Bev White

My name is Bev White and I am the CEO of Harvey Nash Group, a $1bn global technology recruitment, IT solutions and leadership services group with 36 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia

A full plate

This week I have spoken to a lot of business leaders around the world both within Harvey Nash Group and outside in other industries. It’s been a good week exactly because of that, I can’t think of a better way to spend time.

Without exception the discussions have always included how full everyone’s plate is. In many ways this is superb news as we have many opportunities that are being worked on, but at the same time the extreme efforts people are putting in to delivering on these is not sustainable.

Hearing clients, industry experts, our colleagues discussing the long hours being worked at times to get things done. It’s easy to be seduced by the excitement of a busy schedule. The thing is that over time we become less effective and our bodies will take a break to recover, whether we realise it or not. I recall sitting at my laptop one evening this week and I realised that whilst I was deep in thought the email I was writing was still sitting incomplete some ten minutes later. Our brains simply say “enough!” time to take a break. Sound familiar? I am sure we have all been there.

So, what’s the answer to handling a full plate? Well, we are hiring more talented colleagues. As recruiters we know how to do this, it’s our core expertise and we are well supported by the Talent team and HR colleagues to become more active in attracting new colleagues to the businesses. Bringing our new colleagues on board is key to being able to achieve our growth ambitions and meet the demand of our clients.

We are investing in new technology and processes to do our work so that we can do things in a quicker, more efficient and more enjoyable way. That will help us get through our plateful of work faster too.

There is also the importance of taking breaks, taking care of our health and wellbeing and getting enough sleep to keep our resilience tanks topped up.

We are learning too to be more choosy about the work we take on by thinking about where we can and are really successful and where something will take us a lot of time and effort but may yield poor or inconsistent results. I hear a lot of these conversations going on across the businesses which is great to hear too.

Last week I shared that I had participated in a webinar led by the author Greg McKeown on essentialism. I continue to read the book and experiment with some of the principles that he offers by way of trying to be better at handling my own plateful of work and opportunities. It’s very much a work in progress for me but I now do at least ensure I ask myself everyday what one thing must I absolutely do that day to move the business forward. It’s a harder question to answer than I first thought as when faced with a myriad of choices but I am determined not to let myself off the hook. It feels the right time to really focus on what will make the difference.

I would love to hear how you are navigating this new world and what you are learning on the way.

So, as another weekend comes towards us please take time to rest and recuperate and keep safe and well.

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