In my experience of steering Platformax and my other startup ventures, we get paid for implementing our thoughts, if you cannot translate your ideas into action. You will be priceless, by this I mean to say that you will trade at zero or negative value, like the liability on the balance sheet.
Corporate Ninja’s love conducting meetings and brainstorming sessions in the quest to improve productivity levels. All such meetings leave the room plastered with flipcharts containing generalised descriptions of solutions to various performance problems. Towards the end of the session, with limited energy or time at hand, participants plant their victory flag and pat each other’s back for good work. This mutual admiration club serves two purposes, firstly it gives the manager agenda for weekly calls and, secondly, it paves the way for next meeting to discuss updates.
No one is bothered about the lack of clear and precise action points or clear-cut timelines to get the things in order. As a result of this rendezvous, a few weeks later the much-hoped improvements do not materialise. Now the elders get worried and ask the following questions?
- Did they fail to progress because they incorrectly defined their performance problem?
- Did they fail to progress because they did not identify valid solutions?
- Did they fail to progress because they did not implement their action plan properly?
- Did they fail to progress because the factors are out of their control?
I have been at this juncture and understand the pain and agony; the reason for failure is the lack of a valid action plan. In order to understand action plan, you need to understand the difference between displacement and distance covered. You can continue going round and round in circles, and come back to the same place. In this case, you have made effort, travelled and moved but your net displacement is zero. A good action plan drives displacement and has zero respect or concern for distance travelled.
The team members talk in general about improvements they want to make while completely neglecting to zero down on the precise action they will take to make the change happen. Here are few pointers, which will help you in making an action plan that promotes displacement.
- What is doable, how much improvement activity can we manage over the next few weeks?
- What’s fair? How can we ensure that everyone in our team is an equal partner in the improvement projects?
- Where do we need help? For what areas of the project we will need the help of other work group or managers? How will we go about securing it?
- What could go wrong? In attempting to accomplish our plan, what obstacles are we likely to face and how can we avoid them?
At Platformax by following this science we have achieved breakthrough results. Leveraging the above-mentioned pointers we moved our sales team from good intentions to making real improvement. Now the ball is in your court do you want to spend your company money on doing useless meetings that yield no results or use the Platformax way of action planning. In case you are struggling with your sales team, please do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our sales Jedi will help you in turbocharging your sales function to deliver real measurable results.