Categories for your one page plan

I’m a strong advocate of building a one page plan, either for business or personal use.  It’s just a document that outlines what you value and how you’re planning to get to your hoped-for future.  Here are some sample categories.  Choose those that are relevant for you, fill in the blanks, and use it at management team meetings to align your team.  There are lots of duplicate ideas, don’t use them all.

Why do you exist?
Why, How, What?
Why you exist along with how you do your thing and what you do exactly.  Also called mission and vision
Core Values
How should people around here behave?
What do we believe deeply?
Brand promise
What can our customers count on us to deliver to them every time (no more than 3)
Unique Selling Position
Same idea as above
Our perfect customer
By demographic and psychographic
Our ‘big hairy audacious goal’ 10+ years out
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and trends
Top strategies
For the year, for 3-5 years
SMaC list
Our ‘specific, methodical and consistent’ recipe for success – rules we will not violate as an organization
Key habits
That the organization will practice
Top corporate goals
For the year, for 3-5 years
20 mile march           
Our consistent growth goal.  Not a dream, but the law
Key measurements
By year, by quarter.  No more than 6 measures that indicate the health of the organization
Challenge game
Some organizations play quarterly games to align the team
Parking lot issues
Things to remain on the radar that we can’t deal with right now
What is the scope of our operations (geographically or by product offering, or…?)
Personal Accountabilities
What is each person on the team accountable to do by (insert your time frame here)

Every organization must know where it plans to go, how it plans to get there, and what each person’s role is in making that happen.  Does yours?

Have a great week!

Never tell people how to do things

There was a time when the American military had no use for independent thinkers. That changed in WWII, and General George Patton played a big part in the change.  “Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what you want done and they will surprise you with their ingenuity,” he wrote.

David Petraeus had the same philosophy in Iraq, looking for leaders who “were flexible and able to think independently.”  While he was in command, violence plummeted and he was given overall command of the Iraqi theatre.

William Coyne, Senior Vice President of research and development at the famously innovative 3M, described it this way:

“We let our people know what we want them to accomplish.  But- and it is a very big but – we do not tell them how to achieve those goals.”

Maybe it’s time to re-think your command and control structure and let your people surprise you.

Have a great week!

“Trevor was a key component in helping to navigate us through a 60% growth year when we felt like we were going off the rails. His ability to help an organization focus, become aligned in critical areas and get excited about the future is second to none. I would highly recommend Trevor to any company who is committed to growing and making a difference in their industry and the world.”

Braden Douglas

Braden Douglas, Principal, Relevention Marketing Inc.