“Nothing Changes if nothing changes”
“Action speaks louder than words”
“Not just action - the right action”
There is so much said around the importance of action. Nike’s famous 3 word slogan “Just Do It” is often lauded as the rally cry for productivity. The real secret though, lies not just in taking action but ensuring it is the right action.
“I’m just too busy” is an excuse many have heard and used. Busyness does not equal business. It is oft the whirlwind of activity that is responsible for the speed of disappearing days. The well known ‘secret’ to effectiveness is to ensure we work on the important and stick with the task until it is completed.
This raises two key questions: How do we know what is important and how do we “stick with it”?
After a decade of working with companies to answer these ever present questions, I have found that one way to answer this is a simple 90 Day Dash Template. Before using the template it is important to have a goal and a plan - many companies do this, but as Peter Drucker pointed out, “The purpose of information is not knowledge. It is being able to take the right action.”
So your steps are as follows:
Step One - Take time out to decide what is important - A strategy day/session is great for this
Step Two - Prioritise at a board/management level how you will succeed in reaching these goals - your strategic priority areas
Step Three - Next work out what is most important now i.e. Your Strategic objectives
Step Four - Decide who must do what
Step Five - Make it easy to know what must be done by when
Step Six - Execute and follow through with reporting and feedback
Where do you get up to in those 6 steps? I see many people doing steps 1 & 2 well and doing ok at step 3 and 4 before it all gets swept away in the busyness of busyness.
To ensure the important gets done break your goals and objectives into 90 day segments (A 90 day dash) and then further break this down into a 30 day sprint which is monitored weekly. This can be done on a whiteboard (one of my preferred methods as it is visible to the whole team and brings in peer accountability) or shared online documents - Google Docs, Smart Sheet, etc
Very simply this is how it works:
State the goal(s) it the goal area (I like to do this on a Post It note as it keeps it short and succinct)
Break this down into the key actions and decide within which quarter the tasks need to be completed
For the current quarter break the tasks down into what needs to happen monthly if we are to complete the tasks
Take the current month and break the actions into what needs to happen in each week and allocate a person to ensure this is done (they do not need to do the actions - they are responsible for ensuring the actions are done!)
The link on this article will take you to a video and downloadable version, should this be a tool you would find useful in your business. Please do get in touch if we can help you through any part of this process.
Here's to your success!