November 16, 2016

The Consumption, Action, Clarity Model

Early on in my career I was addicted to information consumption. I would rattle through webinars, ebooks, books, audios, podcasts, videos, seminars. It was like I needed to learn everything about something before I felt able to do anything.

Over time I’ve gotten better at taking action. I’ve curbed the consumption craze, and started to put the things I do take onboard into use.

The thing that generally holds me back now is clarity.

Consumption, action and clarity

We all have the same number of hours in the day. I would estimate that half of the hours in my day are wasted because I’m not always clear on what I’m doing, and where I’m trying to get to.

Clarity is an elusive beast. It never comes when you need it, or when you’re working at your desk. To get clarity you have to remove yourself from your daily routine, and surround yourself with challenging conversations.

The key point is that consumption, action and clarity all need to be in balance. I spoke to a chap last week who had excellent clarity about what he was doing, but was somehow struggling to take action.

At some point in the hunt for clarity you have to halt the search, and get back to work. Clarity has a natural evolution. You don’t have to start with a complete understanding of something to do something. You can start with a relatively superficial understanding, and take action from there.

The consumption, action and clarity model operates at multiple levels. It’s relevant if we are discussing business strategy, but it also applies at task level.

If you are managing a Google AdWords campaign for example, you need some degree of training in how everything works (consumption). You need to take action, in the form of regular, ongoing management. And you need evolving clarity on who you are trying to reach, and what those people are looking for.

If you are writing a sales letter, you need to study the basics of copywriting. You need clarity on who you are writing to, and how they think. And at some point you need to take action and write the damn letter.

People talk a lot about the importance of ‘massive action’. Action is important, and often an excellent starting point, but it isn’t everything. It is possible to run around taking action, without having the necessary skills of implementation or the necessary clarity in direction.

I suspect we all have a bias towards one of the three areas. Identifying your bias normally points to the thing that is holding you back.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.