You and your team likely don’t have a shortage of ideas; in fact, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you struggle with idea overwhelm, which can lead to a shortage of one of your most valuable resources: time.

Selecting the right opportunities to spend time on is critical for businesses of all sizes. Every opportunity – a public speaking engagement, a new strategic partnership, a meeting with a potential client in a new vertical – is a chance for business growth. But it’s also a chance to misuse resources and distract from your strategy.

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Part of executing against your strategy means staying focused on what’s going to move your strategy and your business forward. In “Run Your Business, Don’t Let It Run You,” Aileron founder Clay Mathile recommends being flexible to changes in your business and in the marketplace, but also advises being selective when deviating from a plan.

His three-part evaluation framework includes these questions to ask before taking on a new opportunity:

  1. Does this opportunity fit within our strategy?
  2. Will it divert resources needed for achieving our goals?
  3. Does this opportunity challenge any of our strategic assumptions?

Having a framework like this can save you from spending resources on projects that won’t ultimately help you execute your strategy, and it can also empower your team to evaluate new ideas before bringing them to the table for discussion.

If you’re curious about other tools you can use to know what to prioritize and what to save for later, you might benefit from The Art of Execution. This 2-hour workshop is offered on-campus and virtually, and will help answer questions like:

  • How do I stay focused on what’s important when other opportunities arise?
  • How do I turn my strategic plan into strategic action?
  • What initiatives will move my business forward, and what’s getting in the way?
  • How do I know what to prioritize?
  • What initiatives can wait for later while I focus on more pressing items?
  • How do I communicate my business priorities to my team?

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