“Aha” can Motivate Change, but “Voilà” will Validate Results!

Author: James Western

The Typical Results of Aha Moments

I decided to listen to a podcast about the importance of effective sleep for my physical and mental well-being. There were a variety of statements made by the qualified speaker who had done sleep research and testing for many years that motivated me to make some changes based on his discovered and validated results. Much of the advice aligned with what I already adhered to, yet there was some information of which I was unaware of that may improve my sleep. This was my Aha moment that stimulated motivation and interest for me.

When the podcast ended, I moved on to other parts of my day. By the time the day ended, my mind was focused on various tasks, commitments and responsibilities that I needed to accomplish the next day. I went to bed and slept the way I normally do, which wasn’t bad, but it might have been better if I had begun to implement some of the sleep guidance that I had heard from the podcast.

This is a typical example of what so many of us do, notwithstanding how we receive the information. Think of the countless times we read online or printed content; listen to podcasts or speak with people face-to-face; or watch Ted Talks or other videos on the internet to learn various things. Sometimes we feel it was a waste of time if we didn’t learn anything, yet many times we have our own Aha moments where we perceive value in what we heard and are motivated to make some changes. The problem for so many of us is that we stop at the Aha learning and don’t adhere to the various guidance we receive. Therefore, we don’t perform the Voilà (Vwa-Lah) execution that validates the Aha learning that motivates change.

Why do we usually stop at the Aha stage rather than follow through at Voilà stage? There are many reasons for this. First, we often learn things and subconsciously presume we will naturally implement them because the value seemed so obvious. For example, we may experience Aha learning that motivates us to balance our diet based upon quality and quantity of food types that will improve our personal health and well-being. We simply assume that since we eat regularly, we will simply eat the right foods each time. However, we may not formally address what food will be available for us so we simply eat was is provided and immediately available, stipulating each time that we will begin to be pro-active in what food we secure for our meals, yet rarely follow through. The outcome is Aha learning that motivated change, but no Voilà execution to generate the desired outcome.

Second, we may consciously decide that we will give some thought and analysis of what we learned and then begin to execute. For example, we may experience Aha learning that motivates us to invest into an annual 401K account for retirement purposes to benefit us over the course of our professional and personal life. However, we may decide that we need to consider other investment options that might be equal to our better than 401K investments. Often the outcome is that we don’t follow through on the taking the time to learn about alternative investment options and simply ignore following through on the 401K investments. The outcome is Aha learning that motivated change, but no Voilà (Wah la!) execution that validated change.

Third, we may immediately commit ourselves to move forward with what we learned. For instance, we may experience Aha learning that motivates us to put sunscreen lotion on our face each day to help reduce the likelihood of skin cancer, inasmuch as we spend a lot of time outside in a sun based environment. However, most of the time we may start to do this yet stop soon as we don’t feel immediate value and benefit. The outcome is Aha learning that motivated immediate change, but no long term Voilà (Wah la!) execution that validated long term change.

Finally, we may decide to move forward even though we aren’t personally interested in what is required. Consider fitness improvement. We may immediately begin to work-out at a gym yet don’t like the experience as we feel worn out, sweat the entire time, feel overwhelmed and intimated by others that we see, etc. As a result, we simply stop doing it and justify that we are better off not addressing fitness improvement so that we are happier and more relaxed. The outcome is Aha learning that motivated immediate change, but no long term Voilà execution that validated long term change.

How do we resolve these Voilà execution errors both personally and professionally? Well, that is the key question for all of us given that we often don’t address our Aha learning. When we have these meaningful Aha moments, we need to formally determine what the Voilà execution path needs to be.

Key Steps for Voilà Execution

Less is More!

Think about this a lot. You read a book and highlight countless sentences because there is so much potential value for you – Aha! Then you have to determine how many of these learning points you want to implement for Voilà execution. Often you can drown yourself as there are so many. As such, you need to decide which are the most important for you so that you don’t overwhelm yourself to the point that you can’t accomplish everything because you perform at a poor or fair level rather than a good to great level due to your focus on fewer items at any given time. That doesn’t mean you can’t follow-through on the other Aha learning; you just have to wait.

What to Do, How Often to Do It, How Long to Follow Through

When we learn something of personal or professional value that motivates us to generate the desired outcome, we need to formally decide what needs to be done. For instance, if our Aha experience in listening to a podcast on how to improve sales performance, then you need to formally determine what needs to be done, how often you need to do it, and how long you will perform that work to validate that the results will come. This is another significant challenge for us; we want the outcome but we aren’t deliberate enough about what specifically needs to be performed at the best level possible, how many times do we need to perform this on a recurring basis and what is a reasonable timeline to be able to see results that may come.
Regular Assessment of Performance

We may assume that we know how generate the results based on the Aha learning, yet our best efforts often aren’t good enough. For instance, if you had an Aha moment after reading a book on how to improve marketing through social media, are you certain that your level of Voilà execution is good enough to generate the results? Do self-assessments, talk to subject matter experts, do competitive analysis of others, etc.

By adhering to this Voilà execution guidance, you will see your Voilà results!

Bryan Ritchie and James Western are co-founders of GrowthSPORT, a successful consulting company whose mission is to improve SCORES (Stimulate Culture, Optimize Results and Engage Staff) for Teams, Divisions, Departments and Organizations through the SPORT model (Strategic Alignment, Personnel Performance, Operational Execution, Results Accountability and Team Strength), which are the Five Core Elements of Success.

GrowthSPORT provides resources, tools and experienced consultants to effectively implement the SPORT performance model from companies ranging from Startups to Fortune 500 companies.

Feel free to reach out to GrowthSPORT at (801) 676-2500 or at www.growth-sport.com.


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