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Relative Importances

Picture of balance scaleHave you ever seen someone spend a lot of time on something that would yield very little product (like sales) and forget about another task that would give a lot of product? This demonstrates a lack of ability to weigh importances, and can make a tremendous difference in your business, job and personal life.

Priorities have a place, too. Priorities are usually short-term while importances are long-term. In the Accounting Department, which would have more priority, hiring a new person (you're already 5 people short), or finding the $5.00 out-of-balance condition in the petty cash account? Both are "important", but the new hire will probably take priority.

Which is more important, paying your vendor's bills or redecorating the executive lounge? This is an example of "relative importances" These importances must be weighed relative to each other, not just by themselves. The person or job to which these apply must be factored in, also; the company's painter probably has much more concerned about the executive lounge (since that may be part of his job) than about the vendor's bills (those are the Accounting Department's job, not his). The Chief Executive Officer, on the other hand, is probably much more concerned that the bills are paid than the color of the bathroom.

Part of CKI's initial meetings with a client are involved with these relative importances, usually in relation to the company or department as a whole. Frequently, we find that most employees treat everything with the same importance; that has usually ended up costing the company a lot!

Part of the evaluation of relative importances is the 80/20 rule, which enables you to judge what really gets out products.