The Difference Between Talking And Doing

Talking vs Doing

One of the phrases I despise the most when working for or with companies is “I’ll get right on that.” I have personal stories out the wazoo of “corporate” hearing an idea from an employee or consultant and responding “I’ll get right on that” only to have 6 more months go by and nothing happen. There is nothing that kills employee creativity, openness and innovation faster than feeling like they haven’t been heard or appreciated. 

Outside of simply employee motivations, your company will get the reputation among consultants of being that organization who brings in people for help, then doesn’t listen to them and then blames them for not being effective. Trust me, you don’t want to have that reputation.

Last time, we talked about creating trust and motivation among your employees to bring in the Social Business changes you are passionate about into the company and how to instill that passion in your employees. This time we’ll be focusing on the corporate heads because most of the time, the death of employee motivation can be traced directly back to a crappy corporate environment.

Do It, Don’t Spew It

How many times have you said the following in a C-Suite meeting: “You know, we should really look into __________________”? That blank can be filled with whatever idea (good or bad) you had for your company. Now, calculate the number of times those ideas have been carried out. Actually, scratch that, calculate the number of times those ideas have been acted upon in any way, whether or not they were carried out.

If I were to guess from my history working with companies and brands, if we were to create a pie chart of “Ideas Stated” versus “Ideas Enacted”, the slice for “Ideas Stated” would look like the piece of pie John Goodman would take after fasting for a week. (In case you weren’t clear on that analogy, it would take up most of the pie chart by a wide margin.)

We’ve heard all our lives that “actions speak louder than words,” yet we seem unbelievably timid when it comes to actually taking action.

“But Joey, making these changes is a BIG commitment. We wouldn’t be a responsible business if we simply started acting without fully understanding our limitations and opportunities.”

Let me concede that the previous argument is a good one. I do not want you jumping into something you’re not ready for, but taking the time to bring in a consultant or test out a Social CRM to see how well it integrates is, in fact, a form of action. Testing and talking are two different things entirely.

While the above argument is a good one, I have to admit that 90% of the companies that use it are the ones who never act on anything and use analysis paralysis as a crutch to stay with the status quo.

Small Daily Actions (SDAs)

Try this, it’s a system I call SDAs, or Small Daily Actions. Write out a goal you want to end up at for your company. For our purposes, we’ll use “Create a full Social Business environment.”

Now, work backwards and figure out all the actions that go into making that goal a reality. Your list might look something like this:

  • Write social media guidelines document
  • Train employees on social guidelines document
  • Choose KPIs for social activity
  • Implement intranet for employee conversations
  • Test 5 social CRM systems
  • Choose best social CRM system
  • Revisit company communications policy and update where necessary
  • Write job description for social media communications lead
  • Interview internally for social media communications lead
  • Interview externally for social media communications lead
  • Hire social media communications lead
  • Etc
  • Etc
  • And on
  • And on

You get the idea. Write down everything big and small that stands in your way to achieving your goal.

Now, put them in order, pick a start day and do one action per day. It doesn’t matter how long your list is or how complicated your actions. Break them down in a way where you can do one per day and then begin. Your day one action might simply be “Create daily action plan for goal.”

I don’t care what your goal is or how it breaks down, all I care about is that you do something.

So, get out there any do something.


(P.S. Your homework for tonight is to take your first action and write down your company goal and create a daily action plan. I’ll know if you don’t do your homework, too.)


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14 Responses to The Difference Between Talking And Doing
  1. joey_strawn

    @DannyBrown Thanks, Danny!

    • DannyBrown

      @joey_strawn Anytime, mate – sterling post, as usual, and great advice for companies of all sizes, even solo entrepreneurs.

      • joey_strawn

        @DannyBrown I thought so. My wife is dealing with a similar situation, so that’s what inspired the idea.

  2. Select the CRM which aptly suit your business needs. Infact the solutions must help to enhance your business better.  Joey the post was really good.

  3. Leon

    G’Day Joey,
    Yeah man.I reckon that one of the biggest  favours I can do for  managers is to show them how to stop saying “leave it with me.”  Instead I suggest that they say, “What do you think we should do?”
    The best way to replace “talking” with “doing” is to constantly  ask about doing. At least it’s a start. And never permit anyone to suggest something without ensuring that they make a commitment to do something about it.
    And paraphrasing is a very effective and useful technique for ensuring that employee  ideas and suggestions receive adequate attention.
    “Simple” can work very well.
    Best Wishes

  4. sarasgraham

    @weektify Thanks for the share!

    • weektify

      @sarasgraham You’re most welcome. How could we not hook up a caffeinated toddler wrangler?

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