Move From Talk To Action

move from talk to actionTalk is cheap.

We can prattle away about a problem until we’re red in the face, but unless real steps are taken, nothing ever gets accomplished.

In fact, there’s such a disparity between talk and action, most people are familiar with figures of speech like “all talk and no action” or “talk the talk vs. walk the walk.”

It’s such a common problem, it seems like we don’t even think twice about a strategy that never quite gets put in motion, about New Year’s resolutions that slip through the cracks, about making plans with friends that don’t ever come to fruition.

  • People talk about losing weight but never go to the gym.
  • They talk about continuing education but never enroll.
  • Our daily experiences indicate that talking about something we want to do (or would like to see done), but not following through with action is pretty par for the course.

It’s ridiculous! Are we just deluding ourselves? Is talking about a plan a way to make ourselves feel better, to gain a sense of accomplishment without actually accomplishing anything?


Now, there is plenty of value in planning. Talking at length about a project or goal before diving in can prevent a lot of problems. There is absolutely nothing wrong with diligent and thorough preparation. However, if planning is as far as the process gets, what’s the point?

Taking action is the hard part, but it’s also the only way to see real results. In the business world, implementing a new policy or making a significant change to company processes is a massive undertaking – but it has to start somewhere. Leaders need to be willing to wade through the trenches to get things moving.

This is a lesson that goes far beyond corporate change, though. This applies to every aspect of our lives! Change can only come through action – and it takes motivation to step out of our comfort zones.

We need to become dissatisfied with talk, or rather, we need to recognize it for what it is: the first step in the process, but a single component of the development of positive change.

So, how do we get from the planning stage to the action stage?

The same methods work on both the individual and company-wide level, so whatever changes you’d like to see, here are a few ways to get in motion:


Ask yourself, “What can I do to make progress right now?” Even one small action can be enough to kick start a whole process. If you have the time to think about something you want to get done, you have time to start doing it!

Action in the present moment helps reduce some of the anxiety brought on by large, multi-phase plans or overwhelming projects. Get one small thing accomplished and move on the next.


In most situations, planning arises out of real desire – you only start planning something because you truly want to see it happen. Instead of getting bogged down in the details of the plan, though, keep that hunger alive in the front of your mind.

If you truly want to see something accomplished, let the desire burn you up inside! The more actively you’re thinking about the outcome, or the problem you need to solve (instead of the arduous process to getting there), the more taking action will start to feel like a necessity. You won’t be able to help moving forward.


You don’t actually have to do anything. You could sit perfectly still every minute of every day. You do, however, make conscious choices to do all of the things you do in a given day, so why not add something new to the list?

Get rid of the feelings of obligation that take away your sense of control. Do things because you want to, because you choose to, because the end result is something you actively want to make happen.

Become the master of your own actions!

Action takes courage and motivation, but it is by no means impossible. In fact, taking action is habit forming! It only takes one step in the right direction to start manifesting the improvements you want to see, and once you start, there’s no turning back.

Picture thanks to

How Do I Make My Team More Productive?

how do i make my team more productiveThat’s really the wrong question. Just like the old saying, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink” there is really no way of truly making others on the team more effective. Yes, you can make systems better. They can cut out steps and make it easier to do a task or job.

But the truth is – The only person that you really have control over being more effective is you.

The real question is – How do I be an even more effective manager?

In 2004, CLC did a study to understand what really drives engagement. After surveying 50,000 people they found 50 key drivers and broke them down into six categories:

  • Company culture and recognition
  • New starter/new role training
  • Personal and career development
  • Quality of the senior executive team
  • Manager behaviors

Manager behaviors was the overwhelming driver of engagement. It accounted for 72% of the levers of employee commitment and engagement.

But engagement alone does not make performance great. Results and productivity are what matters, right? Well, managers have an impact there too.

“A recent study from Stanford University demonstrated that replacing a poor manager with high-performing manager increases a team’s productivity by 12%. In contrast, adding a new employee to that team only increases productivity by 11%, and at much greater expense.”

Just by being a better manager, a team’s performance can be increased with the same number of team members!

The answer to the question “ how do I make my team more productive?”

Be a better manager.

It’d be great to hear your thoughts on this topic. Contact me using the form below.

Picture thanks to

Why Meetings Fail You

why meetings failAt a recent client project, we had a regular Tuesday status update meeting. It was the longest hour of the entire day. The reason: It is invariably turns into something out of twilight zone.

Most of the updates turned into monologues about either why something isn’t working or tangents on completely subjects that had nothing to do with the project.

Although meetings are really the only way to keep everyone on the same page and talking to each other they have to be time well spent.

To add insult to injury, most meetings are not just non-productive, but a downright waste of your employees time. – Craig Jarrow is the author of Time Management Ninja.

Amazingly, it is nothing earth shattering that makes meetings productive. There are two things that you can do as a leader to make sure the meetings are more productive.


“Having no agenda is the first sign your meeting will be a time-suck.” – Penelope Trunk

Make sure that there is an agenda and an expectation that everyone comes prepared. That means updates need to brought, presentations ready, etc. If you aren’t ready or prepped, you don’t get your turn. Outside of extenuating circumstances, there should be no exceptions to this regardless of level in organization.


The referee is at the heart of every football match, creating a fair and safe environment so that everyone can enjoy playing.

Second, make sure that every meeting has a facilitator (ref) that holds people accountable sticking to times and enables the conversation to flow. This person could be the meeting owner or a participant. Their primary role is to ensure that the agreed agenda is followed and when there are deviations (which there will be) they are agreed upon and understood by the people in the meeting.

Yes there are a thousand other little things you could and should do for a productive meeting. But these two tricks will go a long way.

What ideas do you use to make meetings great? Want more great ideas, let me know.

Picture thanks to


Cube 2.14 will increase your organizational effectiveness. We specialize in developing innovative, practical solutions to create productive workplaces that exceed goals.