biases

A Dozen Reasons you Need a Lightweight Business Planning Tool Like the Big Idea Toolkit

hand with sticky notes and the big idea toolkit logoIt doesn’t matter if you are gainfully employed and need to explore the newest path to revenue,  a solo-preneur forging your way in a terrible economy, or a wanna-preneur that’s contemplating starting a business, you need a way to flesh out and communicate ideas and to build a simple plan. I’m not talking about the dusty templates that litter the Internet and application software by the droves. I’m talking about crafting something that lives beyond your bound document, something more dynamic, that connects to customers, a calendar, your livelihood and purpose. For that, you need something like the Big Idea Toolkit. Sure, I’m biased, after all I created the toolkit. But, I did say something “like.” The point is the world moves quickly and you need to as well. I’ll bet on the pony that running the race as opposed to the one in the stable that’s still working up the race plan.

Remember if you don’t continuously innovate in a sea of change, you could get BlockBuster’d out of business.

 

Here are a dozen reasons to use a Lightweight Business Planning Tool like the Big Idea Toolkit

 

    1. You need to quickly convince yourself and others you’re idea is worth following
    2. Your plan will need to evolve once you get started
    3. You need to continue to show visible progress to stay motivated
    4. You need to capture ideas that will come at times inconvenient and from unlikely sources
    5. You’ll want to explore quickly the opportunities that you can reliably act upon
    6. Your applied actions in the marketplace speak louder than your stagnant words buried in a plan
    7. To stay sane, you’ll need a system to balance delivering value, promotion, operations, and a personal life
    8. Opportunities will pass you by if you take too long to act
    9. You’ll need to observe, listen, and learn from customers
    10. If it’s worth doing, you probably need to enroll others
    11. You’ll need to run experiments to test ideas for value
    12. You need a plan that gives the opportunity to build better habits and practice because practice makes perfect, not training
    13. You’ll need to hold yourself accountability or involve somebody else that will

Oops that’s 13.  Oh yeah, and you can’t be superstitious either because black cats need love too and your biases will ultimately limit your opportunity.  Remember technology will not save you and the timing goddess will ultimately decide your fate. If you don’t believe this talk to those that are graduating from college now as opposed to the lucky grads that carved their way ahead of the dot com bubble burst.

Remember the marketplace will punish paralysis by analysis and the big formal unseen plan more than it will the action junkie that has more conversations and creates sustainable customer value sooner. Find a balance and pray for the timing goddess to cast a shining light upon you.

Category : Blog

So… what did you learn?

Start Stop Continue Review - Delightability LLC

Here is the situation.  You’ve just completed that latest software build or that big fundraising event.  You’re going full steam ahead to the next opportunity.  You’re at capacity so you don’t really want to spend time talking about the past, especially those things that didn’t go well.  And you certainly wouldn’t want to have difficult conversations with colleagues. We’ve heard the cautionary tales about Look Back – Fall Back, Negative Target Fixation, or Don’t Trample my Elephant.

Sometimes you have to slow down, in order to speed up.

 

Project Meeting Event Debrief from Delightability LLC

But, the other side of this is your next project will only be as good as your last project, plus “what you do different.”  If you don’t learn anything  then you’re not likely to do anything different. You wouldn’t intentionally enter your next assignment with your biases, blind-spots, and developmental needs all exactly where you left them at your last project, would you?

There are 3 tools that are easy to use that can speed your individual and group learning so that you can be a higher performing team even if that team is only “me, myself, and I.”

Visit the Feedback and Learning page to see how to use these tools and download the full size PDFs for free.

 

 

 

 

Category : Blog

the Big Idea Toolkit – 7 Visual Thinking Tools for Innovative Teams to do their Best Work

the PlayGround from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.The Big Idea Toolkit  include 7 visual thinking tools that leverage the way innovative teams do their best work.  People need a place to capture ideas – that is the PlayGround.   If you are like most people you already have sticky notes chock full of ideas, notes, and reminders.  Well, the PlayGround gives you a space to capture them and share them with others.  Other might even build upon your ideas.  The PlayGround is where ideas live.

