We've been doing research around what people in programmes and projects actually think and do. One of the really disturbing phenomena we have uncovered is that most project managers spend a lot of time reading and writing reports about what has happened.
Consider this for a moment. The focus appears to be in the past. The past is past. It has happened. It's history. So it is immutable. (... unless you are a journalist or a politician.)
Only the future is malleable. As leaders we can only affect future outcomes.
Some of our subjects claim to spend over 40% of their week working on reports against achievement. This is equivalent to driving by the rear-view mirror, an accident waiting to happen.
So why do we have this obsession with status reports that are out of date soon after they are written? The answers are dreary and deceptive. I'll leave that for another article.
Meantime, think about 'when' you focus your attention as you lead your organisation through change. Is it in the past, now or in the future?
Finally: What's the difference between an accountant and a leader? It's 'when' they focus their attention.