The Qwerty Keyboard

Knowing is not enough. Doing it is what matters

3 MinutesIn Blog

A common refrain in the work I do is that the solutions are “common sense”. As the saying goes though “It may be common sense; it doesn’t mean it’s common practice”.

It is common sense, and we all know that if we eat healthily, drink in moderation, and exercise, we will lose weight/get fit.
It is common sense and we all know that if we prepare and plan for a meeting, that meeting will be more useful, efficient and effective.
It is common sense and we all know that if we schedule our tasks not just our meetings, we will be more likely to get the most important things done and won’t forget the things that matter.

But is it common practice for us to actually do these things?

Leaders of teams will often to say to me “I’ve told them to/they know they need to [insert the thing that is driving the leader mad because the team aren’t doing it here……..]”: as if people knowing that they should focus on future business development as well as delivering current sales; or that they should record their time every day; or that they should get finance the right information as quickly as possible; or that things will feel easier for everyone if they are all communicating effectively with one another, is enough to mean that everyone will be doing these things…..

Knowing is not enough. Doing it is what matters.

My team performance, team effectiveness and team building programmes result in the teams doing the things that they know will make them great, improving communication, financial performance and personal effectiveness. How do we work together to move from knowing to doing?

First, we work out what the team knows, through a process that results in the real answers being shared.
Secondly, we teach the change tactics, ideas and skills necessary to make the changes happen, we set out a specific and detailed plan for what people will do
Thirdly, we create the principles and plan for the changes we want to make.
Fourthly, we follow up and through.

This process has resulted in a wide variety of teams in professional services, consulting, not for profit and recruitment, performing better than they imagined – moving from the bottom of the league in their company, to the top; increasing their new business targets by 100%; and/or having the sort of candid conversations with one another that were impossible before.

Knowing is not enough. Even though bright people can think it is. Doing it is what matters.

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