S: Stating Your Desired Outcome
People who are stuck cannot often see past how stuck they are. There is too much to do, and not enough time. Stating your desired outcome will encourage you to push through the obstacles and begin carving your path toward a solution. Instead of trying to just solve for what’s wrong, spend some time developing a clear outline of what would be right. The more specific and complete, the clearer the objective becomes.
H: Highlighting Obstacles
Once you know the goal, Highlight the obstacles, and then categorize them. The reality is that things get in the way. In a perfect world, you’d be at your desired outcome right now. This can be a very helpful step to lay out what’s stopping you from being where you need to be.
However, once you have the obstacles listed, it is then important to categorize them. What is within your control? What’s within your influence? What’s out of your control? List the obstacles in these three categories, and resolve to ignore the ones out of your control.
I: Identifying The Human Factor
Who are the stakeholders in the process? Who do you need to engage and inform? Who might derail what you are doing? What skills, talent, and information do people bring to the solution? What’s missing? Are there interpersonal issues or communication issues that need to be worked out? Take these into account before you lay out your plans.
F: Finding Your Alternatives
There is never one road to get to your end goal. Even if you have to cut a path through the forest or land in a helicopter, there are always multiple ways to arrive at the same place. Take time to brainstorm what you could do. Establish criteria for decision making before you decide which of a number of options will be best for you.
Once you establish the criteria, you need to prioritize them. Do this separately from reviewing the ideas you have brainstormed. You don’t want the criteria to influence your ideas, or the ideas to influence your criteria. Once you know what matters, filter your ideas through the lens of the criteria.
T: Taking Disciplined Action
This is where most great ideas are born and then die without a clear plan of action. It is the who, what, when, how and how much of the planning process. This is where you and your team take the time to figure out what you need to do to get where you need to go. The clearer and more specific the steps, and the more time-bound and specific you can make them, the more likely it is that you will achieve the goal.
The SHIFT Model® was developed based on a powerful belief: the more focused you are on your desired outcome, the more likely it is that you’ll actually achieve it.