Action Planning

ACTION PLANNING: Action Planning is a process to develop strategies for changes in the organization based on an analysis of the problems which precipitate the need for change. It is a collaborative method of planning which involves the people working in the organization and permits the people who will be influenced by the decisions and change to have influence on the product or outcome. Action Planning assumes that people will support that which they help to plan and create. Unless those involved are committed to that which they are changing, the plan does not have much hope for success. Recent studies indicate that employees who are a part of the planning and problem solving/decision making process will take on additional organizational responsibilities to implement the plans.

The action plan model can be used by the individual/manager to organize their thoughts on a given issue and develop results in an action agenda format which details the tasks and details the jobs to be accomplished. However, the process is best suited for work groups led by a manager that can utilize a team effort to solve major problems. By developing the plan in work groups it becomes a collaborative planning effort, which, when utilizing steps similar to brainstorming, will stimulate creativity of thought and provide a non-judgmental atmosphere for generating ideas. Working in groups can provide opportunity to build on others' ideas and be a spring board to solutions unavailable to any single individual. In addition, there is the satisfaction for the group in knowing that it is their own ideas which they are implementing in solving a problem.

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CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.

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