Are you Getting Things Done?

I went to a pretty intriguing seminar yesterday. ‘Getting things done’ based on the theories of American management guru Dave Allen. The history of Getting things done, or GTD in its abbreviated form, is that Allen worked as a strategy consultant for some years. As such he would go into companies to work with their higher levels of management and help them develop the vision, mission and high flying strategic plans that would take them into the future. This is often a quite exciting part of work as it involves being a bit creative and thinking outside the so called box. However, even the most aggressive strategic plans fall pretty flat if they are not accompanied by some hard work on a day to day basis. Any athlete preparing for a major sport event knows this.

In David Allen’s case though he got increasingly frustrated when he returned to the companies he had worked with some 8 to 10 weeks down the road only to find that very little had actually changed. What he found was that the people in the companies were practically buried. Under memos, reports, telephone calls and everything that nowadays so often accompany us at work. They simply did not have time to implement any new strategies.

This caused David to start developing his theories around GTD and of course in true American way this has now become a major business that touch pretty much all parts of the world. And to be quite honest, it is quite mind-blowing. I thought that I was pretty good at getting things done but I now realise that I am good at being strategic and cracking ideas. I have a lot to learn when it comes to putting those into action. And to some respect – I think that applies to all people. Most of us had some great dreams as kids and still do as adults. Are we prepared to bring them to life is the big question though!

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