Insights Blog

At the heart of results are actions

By Joanne Graf and Harvey Dubin

Welcome to a six series blog on “Productivity: Making Results Happen!” This series is out to accomplish the following for all who read it:

“To my mind there must be, at the bottom of it all, not an equation, but an utterly simple idea. And to me that idea, when we finally discover it, will be so compelling, so inevitable, that we will say to one another, ‘Oh, how beautiful. How could it have been otherwise?'”
–John Archibald Wheeler

We will offer you simple ideas that when observed through how we work each day, will provide you with some new insights, new ways of seeing the world and new ways of acting. Ultimately, you will achieve results not previously considered.

Here we go!

The first simple idea: At the heart of results are actions. Actions net results. If you want a different result you might consider taking a different action. Conversely, doing the same thing or same action over again will only net you the same order of result you have achieved thus far.

Take a moment and think about the outcomes, goals or results you have agreed to produce in your areas of accountability at work. In most companies, every year leaders are asked to go beyond their previous results. How does one then, achieve an increase in results? Consider the following relationship: If you produced X results and you took Y actions, you will see a correlation. And if you commit to upping that result in the next day, month, quarter or year and do not consider changing your actions or your “doings”, you will likely far short of your goal.

Now I know this sounds so simple: Commit to a result, focus on actions that you may not have previously considered, take those actions and if successful, take the next set of new actions. If unsuccessful, take the case your actions were lacking in some ways in order to achieve the result you seek.

Leaders often focus on what went wrong. Instead, try asking the questions, “What actions were missing that if created and taken would have worked better? What might we do that we have not yet considered?

Actions are the keys to performance. How each musician in an orchestra plays their instrument is integral to the sound created. How you and each individual on your team acts with regard to their commitments is likewise integral to the results achieved.

So, simple idea #1: Actions Produce Results.

We invite you to join us on this journey of simple ideas. #2 will be posted in two weeks — be on the lookout.

Please share with us any feedback as we move forward together. We want to hear from you.

What do actions or doings at work look like? What are they comprised of? For a tennis player or any athlete it is simple: physical actions like swinging a racket are the actions that produce results. Not satisfied with your backhand? The action might be change your grip, change your stance. But at work, what actions need to be altered if you want to achieve a different level of result or performance.

The answer: next time!

More to come,

Joanne Graf and Harvey Dubin