What are your MOST Critical Constraints?

Technology's impact on strategy represents the CIO's opportunity for influence

Who remembers the old I Love Lucy Show where Lucy and Ethel were working in the chocolate factory on the assembly line? It was one of the funniest episodes in what back then was a very funny show. For those of you not old enough to have seen it go to You Tube and Lucy’s Famous Chocolate Scene.

When we think of Critical Constraints it is sometimes easiest to think in terms of an assembly line. What is it that is preventing the line from running faster? Or put another way what is the bottleneck? Within that assembly line there are many steps that need to be completed for the line to run efficiently.

Think in terms of your life, or your business. What are the steps that need to be completed for you to operate more efficiently? What do you need to do to achieve your goals? What is your bottleneck, and what do you need to do to eliminate it?

2017 is right around the corner. As we all think about year end and setting goals for next year there is a fundamental question we need to ask ourselves. What is the Critical Constraint (or bottleneck) that is preventing me from achieving my goals? It is this critical constraint or chokepoint that will determine how fast, or if at all, we achieve or goals.

If your goal for example is to Double Your Productivity, the first thing to do is to identify the different steps you must take to get from where you are today, to a level of productivity 2X where you are at today. Then examine each step in the process and determine which step is the limiting factor that determines how fast you achieve your productivity goal.

Another question to ask to help the process is why haven’t you done it already? EXAMPLE: If your goal is to spend more time with your family ask yourself Why am I not doing it already? Most often forcing ourselves to ask the question enables us to see the answer or the critical constraint that is holding us back.

Once you start to ask yourself these types of questions you will see that 80% of the constraints holding you back are inside you. Fully 80% of the reasons you are not achieving your goals or your business is not achieving its goals are internal. Your major constraints in life or in business lie within your habits, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. That last 20% generally will lie within skills knowledge or lack thereof.

You are in control of yourself. The successful person asks himself What is it in me that is holding me back? When you want to accomplish something great, start with yourself, and work your way out. In many cases, you cannot control the external factors anyway. Stop worrying about them and look inside yourself. You are in control of yourself. You decide if you succeed or fail. It’s up to you. Good Luck!


About the Author

Greg Emslie HeadshotWith more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively. 

Driven by his ability to implement proven business concepts and help improve teams, Greg affects all areas of the companies he works with, including sales, leadership, profitability, and decision-making. He focuses on improving efficiency and processes for his clients while helping them grow their revenue base. 

Ready to begin finding other ways to make your company more productive? Let’s get the conversation started. Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today.