Putting Ideas into Action

November 4th, 2009   •   1 comment   

Here’s what happens when theory (and bureaucracy) overrides action (courtesy of RedState)

As frequent bloggers, Facebookers, and Twitterers, we need to be mindful of lapsing into theoreticism, which is the preference for theories over action. In Chinese, we call it “zhi shang tan bing” or discussing stratagems on paper.

It is nice to be known (or branded) as a “guru” and be seen as an expert in a particular subject matter. One can spew out gems of wisdom ad infinitum (or ad nauseum, depending on which side of the fence you sit on), and create numerous “10 ways to do this better” lists. Like this post here for instance.

Facing a mental block? No problem.

You can always borrow from the huge pool of “free” content providers who are more than happy to share their online wisdom with you.

You can also embed an intelligent looking chart into your post, borrow an eye-catching photograph from Flickr, or just extract something intelligent sounding from a thought leader. Embellish it with a witty Youtube video or a smart sounding podcast.

Need more inspiration? Simply subscribe to numerous RSS feeds, retweet the latest and greatest ideas, and pump them all into a swanky Slideshare presentation.

However, at some point of time, you really need to get off the jolly social media roller coaster and start putting words into action. The real value of any theory or idea can only be found in the smell of the rubber hitting the road.

In other words, doing as opposed to dogmatising.

With such a deluge of doctrines, is there even a possible starting point? After all, almost everything that you have googled, tweeted, or shared on Facebook looked fabulous.

Here’s where you need to cut to the chase. When deciding how you can operationalise an idea or a plan, consider the following approach:

1) Define the scope and objective of the project. What do you seek to achieve and how does it benefit your organisation/family/church etc?

2) Derive the budget needed and/or seek a sponsor.

3) Develop the timelines needed. Ensure that it is realistic and achievable.

4) Draft the right people to be involved. Seal in their commitment in terms of the time and effort needed.

5) Decide what to keep and what to throw out. Follow Pareto’s 80/20 rule. Stick to only those activities that you are confident of fulfilling.

6) Determine the Key Performance Indicators used to measure success.

7) Do it! And more importantly, stick to it (unless something goes horribly wrong)!

In the rarefied air of digital discourse, one can often be lulled into a social media stupour, drugged by the myriad possibilities and paralysed by inaction. At some point in time however, one must stop day dreaming and start doing.

The best time to do it? Now.

So what are you/am I waiting for?

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One comment

  1. posted on Nov 07, 2009 at 3:21 AM

    Wow, what complicated chart it is! Took me a while, and still not quite getting it … ha ha ha.

    I think if I could add a humble footnote, that is to continue networking with people and build strategy alliance, throughout the project – long term or short.

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