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Clarifying Change with An Action Plan, Or How to Avoid the Yada Yada Yada

Originally published on Tri Tuns blog Insights.

The now classic Seinfeldian “yada yada yada” is a phrase so many of us (still) use to headline a story and gloss over details is – like most comedy – a double-edged sword of both humor and truth.

Of course, the “yada yada yada” ceases to be funny when the all-too-common tendency to lay out a plan and leave out the details arrives on your desk in the form of a none-too-well thought out project. And you’re tasked with making sure it both works andis profitable.

That’s when this cartoon is also more painful than funny because now the truth is happening to you.

This is why companies bring in third parties.

Solving the Problem, Delivering Success

Third parties’ external perspective affords them the opportunity to assess the reality of the landscape and then build a logical, strategic, actionable plan. They eliminate the “yada yada yada” and put in real, detailed plans. They answer questions like:

• How, precisely, will we get from Point A to Point B?

• How will we identify the barriers to getting to Point B?

• How will we structure this plan so you get the biggest bang for the buck?

• Do we have the organizational capacity – infrastructure, personnel, bandwidth – to measure and monitor progress toward the business goals?

• If we moved ahead without a strategic plan, what will a misstep cost? – and is that something you can afford?

• How will we make sure you get short-term lift and long-term results?

• How do we cut through the red tape and move ahead quickly in days in weeks, instead of months?

Real World Example

Do the above questions sound familiar? They’re from real situations we encounter all the time and we find many clients are looking to jumpstart their organization’s internal changes (e.g., program implementations and technology adoption). Usually with a deadline of yesterday.

For example, a recent client was about to launch a very expensive and very public (national) pilot program simultaneously introducing the company’s new, proprietary software and changing their business model. They had a lot invested and it’s not hyperbole to say the future of the organization was riding these changes. There was an incredible level of risk and uncertainty around whether or not people would use their technology and if they’d be successful.

They needed:
unknowns to became known
– clarity about what issues were most pressing
– a structured and benchmarked action plan
– to know how best to organize and execute both the technology adoption plan and the re-org change management plan.

Being too close to the project, being overworked just trying to get the system right, the client both couldn’t see the problem and didn’t have the time to figure out what to do.

So in just a few days’ time, we delivered a Quick Start Strategy, replacing the “yada, yada, yada” and “insert miracle here” with:

– precise, actionable plans of how to proceed
– specific short- and long-term activities to achieve gains both short- and long-term
– a sustainable success road map to guide them through the next phase of their program

In a nutshell, we helped them to take actions to move forward so the whole company could move ahead confidently. As masters of their domain.

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