My clients often ask, “How can we be better at taking action?” I tell them to decide what's important, then do it. Of course, no one ever buys this as a sufficient answer, so there's always the follow-up question, “But how?”
To understand how an organization takes action, I go back to something my friend and sometimes consulting partner, Chuck Feltz, had to say. Feltz, aside from being an extraordinary consultant and business advisor, has been a C-level leader in a number of companies. A few years ago, when he was the president of a 20,000-employee company, I asked him how he was able to be so effective at getting his team to get things done.
He gave me a somewhat perplexed look, as if it were an odd question, and said, “We get clarity on what we need to do, and I assign someone to do it. I make them accountable, we come up with a schedule, and I give them the resources they need. They report back to me at an agreed-upon time on their progress. If there are problems or obstacles, we solve those and move forward until completion. How else would you do it?”
So, for those of you wondering how you get people in an organization to take action, let's review: clarity on what needs to be done, accountability, scheduling, problem solving, and done. Questions? Okay. Let's move on.
The Obstacle of Not Knowing
What about the individual who just can't seem to get going and take action on what matters most?
The biggest obstacle to action for a lot of people is not ...