Plan Before Writing The Plan
If you, like a very successful CEO I know, find that your executive team is mired in their everyday tasks, failing to examine if they are doing the right things for the business, then we should talk about that challenge. Periodically, you may want to get your key thinkers out of their daily environment to come up with new ways of moving ahead. Stepping back and examining your company with an outsider's perspective forces a hard look at the business model and the current and future environment, and alerts everyone to when a pivot (a change in direction) is needed. This "managed process" also illuminates what is missing from the plan, and priorities and tasks, and spurs exploration of options never considered before.
When I facilitate sessions for clients, they count on me to bring that outsider perspective informed by deep industry knowledge and subject matter expertise. I also use a powerful new tool, the "Business Model Canvas", so that the group can record, debate and refine a business model while testing ideas and making a check list from which to work. In 2010, Business Model Generation was written by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and co-created by a crowd of 470 practitioners from 45 countries to use the collective wisdom of successful entrepreneurs for building successful companies. The Business Model Canvas was born and I find it is a powerful tool with clients and in workshops for business schools and their entrepreneur programs.
What I've Learned: you need to plan before writing the plan, and certainly before making the budget.
FOR LARGER ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESS SCHOOLS,
ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES: I facilitate
group workshops "Planning
Before The Plan" ™ to help organizations to carefully
examine tasks, priorities, and direction in the context of a well thought
through business model. This allows
participants to set new direction when needed, to redouble efforts on key
initiatives and to slow down others with a better understanding of what is
necessary or unnecessary. Workshops can
be offered as part of Entrepreneur Programs, Executive Education sessions, and
public seminars sponsored by government economic development agencies. For instance, one country we are working with is focused on changing the business models of companies to grow from single to multiple locations, to explore exporting, and to add technology and knowledge-based components.
"Good Leaders Innovate"™ is an allied program, addressing the need and the power of leaders to support stringent and innovative business model testing before committing to a plan.
Great Results, Personable, Expert, High Integrity, Creative
Delivers results "Your contribution to the company has been tremendous. You have helped us
to form an enterprise program, scope a market and open doors to key players in
the market. Your professionalism and integrity are unsurpassed in
Leads Effectively "The praise really goes to you -- for choosing us, organizing us, and keeping us on task
those many months."
Inspires innovation "Gail ran a two day workshop with our executive team to assist with some strategic product development initiatives. Gail was an excellent facilitator and we were thrilled with the ideas that were developed over the two days."
Easy to work with "Gail has been great to work with. She is very focused towards getting the results. I would highly recommend her."
Flexible roles "Gail is as comfortable stepping into a company as an external advisor or mentor, as she is in taking the role of chief executive; leading business development and sales; handling corporate communications; spear-heading investor relations and making investor presentations."
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