30 Mar

Writing your business plan is not the same as writing your grocery list

When you have to do the monthly grocery shop you normal jot down the list of items needed prior to heading off to the store. When you take a message for someone in your office you generally write it down and when you are planning a party you make a list and plan of everything you need and who you will be inviting. You do this so you won’t forget and very importantly that you can refer back to your original thoughts not leaving anything out.
List writing is an excellent habit to have for sticking to a grocery budget or not forgetting to send cousin George a party invitation. List writing however is not how you build a business plan.
Over the past couple of days I’ve spoken with a number of people who have admitted that they haven’t documented their business strategic plans or documented monthly or weekly goals.
Many of them said that they do have a to-do list, which you could say is better than nothing, but the reality of the situation is is that a list is not a plan and your business plan should not be treated like a shopping list.  Big difference!
A to-do list is an unending selection of “stuff”. You tend to keep adding to this list as the days and weeks go on and sometimes when you get to review the list starting from point one you cannot actually recall the reason for why the point had been added in the first place, and it gets removed or left to live another list-hogging day. New points on the list can be added randomly, because they sound good at the time. However how often do these points add value to your original goal?
Lists get lost and get started and ended on different apps, pieces of paper and notebooks. Does this sound familiar?
The biggest difference and benefit about drafting a strategic business plan and then breaking the plan up into bite size pieces and documenting daily, weekly and monthly goals, is that you can be assured that everything you are doing is working towards an end goal.
A strategic plan is just that, strategic.
Your micro goals key into your short term goals, which key into your medium goals which in turn key into your long term goals.
The following points may assist you:
1) Throw your collection of to-do lists away!
2) Dedicate some time to drawing up a precise business strategic plan. You may call on a business coach or mentor to assist you with this process.
3) Invest in a diary – online or paper whichever takes your fancy
4) Be disciplined! What you document in your diary should be actions or activities, which come directly from your main plan. These actions should follow the trusty SMARTER model. (Specific, Measurable, Actioned, Realistic, Timed, Ethical and Resources)
5) Recap on your plan every week and ever quarter review your business plan. This ensures that you are on track and moving towards the end goal in timely fashion.  By having to go back on regular basis it ensures that your plan doesn’t land up in file 13.
 6) Lastly, don’t forget to throw your to-do lists away and do not be tempted to start a new one.
This saves you time and money and keeps you moving forward and very importantly keeps you on track.
Need some assistance with drafting your business plan? Contact Nicole nicole@tikumu.co.nz
23 Mar

4 Easy steps on how to manage consequences

Newton’s third law says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. In simple terms if you push on anything, it pushes straight back. The bigger your push, the bigger the push back.

Taking that learning into the workplace can be very beneficial for any business owner or manager. Whatever you do within your business, there will always be a push back. Whatever decisions you make or strategies you implement regarding your people and teams, there WILL always be a push back. It becomes your choice as to whether that push-back is positive or negative. Unfortunately tough decisions have to be made from time to time, to enable business growth and survival. Tough decisions will inevitably affect your team members, however the negative push-back can be controlled and managed. This is where you step up and decide how this will be carried out.

Think about the last tough decision you had to make, which ended up negatively affecting your team. What was the initial outcome and did you notice any effects weeks and months after the decision-dust settled? Were you aware that you would receive negative push-back or did it come as a complete surprise?

In both scenarios you are walking into a storm with no safety net. Being aware of the negative consequences, or being taken by surprise, you still land up on the back foot. So how can you prevent yourself from landing up with your picture on the staff break-room’s dartboard?

Take the time to consider your actions. Take the time to consider the consequences. Then ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What would the consequences (negative and positive) be if I implemented this particular change or action? Write these down on the attached worksheet. (Action and Consequences model)

2. What would the consequences (negative and positive) be if I didn’t implement this particular change or action? Write these down.

It is always good common practise to consider the “What if we didn’t implement” scenarioIt provides you with a different perspective, an objective view of things.

3. Go back to questions 1 and 2. If you have documented the consequences of taking and not taking action, what would the consequences of each consequence be? Remember, that you are documenting negative and positive consequences, not just the negative.

Write these down.

This exercise can include as many  consequence levels as you like, it just depends on how far you wish to take it.

4. Once you have outlined the consequences for each level, start looking at how the positive consequences can be leveraged and how the negative consequences  can be managed. You may discover that just by managing the initial negative consequences you can nip them in the bud and prevent further damage from being caused.

Gone are the days of making tough decisions, ignoring the backlash and expecting for your people to “suck it up”. If you want to alienate your people and destroy your business and corporate culture, go ahead and continue with this mindset. However, with the right strategy in place and by taking control and being proactive, you can start thinking and working smarter.

Action and Consequences model

14 Apr

Are you enjoying the journey?

Over the past year I have been very conscious of the concept of being happy. Not to be happy for happiness sake, but being conscious of what makes me happy.

The tricky thing is that happiness means something different for everyone. You need to find what makes you happy. For me it is the idea of enjoying the journey.

In our pursuit of happiness do we take the time to stop and smell the roses? Do we appreciate all the highs and lows along the way? Do we look for happy moments in our everyday routines and mundane tasks or are we so preoccupied about getting stuff done that we don’t take notice?

Happiness is not a goal that you achieve after completing an action plan within a pre-determined deadline. Happiness or lack of happiness is a by-product of your continued actions. Like Viktor E. Frankl said in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”  Happiness is the result of what you practise. What are you practising?

Life’s journey has inevitable highs and lows. Summoning the strength to take charge of the lows is especially rewarding. Your confidence and self-esteem will grow after successfully dealing with the difficult times, and this will provide space for happiness to re-appear.

Enjoying the journey is about appreciating the good, the bad and the ugly. Be mindful about your thoughts, actions and choices. This helps you to grow, move forward and prevent those moments from being repeated.

In my journey, I find that my happiness levels increase when I am able to put a label on reasons for things that are going right or wrong. I am able to own the success and the failure. Being accountable and in control of the next step brings me happiness.

If happiness or unhappiness is a result of our everyday actions, what are you doing to control those actions to allow for positive results? What are you doing to enjoy the journey?