Being creative and innovative is not enough, you still need to act.
Many people get stuck between wanting to act and taking action. Professors Bob Sutton and Jeffrey Pfeffer call this the “knowing-doing gap”: the space between what we know we should do and what we actually do. This cal lead the company to have a paralysis by analysis, this is when talk becomes a substitute for action.
A corporate example of paralysis by analysis is Eastman Kodak company, in mid 1990’s the leadership team had a deep expertise and intellectually understood that the future of photography was digital, Kodak had actually invented the digital camera in 1975 and later they pioneered the world’s first megapixel sensor. So why all this knowledge and technology was not marketed by Kodak, why they didn’t take action?
Kodak had basically owned the consumer and professional photography market for at least 100 years, with in some segments having a market share as high as 90%. Facing strong global competitors in the digital market like Cannon, Sony, Nikon, Kodak knew that it will struggle and the management team had fear of failure.
What happened to Kodak is not due to lack of information or leadership expertise; its failure was to not being able to turn insight into action, as a result one of the most important corporations lost its way.
To achieve goals, to overcome obstacles in your way, you have to be focused on getting it done now. As Yoda (from Stars Wars) put it to Luke Skywalker “Do or do not. There is no try”.
8 tips to turn insight into action:
- Start with the end goal in mind
- Fight procrastination by adopting “do it now!” as your mantra
- Don’t plan out everything you need to do to finish a project, just focus on the very next thing you need to do to move it forward
- Assign a set amount of time per day to work on a task or project
- Un-clutter, be able to access what you need, when you need it, without breaking the flow of your work to find it
- Break down large goals into smaller steps to make the journey to completion more doable
- Prioritise, certain tasks will always hold more priority than others
- Stop chasing perfection, getting things done shouldn’t involve mastering perfection
* Image credit hitwallpaper.com