Bureaucracy tends to invite organizational paralysis through “churn” based on “rigid hierarchy, inflexible rules, slowness due to procedural control, and highly specialized divisions of labor.” (As per Max Weber and Sociology 101). You can counter this when you put less emphasis on “rote” meeting and talking, and more on “creative” doing.
Doing is action, and action is purpose and progress. Here’s how to improve your ability to make a difference.
Create Actionable Goals
Create and adhere to SMART goals
Actionable goals are SMART. Specific, significant, stretching, Measurable, meaningful, motivational. Agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action oriented. Realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented. Time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable. From Smart Goals.
Create Actionable Meetings
Focus on product over process.
Actionable meetings have a clear purpose and outcomes. Improve your meetings by determining if you have a good blend of time spent on information sharing, discussion, and decision making that result in action oriented follow-through and implementation. Make sure you also have the right people in the room. You should collectively be working toward clear and measurable goals and outcomes. Meeting facilitation techniques like using the “gradients of agreement” scale can help you reach the consensus needed to move your groups toward action.
Create Actionable Groups and Teams
Guide collective work with a results-oriented vision.
Great teams have clearly defined roles, they leverage strengths and special talents, they include effective “feedback loops” for regular assessment, and operate with a results-oriented vision. Effective groups and teams have a shared understanding of what the group will produce together (as well as the why and how needed to make things happen).
Create Actionable Projects
Know what success looks like.
If you are leading or supporting projects, be sure you understand project scope, risks, stages of progress, and have clear end-goals and deliverables. You, your sponsors, and project partners should all know what success looks like (especially if it’s a slightly moving target).
Support Actionable Leadership
Support leaders by “putting decisions or plans into effect.”
Actionable leaders are authentic, results-oriented, and accountable and they inspire others to be the same.
Fun Five: Bureaucratic five extinguished with action!