When a paradigm shift occurs, everyone goes back to “ground zero.” Any competitive advantage you had disappears. Conversely, you are able to drawn even with market leaders. If you’re caught by a shift, will you revise your business plan?
Here’s a different thought: How about trashing it and thinking like a nimble start-up?
Think differently in a VUCA World
It has been a words and numbers exercise using rational thinking to predict what will happen in a stable world. And it worked well for most of the 20th century.
In his book Reality Check, Guy Kawasaki declared:
- “Most people spend eighty percent of their effort on crafting a one million cell Excel spreadsheet that no one believes.”
- “You are flexible and fast moving: changing as you learn more and more about the market.”
- “A good business plan is an elaboration of a good pitch.”
Ditching your business plan doesn’t mean you stop planning your business. You just do it differently. We suggest using a Business Model Framework, a concept developed by Alex Osterwalder.
You plan your business collaboratively working on the canvas on the table or mounted on a wall.
The 9 building blocks create a “picture” and a “flow”. A story unfolds describing how the company runs to meet customer needs, deploy employees and suppliers, and generate a positive financial return.
The canvas acts as a terrific visual aid and ultimately replaces Powerpoint bullet point slides designed in a linear, sequential format.
As uncontrollable forces alter the business landscape or unanticipated consequences occur, the canvas is promptly revisited to discuss impacts on the prevailing business model. Modifications are agreed to; the canvas is updated and changes communicated. Listener participation is higher since everything is there to see as one connected system; clicking Powerpoint slides backwards and forwards and potentially losing train of thought is no longer necessary.