The “Do Different”

We’ve all been in business meetings that drone on endlessly, only to be followed with zero change, action or results. Silver-tongued bosses spouting platitudes rarely translates into meaningful transformation.

In fact, many of us have become desensitized to big new ideas, because in our previous experiences, few concepts actually come to fruition.

If you’re frustrated with the lackin’ of action, try this simple hack: With each meeting, conversation or interaction that you want to translate into results instead of mere words, ask about the “Do Different.”

In other words, what will you (or others) actually do differently having participated in the dialogue versus the previous state. This is a simple commitment to change behavior, and an ownership on behalf of the pronouncer.

“Great meeting team. OK, what’s everyone’s Do Different?”

Jim’s Do Different may be to call three key clients to check in on satisfaction, while Mary’s Do Different may be to return every e-mail within three hours of receipt. Do Differents need not transform an industry nor cure disease; they can be small and simple commitments to change. A consistent series of micro-changes can easily out-punch a big flowery idea that’s poorly executed.

Attending a business lunch tomorrow? Make sure you clarify the Do Different that results from the meeting. Attending a concert, sporting event, or gallery opening? We can even derive a Do Different from seemingly unrelated experiences. Giving a speech, conducting a seminar, or hosting an event? Make sure your desired Do Different is clear to your audience, ensuring they fully understand what actions to take next.

Simple? Yes. Powerful? Intensely. As you tackle on your daily work, drive each calendar block into a Do Different. Try adding a Do Different list next to your traditional “To-Do” list, and before long, you’ll be ahead of the curve on change, success, and results.

Do change. Do now. Do Different.