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How many resources do you think you have available to you?

Many of us could probably list a couple of things. Those with successful businesses might be able to make a big list. Whichever it is, let’s make the assumption that all our resources are completely relative.

If you own a business it’s easy to think of employees as a resource that we can use. But when you think about it, employees are only a resource so long as you can generate enough revenue to remunerate them. Without the revenue, the resource is no longer a resource.

You could apply that analogy to everything. For example, a brand new car is only useful and valuable if you can put petrol in it. If all the petrol stations ran dry tomorrow, for ever, most of our cars would be nothing more than an aero-dynamic set of parts.

The only exception to this resource conundrum is time. Time really is the only true resource that we have at our disposal. We never know quite how much of it we have, but we do know that it will run out eventually.

So what do you spend your time doing?

Shirlaws have a framework called Red Blue Black (RBB). It’s a simple tool that charts how time is spent either on an individual basis, in teams or across a whole company.

Red is infrastructure, Blue is revenue related and black is strategy. Categorising activities into these silos gives you accurate information on exactly how time is actually spent in your business and will give you more time to spend on growth creation and ultimately leisure time.

Colour Definition Examples Purpose
Red Infrastructure HR, Administration, Legal, Accounting, IT, Governance, Secretarial support Non-revenue generating SUPPORT
Blue Revenue (Sales) Marketing, Factory, dealing with customers REVENUE generating
Black Strategy Positioning, Distribution, Product, etc. GROWTH creation

The reality is that most people in most roles don’t use their time as effectively as they could.

For example, sales people who spend too much time doing admin and not enough talking to prospects, companies who don’t have enough responsibility sitting in the chain of command which results in the CEO having to sign off all expenditure rather than thinking strategy, and duplication of activities within one organisation, often times within one office.

RBB reveals why this is happening and how it can be fixed

Empowering employees to make decisions instantly frees them of unnecessary reliance on management, fosters a sense of ownership which in turn leads to job satisfaction plus it releases management to do more strategic activity.

RBB creates a common language between departments, teams and the whole business. This level of understanding increases the effectiveness of communication.

Acknowledging the current resource mix and getting it right across the business will create the profit mix right by creating efficiencies and aiding forecasting.

Of course the optimum mix between the three colours changes depending on what stage a business is currently at and what level of growth is desired. But with a good understanding of how you, and your employees, are currently using your time and how you need to use it in the future to stay in line with your purpose, the results are phenomenal.

If you’d like to find out more about how RBB can create less stress in your business and more time for strategy, planning or leisure, email hello@shirlawsgroup.com or attend one of our Discovery Sessions.

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