The Flywheel Effect – Turning Analysis into Action

I had a conversation with a middle market CEO recently on how her company planned to create a more engaged workforce in the new-year.  This company had gone through some tough times during the great recession, but over the last three or four years they have slowly clawed out of their hole and this leader felt it was time the entire leadership team stepped up their game.

They’d completed the Gallup Engagement Survey work and had lined up a number of very impressive initiatives for rolling out a series of changes to their communications tools, staff development as well as increasing the clarity on roles and responsibilities for mid level managers.  All with the goal of improving employee engagement.  In order to make all this work she said, she needed to start turning analysis into action!

You too may have gotten people to understand and commit to your vision, but now you have to turn that into action. This CEO started by asking people to take specific steps to get them involved. It was something as simple as taking a training class or setting up a client meeting. Action means movement, and nothing significant was ever accomplished without movement.

Then she began to manufacture early wins.  She looked for ways to build momentum and acceptance in some of their new initiatives.  You may even want to have an early win in your back pocket: plan for an early result that you know is achievable, and when it happens, tout it so you can energize your people. Think of a flywheel; that’s the revolving wheel in a machine that increases the machine’s momentum. If you give a flywheel enough juice at the start, it gains momentum and can provide stability or a reserve of available power during any power interruptions. Short-term wins are the juice that provides momentum and power for organizational change.

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