Activity or Accomplishment?

Feb 15, 2013 2 Comments by

021513-TBR-Banner-Dont Confuse Activity with AccomplishmentSometimes it’s easier to get busy than it is to get things done…

That can be a real problem for Change Agents.

Of course we want our people and our teams to be cracking that whip and getting things done every hour of the work day. But are they working on the right priorities?

Seeing busy people would seem to be a sure sign of high productivity. But how do you know their efforts are going to have the most positive impact?



Consider the following definition as you manage your change initiative: .

True productivity isn’t just the amount of work that gets done or the amount of passion, resources or time invested…

It’s the measure of meaningful results delivered for that investment.”


To learn more about how to focus the work of your change read “Busy Doing What?“. 

Remember to “plan the work, then work the plan…”

Now go get busy! 


Change Agent Skills, Change Communication, Change Execution, Change Leadership, Stakeholder Readiness, Team Dynamics

About the author

I help people and teams succeed with big changes... never a dull moment!

2 Responses to “Activity or Accomplishment?”

  1. Steve says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more Terry.

    Some of my favorite metrics of change adoption are to track stakeholder sentiments toward a few point-blank Likert-scale questions that view the change from their frame of reference.

    – “I am ready to do my job well using the new tools/process.”
    – “I understand why we are doing this.”
    – “I know where to go if I have questions.”

    It’s amazing what challenges you can draw out with a few plain statements like this.

    If we as Change Agents are primarily concerned with accomplishing stakeholder readiness, let’s use that as our measure. Counting our own activities as accomplishment is a bit like measuring our success by the sincerity of our intent.

  2. Terry says:

    True not just in executing or implementing a change but also in many efforts in an organization.

    When selecting performance measures, organizations too often look at the quantity of something or number of times some activity was completed. This confuses “busy” with progress or effectiveness.

    This can be not just misleading but also destructive by driving undesired behaviors. Measures ideally will assess or more directly be connected to desired results or outcomes. In some cases, if there is a very clear cause and effect between an activity and the desired result, then considering the activity measure as a leading indicator along with other measures in a balanced set can be useful.

    I once saw an organization undergoing a change that wanted to measure the “number of people trained” on a new process/tool and the “number of communications” to staff about the change. While training and communication are critical, looking ONLY at quantity and not the effectiveness is insufficient.

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