Traditional Engagement vs. Extreme Intentionality


Issue: How do you recognize and communicate the need to go beyond normal and increase the amount of energy and deliberation devoted to an issue? First, realistically assess the resources and engagement needed to win. Then, determine the appropriate level of resources and engagement you are willing to dedicate to insuring a successful outcome. If necessary, use “extreme intentionality.”

Background: In order to reduce the amount of oversight or micromanagement of company operations, it is helpful to realistically assess the appropriate level of resources and engagement needed to produce a successful outcome.

In The Beginning
Before your team begins a project or while considering accepting a new project, candidly discuss what a win looks like as well as evaluate the amount of resources necessary and the level of engagement anticipated to produce that win. Likewise, when traditional levels of engagement aren’t working – when you and your team keep swinging the bat and missing the ball – acknowledge this dynamic, and then consider making strategic adjustments in resources and engagement levels. In some cases, “extreme intentionality” may be necessary to produce a win.

Extreme Intentionality Defined
“Extreme intentionality” is a deliberate, amplified level of engagement in which resources are exponentially increased to meet extraordinarily challenges such as an unforeseen impactful event or a matter outside of the company’s area of expertise. Examples of resources include more passion, more time, more talent, more expertise, more commitment, and more money may be needed to produce a successful outcome.

Play the “extreme intentionality” card sparingly. It is not reasonable to assume that everyone is on their “A Game” every day nor is it constructive to ask your team to bring their A game to every situation. Encourage them to keep a little energy in reserve for use when times demand “extreme intentionality.”

Anticipating the Need for Extreme Intentionality
Make it a practice to have candid conversations about the level of resources and engagement necessary to achieve the results you want before you embark on a new project such as the purchase of a company. Every team member should provide feedback on their concerns and their position.

Do you and your team have the passion, focus, talent, commitment, and financial resources necessary to achieve extraordinary results? Determine where you are in each of these areas, where you need to be, and how you will get there to feel comfortable setting up a win.

Is meeting the challenge with extreme intentionality a reasonable business strategy under the circumstances?

Are there instances in which a similar situation called for “extreme intentionality” and the team fell short? Why?

What, if anything, could have been done to anticipate an extreme challenge so that appropriate resources could have been dedicated sooner or more thoughtfully? Conversely, can they point to situations in which an overabundance of resources were used when a traditional level would have netted the same result.

Are there examples of upcoming transactions or projects that will need extreme intentionality in order to be successful?

Is it reasonable to acknowledge the need for a high level of engagement and determine that it is strategically not in the company’s best interest to engage with extreme intentionality? Are normal efforts to engage good enough or should the project be declined.

Before you and your team begin a project of any size, lay out the framework for what a win looks like and the amount of resources you are willing and able to dedicate.