Education Opinion

Translating Decisions Into Action

By LeaderTalk Contributor — February 16, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

How many times have you made a decision, let others know about the decision, and then get annoyed when others don’t entirely buy into your decision. Even worse, they buy into your decision, but the “new direction” falters within a short period of time? It’s frustrating and yet all so common. One of my former colleagues noted, “the only person that likes change is a baby with a new diaper.”

Strategic communication is a key component in translating decisions into action. It is helpful to me to remember that I’ve been thinking and working the issue in my head for a relatively long time. I’ve brought others into the issue discussion. That small group of people also buys into the idea and have improved on the original idea. Once you have decided to take action on a decision, oftentimes you will have to communicate it to somebody else. It may be a co-worker or it may be an entire organizational unit.

I’ve learned some short tips that might help increase your effectiveness in translating the decisions into action:

1. What is the key message that I want to deliver? It should be thought of as a bumper sticker or something you can see on Twitter (140 characters).

2. How do I enlist others to communicate in language that resonates with each implementer so that everybody views the action as an opportunity, not a threat.

3. What else do I need to do and other people need to do to celebrate and support this commitment?

4. What is the frequency that I want to deliver this message (you’ll get tired of hearing yourself saying the same thing over and over again)

5. What are the modes that I plan to use to deliver this message? It may be written, oral, web based, video, large group, small group, or a combination of all of these modes of communication

Ok-your turn. What are some tools and techniques you have used to better translate decisions into action?

All the best,


The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.