This week we conducted an overview of the Power of TED* essential frameworks for an executive leadership team.  When we got to the overview of Dynamic Tension as a framework for creating outcomes, we talked about what we call the 3-step dance as a way to create the outcomes we want.  The 3-steps are:

  1.  Focus on your envisioned Outcome;
  2.  Tell the truth about your current reality, both what supports and inhibits the outcome, and;
  3. Commit to taking Baby Steps to create the Outcome.

When planning, there is one huge difference between the 3-step dance compared to traditional planning efforts.   Normally when planning, there is a belief that you have to have all the steps figured out from beginning to end to create the Outcome you want.  In the 3-step dance we can take one Baby Step, learn, adjust, and take another Baby Step forward.  We don’t have to have it all figured out!  We just start with one step.

After each Baby Step we learn and fine-tune, based upon the results the step produces.  A Baby Step is any action that is immediate, short term and yours to do.   In other words, take full responsibility for what you can do, given the truth of the current situation.

We also pointed out that as we take a Baby Step, one of three results will occur:

  1. Forward Progress – The step taken produces positive results and helps build momentum toward the envisioned Outcome.
  2. A Step Back – The step does not produce the hoped-for results and may even be a mistake, in which case we assess what occurred and how it might inform the next step to take.
  3. A Breakthrough or Quantum Leap – The step produces unanticipated and extremely positive forward progress – even a leap – that would not have occurred had the step not been taken.

When the 3-step dance was shared with the executive team, there was an audible sigh of relief and smiles of affirmation.

When asked why the idea was so impactful, a participant said; “This is so empowering because I realize that I don’t have to have it all figured out before I start taking action.  I just take the next Baby Step that is in front of me.”