September 1, 2011
News & Opinion: What's Your Plan B?
Nonetheless, reality wins. The idea launches, and the results might not be what we expected. No problem, we'll just fire up Plan B. Wait, do we have a Plan B?
I've been a big fan of David Kord Murray since reading his book Borrowing Brilliance, and meeting him in person when he spoke at our LeaveSmarter event during the time of that book's launch. He's an incredibly smart guy (yes, an actual rocket scientist!), and also human enough to have experienced a rollercoaster ride of life's curve balls, finding simply effective ways to deal with them along the way.
Now, he shares his insight with us again in his new book, Plan B: How to Hatch a Second Plan That's Always Better Than Your First.
Murray states that most strategic plans fail. Look again at the beginning of this post. Sound familiar? Usually, we get so wrapped up in the perceived quality of our ideas and plans that we don't see that we might need an alternative. With the speed of change in our lives, based on technology, the economy, and social forces, we have to be more flexible than ever, while still maintaining strong footing in whatever discipline we operate from.
This book helps you find that balance.
Murray states, "Business models, put simply, are solutions to problems. And business are created and evolve by solving new problems or finding new ways to solve existing problems...Taking the time to understand the nature of the problem you've identified is like laying the footings for a foundation. The footings for a large skyscraper are concrete and steel pilings that are driven deep into the soil so that the building rests on solid bedrock, far beneath the surface, and not on the less stable topsoil that may buckle under the weight of a large structure. Finding the root cause of the problem you want to solve acts the same way for a business plan."
By identifying the root cause, and fully understanding why it exists, how it might change, and how you can help solve it, will create a stronger Plan A. Recognizing the need for flexibility and analyzing areas of change within that plan is what Murray refers to as the Plan B.
Filled with many case studies of large corporations, social media startups, and even rock climbers, Murray takes us on a thorough investigation about our purpose, intent, and understanding of what we're trying to accomplish in our business, ideas, and life.
Read this book!
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.