In Part I and II of this multi-article write-up we explored the introduction to ‘Smarter Start’ Business Planning, including the first ‘planning catalyst’; Energising your Planning Ecology and in Part II, the second stage; Resonant Visioning. We continue in this article with Part III of the series, the third panning catalyst.
Planning Catalyst No. 3 – Yes-No Planning
Yes‐No Planning brings together three elements:
• Your generative Resonant Vision
• McKinsey’s Three Horizons
• Your Attention
The model and explanations below illustrates their relationship:
Your Resonant Vision:
This has been described in Part II
McKinsey’s Three Horizons:
The Management Consulting firm McKinsey & Company identified three concurrent focus areas for commercial sustainability:
1. Fix the Core: Defend and then Extend your core business. Consolidate, simplify, and increase profitability.
2. Create the New: Identify Future Options for emerging businesses. Innovate, consider new business models and embrace new mindsets.
3. Change the Game: Disrupt your industry. Explore and discover new options for future opportunities that your industry sector is not currently exploiting.
Where do you put your attention (given that we move in the direction of where we focus our attention)? The answer lies in the 80/20 Principle.
Vilfredo Pareto, the famous Italian economist and engineer, discovered the now famous 80/20 Rule after studying Italian land ownership in 1906. The rule states that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your actions. The challenge is to know (and stick to) only that 20%.
So, now apply the Uber Simplicity Rule and select only two strategies ideally (or three maximum), to achieve your vision. Let’s say for example, two strategies selected from within the ‘Three Horizons’ (see above), and specifically, one strategy from ‘Fix the Core’ and one strategy from ‘Create the New’. Then ask yourself the question: What 20% actions give the greatest impact within these two (or three), strategies?
The clarifying question that must always be always asked is ……. ‘Is this part in the 20%?’
Now Insert Yes – No Planning
This is the point where we must insert ‘Yes- No’ Planning into your ‘Smarter Start’ Business Plan
Most plans lay out new or additional actions needed to achieve a particular goal; what to say
Yes to. And these usually require your determination, your discipline and your “will power”.
But the key to success lies more in what you will no longer do or be distracted by; what you must say No to. This resolves itself into objectively assessing and then relegating everything not within the 20% threshold. This is what’s called “won’t power”.
An Example: Recall when you had a deadline for a difficult project. You rallied and got into the zone to complete it by relegating everything that was irrelevant. You held an incisive mindset where you didn’t even allow detracting thoughts. We become laser-like in our focus when we are no longer distractible.
Therefore your business planning at this third major stage must include two aspects:
• What you must start or continue to do, AND
• Clarifying (then jettisoning) what you will no longer do (this is called ‘to be delegated, outsourced, relegated or shed’)
And the actions you take in both must fall within the high-impact 20% criteria
Stay tuned in next month’s newsletter for the concluding, Part IV of this advisory, about “Accountability Partnering” and the “Rounding Out” summary.
Article written by our New Zealand Associate; Bruce Ross
Bruce of “Ignite Business Leadership” is and long-term experienced business coach, leadership expert and facilitator of energising workshops.