If you’re going through hell, keep going.
– Winston Churchill
It’s go time, time to get to action. In Enneagram Change Management Step 8, the team gets to work implementing the solution. Step 8 is when the team actually solves the problem! It may not be easy, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. As things rarely go as planned, Step 8 requires flexibility and persistence to get to the goal.
Excerpt from Teamwork 9.0
Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. That is all your team has been doing for the first seven steps. Enneagram Type 8s are not particularly fond of talking without taking action. Well, now is the time for action. Step 8 harnesses the dynamic of Enneagram Type 8. The team now has a plan in place and the project has the resources it needs, so this is the moment to move into action and execute the plan.
Having gone through the process of developing and promoting the plan, most team members are eager to get into action by Step 8. The team now has envisioned a clear path to a successful outcome, and they will want to start down that path with enthusiasm and vigor.
The actual implementation will vary depending on the plan developed in Step 6. It could take weeks, months, or even years. Of all the steps in problem solving, Step 8 usually takes the longest. Successful implementation will take determination by your team, moving forward daily towards the goal.
Referring back to the Enneagram diagram, Type 8 is connected to both Type 2 and Type 5. The Type 2 dynamic draws the team forward, keeping in mind the benefit that the stakeholders will enjoy upon successful completion of the project. On the other hand, Type 5 is the analytical type, prone to paralysis by analysis. When the team encounters obstacles, there will be a tendency to fall back to Step 5, which is completely natural. The trick is to recognize this, move quickly through Steps 5, 6, and 7, and then back to action in Step 8. While the Type 8 dynamic dominates Step 8, the dynamics of the other types—particularly 5, 6, and 7—will be critical to keep the team moving forward and to prevent the project from stalling.
Start Small, End Big
I have worked with teams that simply do not have a lot of natural Type 8 energy. If this happens with your team, try starting small and building on short-term successes; this is a great recipe for building and keeping up momentum towards the goal.
For instance, when implementing solutions that will affect a company’s product development process, I advise my team to pick one smaller product development project and prototype the solutions with that development team.
Engaging with that one smaller team, you can learn what works and what doesn’t. You can develop the materials you will need to communicate the solutions to other teams. And you can demonstrate the positive effects that the solutions have on outcomes. All of this makes it that much easier for each successive team to adopt the new solution. After a while, all the teams are using your new solution, mitigating the problems and accomplishing the goals of your initiative.
How do you kick off the implementation phase of your initiatives? How do you keep up momentum and energy in this phase? What approach do you take to overcome obstacles?
In Steps 1 through 7, what have you done? Talk, talk, talk. Step 8 is the time for action. Enneagram Type 8s love to get the action. They will be the type that is most frustrated as the team works through the first seven steps. You will want to coach the Type 8s on your team to have patience during these early steps. But in Step 8, the team gets to action. With the approved plan in hand, your team’s now ready to march ahead, solve the problem, and achieve the goals.
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