Sometimes I feel better just getting my ideas down – even if I don’t do anything with them.

 

the Situation from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Jumping to execution too soon without understanding the Situation, or being mindful of  the Audience can consume resources, burn cycle time, and create strategic drift.  Not being in tune with your audience can create lackluster products, messages, and experiences that don’t feel connected or live up to their potential to satisfy and delight.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.  Lewis Carroll

 

the Audience from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Explicitly identifying your audience can help you to connect with them and make the customer come alive inside the organization.  This taps the natural empathy of your employees, volunteers, and others that interact directly with or influence the experience that customers have with your organization, its products, services, and brand.

My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure.  Ashleigh Brillant

 

the Big Picture from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.We live in a world more connected than at any other time in history, yet we lack tools to have more productive, energizing conversations that are results oriented and free of our biases.   Using the Big Picture calibrates people to the same reality, it helps to communicate the big idea and then tie that idea to the expected impact.  It allows people to participate in building, seeing, and sharing, the big chunky steps of how to get there.  If you find yourself in the trap of having more and more email “conversations” but getting less and less accomplished, you or others around you, might not be seeing the big picture.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

 

the Game Plan from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Breaking down the big picture into smaller executable steps is what  the Game Plan is all about.  The chunky steps in the big picture can be broken down into smaller steps that are more easily executed on.  One of the reasons why people don’t move forward is a lack of clarity.  The Game Plan breaks down each big chunky step from the Big Picture into more manageable, own-able, deliverables that can then be discussed and assigned to different team members.  It reduces blind spots and helps you to confront reality.

Our ambitions will always exceed our ability to execute, given the available level of resources.

 

the PlayBook from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.When your ready to commit to doing something you need the PlayBook.  That is where execution lives – it gives you a site line into events and milestones across the year as well as the view into deliverables/actions/owners over a rolling 90 day view.  Turns out that most teams don’t have much clarity beyond 90 days, so why fool yourself with giant, non-dynamic plans.  The calendar is a key component to the PlayBook since everything that you do and will do, happens in time.  It again uses ordinary sticky notes and is easily reconfigurable as weeks expire and deliverables are accomplished.  If you miss a deliverable – it is no longer a surprise.

Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else. Peter F. Drucker

4 blocker exampleWhen each person on the team uses a weekly  4-Square Personal Action plan you’re on your way to building habits that ensure excellence in execution.  Print a 4-Square Personal Action plan each week, fill it out, and take it with you as you go about your personal and professional business.  While the PlayBook may be shared, the 4-Square Personal Action plan is uniquely you.  In fact, using it alone, even without the toolkit will enable you to be more clear about your commitments and get more important stuff done.  It is a free download, so take advantage of that.

I want to make a dent in the universe. Steve Jobs

 

We’ve love to hear what tools you use to capture ideas, get organized, and ensure excellence in execution whether you work alone, as part of a larger team, within a silo or across silos.

 

Category : Blog

4 Reasons You Don’t Move Forward – and How to Overcome

In spite of inspirational songs like “Live Like Your Were Dying” and movies like “The Bucket List”, most people won’t act until its too late.  They’ll continue to let opportunities pass them by, only to be realized by others.  Truth is, those “others” aren’t any smarter, but they do have better habits.  Here is how to level the playing field and get your fare share of opportunities. Know thyself.  Understand the reason you don’t move forward and then make a choice to either overcome it or accept it.

If you’re going to be a slouch you should at least be an informed intentional slouch.

And if you are a “doer” then perhaps it’s your duty to help somebody else get out of their own way.

As part of my book research, I’ve been asking people from all walks of life now for some time what holds them back from whatever it is their wanting to do.  I’ve heard several different flavors of answers, but they can be summarized by the list of 4 below.  If you really have a reason you believe doesn’t fit to these 4 please chime in.  I’d love to know.

