I saw this Smart Brief survey this morning in my email and it struck me. The blue line is something I’ve experienced in most of the organizations I’ve worked. Talk is more common than action. What strikes me the most about the results is, I believe if you were to ask most people they would say they don’t like environments where talking over action rules. I can’t prove this. However, my experience suggests, as does this survey, that cultures like this aren’t popular.
So why then, if we don’t like them, do they exist? — Risk aversion!
When we are afraid or are avoiding something, action is the perceived enemy. To avoid failure or risk we stop and talk. Talking keeps it present, it allows us to feel as though action is being taken. The more we talk, the more it appears real. Talking can even makes us feel as if we are taking action. Hint: we’re not.
More talking than action is soft quitting. It’s quitting before you start. It’s avoiding the first step. To avoid this, I like what the author of the piece said:
Try breaking the big decisions into smaller, less risky ones and try to push forward smaller actions faster rather than larger actions more slowly. It’ll help you gain momentum and build a bias toward doing.
If you or your company is risk averse, reduce the risk by taking smaller actions. Find ways to make it more manageable and minimize your exposure. Find ways to take the first step. Because talking more isn’t going to help.
Forty two percent of people said their company talks too much and doesn’t take enough action. That’s too high! What action are you going to take to change it.
I’m curios to what this community thinks. How would you rate your companies culture?