Action must follow the decision

Action must follow the decision

When I work with my clients on their projects (whether system selection, system implementation, or other data management projects), I emphasize to them how important decision-making is. We can't move if we don't make choices, and if we don't move, we can't make progress/improve things.

But the key to any decision actually comes after the decision is made. That is, it's not just the decision that matters, but the action that is taken after the decision is made. It's the execution of the decision, not just the decision itself.

Too often I see my clients "making decisions" about how to proceed on a particular issue, but then not taking action on that decision.

So what is the key to moving from deciding to doing? Identifying the next step(s) that have to occur after the decision is made.

For example, suppose you decide you want to "clean up" the data in your system. What's the next step? I'd suggest that the next steps are identifying what data points you want to clean up, how you'll go about cleaning that data, and how you'll measure what "clean" looks like. Of course, there are a lot more steps than these, but you can see how making a decision to clean your data is not the same as actually cleaning it up!

Deciding is important. But it's also easy. Taking action is the hard part. Doing the hard work is what will you bring you success.

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