Discussions after discussions, and yet no decision has been made, no action taken. Does this scenario sound familiar?

If so, a culture of inaction might have taken root in your company and this is often the greatest cause of organisational under-performance. While this culture may often be caused by a leader, it can also be powerfully altered by the leader if he/she follows these 2 steps:

Create an environment that enables constructive communication

Constructive communication requires an environment that promotes a sense of openness – where outcomes are not pre-decided, and that the leader is open and receptive to all sides. Such an environment encourages people to express their real and individual opinions and not what they think the group expects them to echo.

Additionally, be sure to assign accountability and deadlines to people publicly at the end of every discussion. It is insufficient for an employee to say he or she is assessing, reviewing or analysing a problem. You want to know when the task would be completed. These are the words of action.

Provide timely and constructive feedback

By failing to promote honest feedback, leaders “cheat” their people by depriving them of essential information they need to take action to improve themselves. Feedback should be direct, constructive, immediate, and focused on behavioural performance. One thing it should not be, is surprising. If, at the end of the year, someone comments, “I never knew that about that all along”, that may well be a failure of your leadership in providing feedback.

So take action now, to shape a culture of action for tomorrow.

The above excerpt is our weekly compilation of ideas for business leaders in the areas of people management, leadership, and workplace happiness. 

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