Idea into action refers to the quest to translate ideas (principles, plans, good intentions, etc.) into action on the ground. It applies to individual behaviors, such as achieving regular exercise or productive leadership styles; to group and organizational behaviors, such as fostering team coordination or a culture of creativity; and to general population phenomena, such as getting people to vote or obey traffic laws. The challenge of idea into action takes on its most familiar and widespread form in what we might call the "middle ground," where the problems of action are neither technically (e.g. perfecting a golf swing, learning a musical instrument, or developing sophisticated skills of mathematical modeling) nor clinically (e.g. addictions, phobias, compulsions) difficult. The middle ground of idea into action ranges across innumerable everyday situations where we generally feel that the idea should translate into action readily enough with a bit of guidance, attention, and resolve, but it often doesn't.
Over four years, we will investigate the middle ground of idea into action, centering on two key questions: (1) Why does idea into action so commonly prove so hard to accomplish? (2) Are there significantly more reliable ways to achieve idea into action, including attention to the trade-offs in time and other costs involved and how they might be addressed in practical settings?

Project Info

Project Dates: 2017 - Current
Principal Investigator: David Perkins
Funder: Independent Schools Victoria