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Clarity First: How Smart Leaders and Organizations Achieve Outstanding Performance by Karen Martin

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Priorities

If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.

—NATIVE AMERICAN SAYING

Target CIO Mike McNamara is known for his impeccable focus. When McNamara arrived at Target in 2015, he conducted an assessment of the IT operations. He established three strategic priorities for himself and his team—not five or ten, three. One of these priorities was to reduce from 800 to 80 the number of special projects actively underway or in queue. McNamara said, “Even a company as big as Target doesn’t have 800 priorities.”1

If 800 seems like an impossible number, I can tell you from experience that Target’s mammoth IT inventory is not so shocking. When a midsize health system client took the time to look, it found 417 projects that were actively ...

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