that special resource’s availability is, well, limited: if you could have more of it your organisation would grow and do more: whether your focus is on making more money or having a greater impact on the world.
In the case of Holy Brook Associates – given that it has taken me since April to actually create a post on the topic – as you might guess it is my time as the Coordinating Director.
In fact whether I talk to entrepreneurs, small business owners, charity trustees and managers this is a pattern that I see over and over again, so let’s see how limiting factor analysis can help with this.
Translating the accounting concept of limiting factor analysis into thinking about this in human terms there are three steps to which I would add a fourth:
- Prioritise tasks – doing the thing that contributes most to your organisation. This works up to a point, but there comes a time when the urgent and the important clash, or you just need to do everything – for example ensuring your annual return is done on time vs serving a new and exciting client.
- Delegate – ensure that your time is spent on the things that only you can do or you can do best – whether that is passing on admin and accounts, brand design or IT management. This can help to increase your capacity and expand what you do until you reach a point where you are only working on the things that really require what only you can add. There is a cost-benefit equation here: think about what will add more benefit than it will cost if you pass it on to someone else.
- Replicating your resource: find another person who can add to your capacity. Traditionally this would be seen as finding a ‘resource’ identical to the existing resource – for example buying a machine that is the same as a macheine that is being run at capacity at the moment. Translating that into a world where the issue is your time, finding someone with similar skills and outlook can really help your organisation to have greater impact.I’ve often heard this described as unicorn hunting, and that is the big downside – that person you are looking for might well be very hard to find.
I therefore advocate a fourth step which it has led to a very exciting set of work for me both with clients and the Holy Brook team:
- Cooperate: Find people or even organisations with complementary skills and similar values to collaborate with – either by hiring them, formally joining a cooperative or through an associate or contract arrangement. The likelihood is that you’ll learn from each other, grow together and be able to support clients in a greater range of ways. A win for everyone
Good luck and if you want to spend a few minutes a day thinking about this side of your business it is worth signing up to our FREE go4growth online challenge