Thursday, October 29, 2009

5 Tips on How to Emphasize Action Over Inertia

American Express OPEN Forum
Behance Team
Oct 28, 2009 -
… Not surprisingly, actually doing things seems to be more effective than thinking or talking about doing things. In the spirit of doing, here’s five quick tips on how to emphasize action in your work environment:
1. Act without conviction.
…We’ve found that the most successful professionals tend to take action even if everything about a project isn’t clearly defined.  The next time you’re stuck in a planning rut, unable to envision the “perfect solution,” try to go ahead take action in any way you can. The information that you gather by acting, as well as the momentum you gain, will help you refine your objectives and keep moving forward.
2. Prototype your ideas.
We rarely (if ever) strike upon the best solution right out of the gates. …Writing and rewriting a proposal is prototyping, running and refining a social media marketing campaign is prototyping, and so on. In essence, prototyping just means trying something out, and then making a better version based on what you learned. The sooner we experiment, the more information we have to take further action.
3. Get out of your own way.
The problem with creating hard-and-fast plans is that we often get unduly attached to them, so much so that even when an unexpected opportunity emerges, we are loathe to deviate from the agreed-upon plan. …
4. Replace update meetings with “huddles.”
… Yet, when everyone remains standing for a meeting, the gathering automatically gains a certain urgency that encourages speedy updates and efficient decision-making. …
5. Create testaments to progress.
… While it’s not constructive to rest on your laurels, it can be helpful to integrate testaments to past progress into your work environment – whether it’s a wall of “to-dones,” or an oversized project board that tracks phases of completion as you develop a new product or feature. We are emboldened to take action when we remind ourselves that every little step makes a difference.
***This post by J.K. Glei is based on research by the Behance team. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network, the 99% productivity think thank, the Action Method project management application, and the Creative Jobs List.