take steps to (do something)
To do what is necessary to prepare for or begin doing something. We're currently taking steps to secure funding for the project before we announce it to the public. Following public outcry, the company has taken steps to rectify the discriminatory hiring practices.
take steps (to prevent something)
Fig. to do what is necessary to prevent something. I took steps to prevent John from learning what we were talking about. I have to keep John from knowing what I've been doing. I can prevent it if I take steps.
Begin a course of action, as in The town is taking steps to provide better street lights, or They took steps to keep their plans secret. [Early 1600s]