FTI – failure to implement – is one of the biggest inhibitors of growth, both personally & professionally. Practice JDI – just do it – instead.
The FTI malady is very much alive. An idea or an innovation is worthless if it never sees the light of day. The value is in the application. The longer the time lapse between the idea and implementation, the lower the enthusiasm and the larger the opportunity cost to the business.
How Accountability Practices can help you to JDI
Decisions alone don’t bring results – there must be follow-through, action and accountability.
When making decisions, it’s important to remember that deciding is only half the battle. Too often, people decide to take on a task or project and never follow through with the necessary action steps. This lack of action or follow-through leads to missed opportunities and potential pitfalls that could have been avoided if the necessary actions had been taken in a timely fashion. There is a real cost.
Accountability can help ensure that a decision is followed through once it is made. One way to do this is to engage an accountability partner who will check in and ensure tasks are completed, and objectives are achieved. This helps ensure consistency in action-taking and creates a system of checks and balances that keeps everyone honest about their responsibilities and commitments. You give this person permission to call you out if you are not doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it.
Additionally, having an accountability partner can also be a sounding board, allowing for open dialogue about any issues or questions that may arise while completing any given task. By having a second set of eyes looking over your progress, you can be more confident in the decisions you make daily and have peace of mind knowing that any mistakes or any deadlines looming or missed are noticed sooner rather than later.
Why FTI can Negatively Impact your Team
A culture of open communication, transparency, responsibility, and support is key to ensuring that the desired outcomes of our decisions turn up on time.
Nothing is more confusing and demotivating to your team than hearing the talk and not seeing the walk. This is very obvious where businesses who profess to encourage the teams’ contribution to continual improvement programs, for example, fail to act on the input and very quickly stifle the flow of ideas.
Once diagnosed, the FTI malady must be treated with vigour and without delay because the associated lack of urgency is very contagious and invasive. It will make its way through the entire team and into every corner of the business.
FTI is best dealt with at a cultural level. Culture promotes behaviours that will progress your business and align with your core values. Being accountable for implementation and follow-through is an integral part of a healthy, vibrant culture.
A value statement like – “We do business and life with a sense of urgency and a strong desire to implement”, – when backed up with examples of how this might play out in the workplace, will encourage more desirable behaviours.
It’s Time to Stop Making Excuses
There are many reasons or excuses given as to why actions don’t get done –
1. No one has ownership of the action
2. There was no due date
3. Unexpected blocks turned up
4. Other actions took priority
We’ve all been there – a task is assigned without any clear direction or timeline and eventually gets lost amid other priorities. Reasons for such inaction include a lack of accountability, no due date, unforeseen blocks, or even an overload of other tasks. No matter the reason, these types of situations can be easily avoided with some simple steps.
When assigning a new task or project, it’s essential to clearly communicate expectations and deadlines so everyone involved knows exactly what they are responsible for and when those tasks should be completed. This helps ensure that the task is given priority and will move along the development process quickly. It also ensures projects stay on schedule and don’t fall to the wayside due to a lack of focus or follow-through.
It’s also vital to consider unexpected block that may arise during development. Unexpected delays due to technical issues, cost overruns, vendor delays, and so on, can all contribute to an action not being completed on time. In this situation, planning ahead is essential by considering possible obstacles and addressing them before they become an issue. This could mean having a contingency plan in place, so you’re prepared if something does come up or taking steps during development to mitigate any potential risks associated with the project.
Finally, it’s important to recognise when tasks are taking too long or have become a too low priority due to other activities taking precedence over them. If this happens, it’s best practice to either reassess and adjust the scope of work or delete it altogether if it’s deemed not worth doing. Although this might seem like a daunting task initially, keeping track of your commitments is essential for staying on top of your workload and ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
These reasons must be addressed when the action is entered in the action sheet, and when a decision is made. The action sheet should include the person responsible for getting it done, a due date, potential blocks and how they will be addressed, and the value the action will add to the organisation.
How to Take Action and JDI
You have access to a comprehensive action sheet designed to eliminate FTI here.
Every action has a consequence, as does every action not taken. If an action is deemed not worth doing, neither urgent nor important – if the due date is extended week after week – then delete it!
Who holds you to account to make sure that you implement with urgency?
Is there an example of the FTI malady playing out in your personal life? In your business? Why the lack of urgency?