Make time to make the change image


Make time to make the change

Written by Erica Bassford, Head of Aspire, LI Europe Ltd

Last year, when the summer holidays came to an end, I vowed that I wouldn’t leave everything to the last-minute next time. And yet, when September came around once again, I found myself rushing around trying to label school uniforms, getting everything ready, panicking about shoes and bags and blazers.

Now there’s talk of Christmas, and there are those infuriatingly organised people who have already bought and wrapped their gifts.

They’re the same people who are organised at work. They never miss a deadline, always have everything under control and never seem phased, no matter how busy things are.

Were these people just born super organised? Have they been blessed with natural time-management skills?

While it certainly can feel that way, these skills aren’t formed in the womb; just like any other skill, they are learnt and then practised. And, as with anything, the more someone practises a skill, the more proficient they become. These people have got into the habit of being organised, and you can too.  

The problem is that we are often ‘too busy’ to invest in time management training. Isn’t it senseless that we are too disorganised to make time for something that will help us get more organised?

It can be like that a lot in business. We know what the issues are, and even how to resolve them, but we don’t take the required steps to get from where we are to where we want to be.

All too often, we see FMCG professionals who have either neglected their own development completely or have been given the tools they need but just aren’t using them effectively.

Again, a lot of this comes back to ineffective time management. Learning takes time. Implementing the learning takes time.  

If you want sustainable change in a business, you have to make time to create strategies, train your teams, implement and embed the change. And who has time for that?

So, what is the answer? How can managers better manage their time? How can they create opportunities to train and develop their teams and give them the time to implement their learnings? 

The first step is to invest in your time management skills. Learn how to prioritise your time so you can work proactively, rather than reactively.

Make time to create time for change. Don’t use the excuse of being too busy. Don’t wait until things ‘are less chaotic’ or ‘have calmed down.

If you don’t manage your time effectively, you will never find time to make change. You’ll find yourself constantly promising that next time you won’t leave it to the last minute and next year you’ll start planning earlier. You tell yourself that tomorrow you’ll be more organised – but only if you have time of course!

If you are struggling with time management or would like your teams to manage their time more effectively, then LI Europe can help. Contact us to find out more about how to create time to develop and implement sustainable improvement programmes for your FMCG organisation. Alternatively have a look at our monthly Ambassador’s Academy to see if that’s the right approach for you.


Over the past three months I have been concentrating mainly on changeover reduction, waste reduction and increased throughput. There has also been a challenge to behavioural patterns. All of these efforts have been using the knowledge that you gave me and I am delighted to say that all have been successful, culminating in increased throughput, less waste and an increase in OEE from an average of 78% to around 90%. There has also been a marked improvement with people issues.

Alwin Waterhouse, Improvement Manager, British Bakeries

What we’re doing is great. I’ve been wanting help like this for what seems ages, the structure for problem solving makes it easy for everyone to get involved.

Cell Technical Expert, Multi-Site Household Goods Company