Actions are important. Hardly any result gets produced by sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing (maybe not you were doing something, but someone else certainly did). Philosophers thousands of years ago already wrote about the importance of actions, and so did politicians, inventors, entrepreneurs, and members of many other groups:
“The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.”– Confucius
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”– Lao Tzu
“Never confuse motion with action.”– Benjamin Franklin
“The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do.”– Thomas Alva Edison
The last two quotes highlight one critical aspect of actions: actions have different qualities, and not every action adds value to a desired outcome: Researching cleaning equipment for hours may look like a great action in an effort to clean your house, but that research won’t make any portion of the house look any cleaner. Only the actual act of cleaning will lead to the desired result. The research may lead to the cleaning be done more efficiently, but the two actions cannot be confused.
When you start a new project of any kind, e.g., reaching a business goal that you have failed reaching for a long time, onboarding a new large client, getting into a new market, starting the development of a new product or service, etc. the questions usually are always the same:
- where do we start?
- what resources do we need?
- what resources do we have?
- how can we produce that desired result in the allotted time with the budget and resources we have?
There are many ways to go about answering those questions and determining actions that forward the endeavor towards the desired outcome. Sometimes we realize – or at least consider the option – that we might not have the knowledge, skills, or resources to generate the answers ourselves, at least not with some help in creating clarity for the main actors.
The standard way to address such a situation is to hire a consultant or to enlist people in trainings. And in some situations that may be the very best move: bringing external knowledge and fresh eyes to find solutions. Very often though, the result is a set of seemingly excellent solutions – except ownership in the company is lacking, and so is then the implementation.
To address that problem, one approach that has been practiced more and more in the last 20+ years in the business environment is the facilitation of workshops building on the vast knowledge and skillsets of a company’s personnel at hand. These approaches usually are much more rewarding for everyone involved and produce results a lot faster.
A special flavor of those facilitated workshops has been born out of the need for teams to produce results despite the COVID pandemic sometimes facing obstacles that prior to the pandemic would have been avoided, and now simply needed to be solved as other options were not available.
We call these kinds of micro-workshops Act2Fact – generating results-producing actions in one hour or less. We have seen participants leaving the workshops with a previously missing high level of clarity on how to go about accomplishing goals, as well as a set of actions that take them much closer to the desired outcome.
Don’t expect miracles that solve all problems in a large multi-year project out of a one-hour workshop – and yes, do expect miracles in terms of leaving with solutions that were not on the table before.