About a year ago, I turned my fantastic planning tools and techniques to my business. I had long ago used the strategic thinking tools on my consulting practice to better understand my unique niche in the Strategic Planning consulting market. This resulted in a terrific growth for Focused Momentum®. I think anyone would be happy with over a 300% growth in revenue in 4 years. But for me it was only the beginning. Last year I turned my planning and management tools on Focused Momentum’s long range goals!
The last few months my team has been dedicated to building out the next phase of Focused Momentum’s® offerings for Strategic Leadership and I have to say to all of my clients, “I get it. It is really hard!” What makes working your plan so hard?
For me, I think it starts with the fact that I have honed my intellectual capacity to deliver what my clients needed from me rather than what my business might need. My competencies are shaped by what I have done well for so many years: developing strategic thinking for my clients. I can quite quickly take in a wide variety of information about new businesses I know little about, digest its market dynamics and business model, assess the personalities working in the business and navigate its environment to drive strategy development. The complexity and richness of these engagements are the perfect fit for my dyslexic brain. It is the non-linear, conceptual and interpersonal challenges of developing strategy that both stimulates and challenges me. I love it! But this competency is not enough for what my business needs to achieve its goals.
When we check in with our clients in the months and years after our projects wrap to hear how things are going, we often hear how challenging it is to manage the current and build the future. After these last three months, my understanding and admiration of my clients’ teams has increased dramatically.
Here is what I have learned:
- As you implement a new plan, you must dedicate time to learning and training new professional “muscles” that will serve you during the next phase. If you can, hire and reorganize to build out those new competencies. If you can’t hire, you must invest, test and build it yourself. I love the new things I am learning. It is making my long hours exciting and rewarding, but I have also hired in new talents and skill sets to execute my plan. I am building new management “muscles” and my team is learning new things that will be vital for our future success.
- Invest in the existing (legacy) as you build for the future. You cannot build the new so disconnected from the old that they cannot feed each other. It is the old maxim: Don’t all run to one side of the boat! Learning and building something new is very stimulating, but it does not pay the bills yet. My plan is very clear on timetable and revenue expectations I have for the “new” and what is needed to grow the “old”. I want to achieve a new level of performance on all aspects of my business: legacy and new. I plan to invigorate the legacy as I build the new.
- Be brave. Don’t let the naysayer voice make you stop. If the plan made sense when you were conceiving of it, finish building it out and get it off the ground. Stay dedicated, optimistic and keep working the plan. Let the market decide if it is good or not.
Implementing your plan is hard work, but you are in great company of others that have pressed on and build great things. Keep it up!