What’s the Next Step?

Jun 10, 2006

In Dana Point, CA for a 2-day client workshop on The 9 Key Transitions.

During the second morning, we had a great discussion on why so many great decisions never get implemented. Here’s what we concluded…

As you probably know, this is one of the core Predictable Success® precepts: Effectively implementing decisions. We teach a lot on this very topic. So it was interesting for me, rather than teaching, to just listen and learn for awhile.

After about 45 minutes spirited discussion, the group concluded the following:

Assuming that the decision is in itself a ‘good’ decision (in other words, it has been through the Investigation and Interpretation phases, the main reason implementation gets bogged down is –

Not properly identifying the ‘Next Step’.

In other words, far too often, we make a great decision, but implementation isn’t just a ‘one-step’ activity – it is in fact a project (or mini-project) that needs broken down into discrete, individual ‘next steps’.

We then need to hold the implementer accountable, not for the whole decision, but for each step – one at a time, through to completion.

Next time you’re on the brink of making a great decision, either on your own, or with your team, break it down into just the next step. Put accountability around that step. Then the next one, then the next…


The concept of the ‘Next Action’ (aka ‘Next Step’) is a core element of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” [‘GTD’] productivity methodology.

GTD is one of the (very) few external resources we strongly recommend to all seekers of Predictable Success™.

You can see full details of David’s system, the associate book and his workshops here. We strongly recommend his first book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.