Your Business Map

Three year Business Plans. Yes, you still encounter them every now and then, but in today's VUCA world executing directly from a 3 year plan is RIDICULOUS! What you need is a business map to help you navigate towards your Vision using Scientific Thinking. EOS® has exactly that for you.

Two quotes, one message

Let’s look at two quotes and see where that takes us.

Quote number one is from Mike Tyson who reportedly said: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face” – powerful!

Then let’s look at quote number two, this one is from Dwight Eisenhouwer who said”planning is everything, the plan is nothing”.

The message is the same: the plan once created is already outdated. If you dare to use it directly to navigate then you will meet Mike Tyson with his gloves. But the thinking work is absolutely great because it helps you to see opportunities and anticipate pitfalls. So instead of a complete and unusable plan we must use something else. What we need is a SIMPLE BUSINESS MAP: A clear and simple map that helps you to navigate towards what you want in a VUCA world.

The Map & EOS®

In the EOS® process, we clarify and create the vision for the organization by answering 8 questions of a tool that we call the Vision/Traction organizer or V/TO™. Once we have answered these 8 questions, agree with its answers and communicate all of them to everybody in the organization we can speak of a strong vision.
One of these questions is “what is your 3-Year Picture™”. This question is all about painting a vivid picture what we want the organization to look like three short years from now and we use the power of visualization to help our collective brains do the necessary path finding to get there.

The 3-Year Picture™

The 3-Year picture contains the revenue, profit and the key measurables (less is more) that we want to hit three years from now. In addition it contains five to fifteen bullets to paint a vivid picture of the organization. These bullets describe what it looks like when we are there, three years from now. It does NOT describe how we think we are going to get there, because if we go too much into the how, we are sure Mike Tyson punches us in the face. For great what bullets – think structure, people, processes, products/services, key partners, key activities, customer segments, business models, branding etc. Tip: you can use the Business Model Canvas as a thinking guide to get the vision from the head onto paper.
The 3-Year Picture™ must be exciting (this is key) and because it is not a complete plan it leaves room for great people to fill in the voids that are created when communicating this vision.
Once everybody is clear and can actually visualize these 5 to 15 bullets – seeing the future – we can start to treat this picture as our map to help us navigate. In our yearly planning cycle.

From Map to Goals

The 3-Year picture™ is used as a map when we define our 3 to 7 most important company goals for the next year. We do this work in the EOS® Annual, a two day session with the leadership team where we learn from the past, become stronger and healthier as a leadership team and plan the next year. Where the 3-Year Picture™ is our map for planning our 3 to 7 most important company goals for the next year, the 1-Year Plan becomes our Map for defining the 3-7 most important company rocks for the next quarter. This is the iterative approach that helps us to navigate in a VUCA world to get truly what we want.

What not How!

Focus on the What, not the HOW. This is such an important point that it is important to repeat it over and over again: please remember that the 3-Year Picture™ that we talked about here is all about what you WANT.

So what do you want?

It is not about defining HOW you are going to get there. Too often we let the HOW stand in the way of getting to the WHAT. Don’t be that person! In defining your business map, just focus on the what.

But wait…do we ever get to the how? Yes we do, because it is key to execute with success. We will figure out the how with our great team when we execute towards achieving our Rocks inside the quarter. This way we achieving our vision ONE QUARTER AT A TIME.

How do you get what you want? Break the mindset that you need a 3 or even 5 year plan to run your business. Instead use a map to successfully navigate in today’s VUCA world! Your V/TO® is that map.

Your Issues List Goldmine

In EOS® we make sure that all our issues are documented so we get more clarity and can deal with them appropriately. Using the same discipline, when we start to document our customer's problems we are actually building a GOLDMINE of opportunities!

Your Goldmine

In order to run a great business, we have to get all of our issues out of our heads and onto paper or of course in a digital document for that matter.

What are issues? Issues are not just problems and obstacles but also ideas and opportunities. Basically issues are anything you have to deal with as a company, as a team to get ahead and make progress.

Keeping an issues list is a discipline. It is not difficult but if it is not yet a habit, it takes some time to adopt this simple discipline. The key here is to get everything out of the brain and visible for the team to deal with it. This alone creates clarity and peace of mind. Now we can use the list and make decisions using the IDS® process to solve or resolve the issues.

This works really well for our own issues, but we can use this very same type discipline to get a complete issues list of all of our customer’s issues, big and small, long term and short term, and the this list is our potential GOLDMINE for identifying new opportunities and new ways to delight our customers.

How does this work?

The first step is to agree that we want to have this goldmine and are recording all the issues that our customers have in one place, in one document. Then one person is assigned to be the owner of the document and everybody in the company should be able to add to this list (either directly or indirectly). Please keep it simple, make the workflow fast and frictionless and use a system, application or tool that you are already using frequently (CRM, Asana, Trello etc.)

Then in the two-day Annual planning session, as part of the EOS® Process, we are going to use this list when we do our SWOT analysis. In the SWOT we look with the leadership teram at all the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for our company within the next 12 months.

It is in this activity that we can apply our GOLDMINE of customer’s issues. In most cases the items on our “goldmine list” will show-up in the opportunities part of the SWOT analysis. This is because a problem for your client can be an opportunity for your business.
Once we applied our goldmine list to the SWOT analysis, it is up to the team decide which items come are transformed as issues on our issues list for the business that will be an important source document to plan the next year.
In this way a problem that a customer faces can actually be transformed into goal or a rock for our business in order to build our own bigger and better future in the process of delighting our customers.
Commit to make it a habit to record the obstacles, threats and concerns of your customer and capture them in your “goldmine.doc” file.