#3 Commit to action

Bijgewerkt op: 8 feb.

The commitment to action brings the team from mere words to actual results.


Here is a 40-20-40 rule I share with teams

40% = the time spent on preparing the meeting

20% = the time spent being at the meeting

40% = the time spent on executing the agreed actions.


40% is spent after the meeting to do the work that delivers the team results. 40% to make sure the momentum is there. 40% to give the team reason to celebrate.


40% = commitment to action


Let me illustrate with a true story about Team X.


Team X was looking to further improve their team meetings and invited me to observe their interaction. I came in as a coach and left as a student. This team already had a high level of trust, and had some of the most honest, vulnerable, and robust interactions. What did they do that worked so well? The team members excelled in owning their actions in the everyday practicalities of their work.


Action during the meeting


At the beginning of every meeting the purpose and goal of the meeting was shortly stated. Every team meeting again. About 5 minutes was spent on asking who needed help executing the actions already agreed. The time was not spent on going through the action list, with the team discussing why the action was on the list, what it meant, and why nothing was done (ever been at one of those meetings?). New actions identified during the meeting found their way to the action list if the team could make them s.m.a.r.t. against the goal.


Action after the meeting


The team managed their actions in between the meetings via an online action list. Every time an action was executed, the owner made note of it in the action list, including a short qualitative update on the effect of the action. Was the issue solved or at least helped the team progress further towards the goal? Is any further action needed? The action list was fully integrated in their daily work and in their natural interaction. Commitment to action had become part of their behavior. It saved the team time, frustration, and re-work. Most importantly, their results continuously improved giving the team a lot of opportunities to celebrate. They enjoyed their work.


If you think that this sounds all rather “blue” or operational or mechanical, or when you feel that action lists are operational energy drainers, know that it is not about the list. It is all about the people. Imagine, or relive the experience if you have done it, how much social and emotional effort is required to bring a team to this place of full commitment to the goal, the actions and the results. The trust Team X had developed was based on the team members fully showing up. Not just during but also after the meeting, when the work had to be done.


Just remember that this is a true story.


Simon Sinek said that without action we only have words. Ambitious goals and daily practice meet in this 40%


So What?


Professionals spend a lot of time in meetings. Make them worth your while! And enjoy your successes.

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