Action Wheel Leadership

3. Unpacking the Action Wheel

by Larry Walker
(White Bear Lake)

The Action Wheel framework consists of 6 elements. These elements were initially derived from the leading schools of leadership thought and then expanded to be more complete.

Element 1 deals with establishing common context such as culture, history, internal capabilities, external factors, etc. It is not surprising that if individuals are working with different information, they very often reach different conclusions. It is important to involve the right set of stakeholders at this time, so they are well-informed as the action moves ahead.

Element 2 deals with what is important to the complete set of stakeholders -- customers, suppliers, employees, community, leadership team, etc. Ideas are explored to find those most appropriate to the situation. The ensuing challenge is to find common ground that effectively embraces this broad set of values and possibilities.

Element 3 deals with deciding which of the available possibilities to pursue and setting/communicating common direction for the organization and/or team. Clear goals are defined to guide the subsequent activities.

Element 4 deals with engaging and sharing opportunities and committing to ownership for leading team and/or organizational tasks.

Element 5 deals with structuring and designing solutions and establishing effective policies and procedures that support their completion. Plans are prepared and administered.

Element 6 deals with finding and assigning the appropriate expertise and allocating the needed resources for each task. The team then executes and contributes to drive the task to completion.

The next entry will discuss the importance of sequence in pursuing the six elements.

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