Part 1. Success comes when goals are “clearly” defined

It’s that jolt that you get when you get that “doozie” of an idea, it’s a cracker and you know it, you get the shivers and you just know that you are onto a winner. So your mind starts going into “overdrive” and you are way ahead of your why and how and you are into when and what you might make from this incredible and foolproof idea.

So without really strategically thinking, you have started the copy for your website, without even considering whom you are talking to (who might buy this idea). You have envisaged the brand without considering colour, shape, emotive reasoning or brand equity at all. You just see this pretty emblem and think – yep that’s it!

Then you start planning how much you are going to sell this idea for and what happens when it goes global, you are smelling dollar signs before you have even invested a single dollar into your concept or even prototyped the thing.

The horse has run away without a cart, in fact, the cart wasn’t even present, it hadn’t even been built yet, you hadn’t even attached the reins, it’s just a wild brumby galloping off into the distance.

Having a good idea is fabulous, it releases all those endorphins and gives us a sense of self-belief and purpose. That’s great.  But what’s next.

Well, next comes the hard work if you want to turn that incredible insight into the dollars you’ve imagined – into a business.

Whether you have an existing business or your idea is your first foray into the wonderful and difficult world of business you will need to plan, don’t mistake it or you’ll make some mistakes.

You know, I have read a lot of business plans, I have written a mountain of marketing plans and all of them are a complete waste of paper, time, effort and money unless you intend to actually follow them (even loosely) and follow some semblance of a roadmap to what your version of success looks like. Tip: The best plans are the simplest.

I recently came across a really well thought out policy/planning document that reignited my faith in plans. As part of a sustainability course that I am doing in my free time, I came across the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals agenda and it is so clear it’s exciting!

This set of goals was broken down into 17 mission points that then unfolded to create reasons for each important mission. Then those sections were elaborated upon again to drill down into what specific actions needed to be taken to meet the overall objective of the original mission. It was simple, used clear language and did not complicate using long-winded and expansive verbiage and coming from the UN I was surprised and elated that academia had not consumed them.

My viewpoint is that the problem that we have as humans is that we all want to sound far smarter than we actually are, so we use big words, long sentences and truly boring literature to make our points, perhaps it’s a scare tactic to make the people who don’t read dictionaries for a living feel like they are less. It’s like academia walks in, takes control of the writer’s brain and functions and makes things sound far harder and more convoluted than ever, ever necessary. We use statistics to prove our points and juxtapose this against verbiage that would make a lawyer drool and everyone else sleep.

Note to all policy writers/strategic planners – it doesn’t work, 99.9% of the population switches off. The 0.1% left are not “action” people and so it becomes a futile exercise.

So if you want to plan and you want actions to actually be understood and then actually taken on by the people who carry out the “actions” then make the instructions simple to understand and easy to follow. Give the people who are going to do the work something to hold onto that they can grasp and get excited about. Save the academics for your AGM where you can bore the pants off of the shareholders with graphs and reasons why they are investing in your magical idea.

More in the next blog about how to plan to commercialise your magical idea…

#beclear #strategybeforeaction #planning #kiss #simplicityinplanning #garnishmarketing