Business Planning and Meetings Management – Lessons from the zoo!
Editors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on Business Coaching and improving communication, kindly written by a real expert in his field – Ron Maycock from Business Performance – specialist expertise in coaching, planning, finance and business growth.
Please consider contacting Ron with any business performance coaching you may have in mind – just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.
I took my nephew to the zoo recently and as much as I never tire of my joke about the small pony having a sore throat (little Horse for those who want to steal it for the list of Dad jokes), I realised it was a great source of education for business. More of that later!
“Everyone has a plan until I punch them in the face!” – Thank you Mike Tyson for that pearl of wisdom. That said, there is some truth in the statement. The issue with having a plan is that it is fixed and makes no allowance for extrinsic motivational factors. As much as your plan was to jab, duck and weave, the moment Mike Tyson hits you, your judgement becomes cloudy and all of your fixed plans have now gone out the window. Once you realise that the PROCESS of PLANNING is more important than the PLAN, then you can revert to plan B, C or even D until the fog clears.
So back to the Zoo – As we walked around, we had a MEETING with the mightiest of all the beasts – The LION. On a previous visit we had not met some of our intended targets – We agreed on a PLAN of ACTION after the LAST trip and factored in key information like feeding times and having outlined LAST time what we wanted to see, we saw all the missing Animals. We nearly missed the LION as we were presented with some ISSUES along the way – We hadn’t anticipated the queue to get in, how long the walk would take and the fact that the traffic had been bad, due to an accident – None of this was my fault but we responded to the Extrinsic factors and agreed to delay our feeding stop and changed the order of our Actions.
The agility and flexibility we demonstrated through delaying our lunch worked out really well. A new restaurant had opened and although they were fully booked when we initially wanted to go, the new schedule gave us the OPPORTUNITY to have a later meal – The food was excellent!
As the day progressed, we shifted our focus to what was NEXT, Who wanted to do what, what exactly is entailed and if we had time and capacity to fit it all in. Inadvertently, we had delivered the perfect meeting with Mr LION (what we agreed to do Last time, Issues (actions taken to overcome), Opportunity and what’s Next).
Next for us was the next most important animal – the FROG. You know it in business as the ugly task that hides in the corner, hoping to be forgotten until another day (Thank you Brian Tracy). Not this time, we had all agreed the night before that we would DO the FROG visit at 3Pm as this was when we were mentally and physically at our best, to do the difficult and important challenge of ascending the tree climb, to be rewarded with the best viewing results.
In conclusion, if you want to be effective at Planning, keep it simple, agile and regular by using the FROG to plan out the most important activities for the following day and run regular MEETINGS that you keep on point and Accountable by applying the LION formula. Remember if you want meetings to be a maximum of 15 minutes – make it standing only!!
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Setting up or running a business can be a lonely place and, frustratingly, many small businesses fail because of a lack of experience and skills in the task of ‘running a business’ rather than in the skill of delivering the product or service they set out to provide.