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Action Tactics

Individuals who use action tactics learn by doing. They confront a challenge, with their hands on, in real time, and figure it out as they go along.

An example of an effective use of action tactics: Doris, a manufacturing engineer, is sent from headquarters to turn around a remote manufacturing location that produces hot-water heaters. The biggest problem is that this plant is not meeting its production quotas, and connected with that the morale of the production crews is low, the quality of the product is declining, and there are rumors of the plant closing. The first thing that Doris does is get down on the factory floor and observe closely what the actual manufacturing day is like. Doris learns by doing. She quickly sees that the daily quotas, given the material and human resources at hand, are unrealistic. She acts quickly—Doris sees that a critical piece of machinery that could speed up the last few steps in the manufacture of the hot-water heaters is not being used because of an earlier poor budgetary decision. She puts herself on the line, recommending that the multimillion-dollar piece of machinery be ordered at once. She bypasses local management and convinces headquarters brass that the purchase is necessary. Within six months the machinery is up and running. Because of her action-oriented approach Doris learned that sometimes it is critical to take a risk.


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