So, talk is good but is anything getting done? How many meetings, training seminars, and planning sessions have you sat through, inundated with great ideas, only to later realize — little was done? Ideation is important, but what good are ideas without action?
A few years ago one of the management teams I facilitated leadership development training with and I did a completion audit. At the time we’d been meeting bi-weekly for about six months. We reviewed topics such as conflict management, silo busting, and developing checklists. I structured the meetings with group participation, using open-ended questions and planned involvement. I ended most seminars asking for individual action plans and commitments to use what we’d discussed. Occasionally, the action plans were successful, some forgotten, and others started well, but fizzled out later. The VP of marketing suggested we follow-up on the ideas and actions we’d talked about over the last six months. I thought it was a great idea.
Is Anything Getting Done?
I sent the following email to the management staff:
Monday, we will work on implementing improvements. I’ve attached a list of ideas you have all contributed. Some are complete, some may need restarted, some will need corporate approval, and I’m certain I’ve left many out. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small thing like a bathroom cleaning checklist, or a huge task, such as improving job folder information sharing between all departments — the important thing is taking action toward improvement. Take a look at the list, let us all know what you’re working on, and if you’re not currently in the middle of some improvement strategy, pick something to concentrate on, either alone, or with a team. Please be prepared Monday to share your plans and ideas.
34 ideas and action plans were attached to the email
We met and reviewed the list. Some actions had been successfully completed, some were in process, and others had been forgotten or abandoned. The group chose actions to champion — some working in groups, others tackling the opportunity alone. The important thing is action was taken. For example, before the meeting, the CEO came to the Marketing VP to discuss how to make one of the actions on the list happen. The VP volunteered to re-start interdepartmental tours showing employees how departments affect each other.
In business, talking without doing is not very productive and, unfortunately, it’s widespread. Upon review, 10 of the 34 ideas and action plans had been successfully implemented. By revisiting the list, they more than doubled their success rate over the next 30 days.
How do you put new ideas and plans into action? So, after talks in your business is anything getting done?
From weekly updates to companywide mission statements, businesses fail when there is too much talk and not enough action. If you’d like to learn more about why this happens, how to fix it, and actions to take, read my book, You Can’t Talk Shit Done
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.