Substituting Talk for Action

One of the biggest contributors to a knowing-doing gap is substituting talk for action.

Pay attention at work and you start to notice something: there is a lot of TALK.

Groups will discuss the options, analyze pros and cons, and even come to a massive agreement about the correct course of action. But that doesn’t mean the problem is solved.

Accomplishing projects (and all the company is doing is projects…see another one of my posts on this) requires actual human beings to do actual work.

I wouldn’t go quite as far as the authors and say that a decision changes nothing; I have plenty of experience getting stuck at a decision and not being able to proceed. But as far as your consumers and customers are concerned, the only thing that matters is how your decisions are manifested in your products.

Side note. I thought this “talk = action” fallacy was really obvious and simple, and then I realized that I feel that way about a lot of these fundamental business insights. This stuff is not super complicated. It reminds me a little bit of the various diets you read about, and how being healthy can really be boiled down to a pretty simple guide: eat food, not too much, mostly plants. That’s not complicated to KNOW, but it’s difficult to DO.

Also, we all need to be careful of another cognitive fallacy: reading is not doing. Just because you read something doesn’t mean you did it. And just because you wrote something doesn’t mean you can practice it. There’s some saying about preaching and practicing…