Is it just us or are things getting harder?

Introducing True North Consulting Partners

By True North

February 20, 2019 4:38 am

It was a decade ago…five of us were sitting in a conference room early on a Sunday morning and we had been going at it for 12+ hours a day for seven straight days. The leaders of a successful business unit inside a much-larger entity, we were building our annual plan and budget. We were doing important work, and frankly, it was HARD.

Our mission: Build a realistic and achievable annual plan for a highly profitable business comprised of mature solutions serving a mature market. It was mandated that our realistic and achievable plan include revenue increases which far outstripped market growth paired with aggressive cost reduction targets. For good measure this obstacle course also required that we maintain high satisfaction levels with our clients (who represented a significant component of our new sales volume) while retaining our talent (who had driven our success and would be indispensable for the coming year).

We had the typical: guidance from executive leaders on vision, top-down revenue and margin directives, historical cost data, product roadmaps, services capacity, etc. Throw in a laundry list of additional items such as cross-sell programs and targets, wholesale restructuring of sales incentive plans, several levels of organizational restructure, and corporate re-branding and the stage was set for stressful engagement.

Like most teams in this situation, we were pretty angry at the process. After spending time agonizing together to navigate this obstacle course, we become somewhat angry with each other. Mostly, we were just angry.

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it has become the norm.

What we witness in business, what we hear from our colleagues, and what we have experienced in our careers is a constant increase of demands coupled with an assault on the most precious resource we possess to meet those demands—our time and attention.

The results are pretty damning. We are far busier. We are far less productive.

True North was founded to help business overcome the quagmire of the modern work environment and achieve differentiated results. Our practice is the combination of experience and technique applied to the simple belief that business is fundamentally about identifying & elevating the truly important, enabling people to do what they know how to do, and implementing the lessons of success pragmatically to create constructive change.

Although it may be counter-intuitive, we can achieve more by attempting less.

We would love to hear about your experiences as well as your thoughts on our practice. Please comment here, email us or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Visit to find out more about our practice. We are excited to start this journey and invite you to come along.

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