It is a truism that if everything is a priority,nothing is a priority. It’s obvious when a ‘prioritisation’ meeting ends up with a longer list of things which it is essential to do than it started with, or when nobody is willing to make the decision to stop the activities which everybody has agreed are less urgent or less important.
But there is a more insidious failure to prioritise, which tends to sit a level below that. It’s less about which projects take priority over which other projects, much more about which characteristics we want to nurture and champion. This post applies a deceptively simple, but very powerful too test: would we want to do one thing even over another good thing – where it really matters that the second thing is genuinely desired and desirable, not just the first.
There are always trade off choices to be made. Forcing them to be explicit can be a real source of strategic power.