Steps to drive action in the workplace.

Being a parent and running a household requires many important decisions.  Which education choices to make for the kids? When should I do repairs to the house?  As a kid growing up in my house I noticed how my parents managed the household and interacted with each other and found it similar to how some management styles operate today in the workplace.

My mother was a planner having the ability to research and think through a topic with great intellect.  She was deliberate in her thinking with all areas scrutinized.  Mom’s diligence was so great that it could also be considered her weakness for her well-intended efforts at times left her paralyzed when it came to decision time.  My father on the other hand is what you might consider a decision making gunslinger.  When it came to being decisive his trigger finger was well worn, and at times, I’m sure even he was left wondering if he should have thought things through.  Somehow together Mom and Dad’s formula worked with many decisions vetted and made during their many years together.

The workplace is no different.  We hear much about how business planning and execution are sometimes at odds yet the above illustration shows how complimentary they can be in our daily lives.

We have all worked with colleagues that demonstrate many different operating styles.  Many colleagues that I’ve run into are eager to lend a hand when it comes to the planning aspect of a project yet lose steam over time when it comes to execution.  Others jump at the chance to drive actionable steps for accomplishing goals yet can’t grasp the purpose as to why we are doing the project in the first place.

Planning is part of the “why” we take on the project yet it’s execution that makes things happen in the workplace.  I find that execution is the more difficult of the two when managing people and driving performance.  I’ll remind you of Thomas Edison’s most famous quote; “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”.  This quote reminds us that execution does the heavy lifting.

I’ve created three areas below that will help you in driving better execution in your organizations:

3 Steps to improve execution and taking action:

1) Be sure to include the “realists” in the planning process. Many times we are told to think out of the box with no limitations yet the best managers are the ones who can tie the “pie in the sky” ideas with real world application.

2) Track accountability of performance.  Rely on simple tools to help you do this like project tracking software with assigned tasks.

3) It is ok to roll the dice once and awhile.  When indecisiveness sets in be mindful to make a decision.  If you find that the path your decision took you down is not desirable you can always change it.

Nicholas Ciocca is a Certified Public Accountant with Stephano Slack LLC in Wayne, PA.

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