Advice about patience we often see: trust the “process”. This has always sparked two questions for me:
- Is there actually a process?
- If so, what is this “process”?
Consultants have a deservedly slimy reputation for approaching a business, selling their “process”, poorly fitting the business into their template, collecting a large check, and leaving the business barely better than they found it. Is this the “process” business leaders are to trust?
I don’t believe in template-driven consulting and planning. Rather than a “process”, try some simple, back-of-the-napkin planning on the following:
- Mission/Purpose/“Why” – Always start with clarity on your purpose: what are you trying to do and why?
- Vision – What would wild success, without any of today’s constraints, look like if you executed your purpose with excellence?
- Desired outcomes – What are the goals, objectives, outcomes, or “states of true” you desire to achieve that will make your vision a reality and fulfill your purpose?
- Next action(s) – What is the (or are the sequence of) next physical, visible, simplest possible action to take to advance the desired outcome toward making your vision a reality to fulfill your purpose?
When I work with business leaders on planning, this is the “process” we follow. Are there a few other questions, discussions, elements, and things we consider? Of course! That’s the beauty of customized planning and implementation support.
I would argue there actually is not a “process” to follow and trust. Rather, there are a few key items to consider, sketch, plan, and implement. Do that with some consistency, patience, and a little luck, and the results of your “process” usually exceed expectations.
Remember, generally, the simpler, the better.
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