#4 – values or beliefs are not in alignment

You might recognize this as  “I’ve reluctantly signed up to do something” or “You were really good at coercing me but I never really was committed.”  This reason is usually cited when we don’t move forward on somebody else’s idea or initiative.  You simply don’t believe in “the cause” or the value of getting it done.  Reaching the final destination doesn’t resonate with you so much.   Sometimes people want to fantasize about reaching the Utopian end state but they don’t really have any intention of doing any real work or making a contribution.  If you find yourself in this camp saying “work – that is for the others,” or “a person should… “, then some intellectual honesty is in order.  Simply come to grips that you are a fantasy doer or know what you value and stop committing without follow through.

#3 – lack of resources

This oft cited paralyzer is a Red Herring easily spotted by asking yourself or others what resources are needed.  Then systematically break down and eliminate each resource needed – this is an obstacle removal technique.  Many problems can be reframed to requires a different set of resources, those within reach.  Also, there are those resources that you don’t have now and those that you don’t have in the future. Solve today’s problem today and tomorrows problems tomorrow.

#2 – fear or lack of courage

This reason for inaction is more easily understood when the person not moving forward is part of a larger social context.  When you have to rally the herd and get others moving there is a certain risk that goes along with that.  It is much easier to not lead the way, blend into the crowd, and wait for somebody else to take a risk and be responsible.  This is a well researched and documented area of social psychology called the bystander effect. But when others are not involved,  it become squarely about you.  You may have been conditioned to fear failure or you’re in an environment where failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

Failure can actually be a good thing, especially in small doses.  That’s what experiments and prototypes are for!  I worked in the Boeing Wind Tunnel for 5 years. We ran many experiments to detect failure and make improvements at a small scale because the human and financial costs of mistakes at scale are so enormous.

Besides failure, some people also fear the destination of success and all its accoutrements.  To overcome inaction and to combat many of the subconscious and conditioned avoidance behaviors it is good to create new habits.  You can easily do this by adopting a habit practice sheet (free download) and by creating conscious action triggers.   Action triggers can have a profound power to motivate people to do the things they need to do.   The reason, according to Peter Gollwitzer, a New York University psychologist, is that action triggers eliminate the need for conscious deliberation by making people “pre-decide” what they are going to do.  In this they program themselves to protect goals from tempting distractions, bad habits, or competing goals.

an example of the Big Picture from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.#1 – lack of clarity

By far this is the most popular reason people don’t move forward that I’ve encountered. They simply don’t know how to get started or what the next step is.  They are overwhelmed by the myriad of choices and possibilities.  You can hear them saying to themself, “Where to start, where to start.”  They may be so overwhelmed they are unable to articulate what they want or think they need.  Often, others have trouble helping people in this state – instead they usually prefer to give them time and space to “get it together.”  Creating the Big Picture can go a long way toward unlocking what the brain already knows but is unable to express.  Sequencing your Big Idea into Chunky Steps along a path with a clear vision of the payoff seems so simple… and it is. But have you actually done it? You want to create your next “Aha” moment, give it a whirl.  Better yet, help somebody else do the same.

Category : Blog

If you want Better Results, then have Better Conversations

Most of the problems that small teams and organizations have can be attributed to the conversations that don’t take place.  Ever have an unproductive meeting?  Sure, who hasn’t.  Well, with the Big Idea Toolkit you can change the conversation.   Used in its entirety or as components focused on “where you’re at”, it will surely help to quell any biases and wandering and enable you to have a productive conversation.

Category : Blog

About Us

Like you we get ideas. We are all idea people. The Big Idea Toolkit was born out of our recognition that people have ideas but get stuck at all stages of bringing those ideas to life. We hope you find this toolkit and site gives you a nudge, a process to follow, and inspiration to make your ideas a reality. Thank you to our clients who told us - "You guys should make this a product available to others." We are Delightability, LLC and we believe if you Delight Customers - Success will Follow. more..

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