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Beginning with the End in Mind

“You plan to fail if you fail to plan”. This saying applies to just about any trade business out there. Most of your business’ systems need to be planned out ahead of time for you to prepare contingencies in case things don’t turn out as expected.

This is where beginning with the end in mind becomes extremely handy and important.

In the first episode of this series on Strategic Planning that I’m conducting with my great mate Edward Plant, we discuss why beginning with the end in mind is a crucial first step to strategic planning.

Edward Plant was in the service for almost two decades so he knows much about the importance of preparation and using the end picture as a starting point for planning.

“We don’t need a 28-page document that we never use. We need something we can pick up and run with on a regular basis.”

Ed speaks of this one big page in the military that contained all the current missions and a chain of command outline in case an official passes away.

According to him, this is similar to what businesses should have. Not multiple pages of documents, but a one-page blueprint that owners can pick up and run on a regular basis.

Beginning with the end in mind helps you create a timeline of goals that are realistically attainable. If you’re interested in learning more, just tune in to this podcast.

Full Transcription

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TRANSCRIPTION PREVIEW

Matt Jones: [00:00:01] Hello listeners, welcome back to Tool Box Talks on The Site Shed podcast. My name is Matt Jones, and you’re joining us today for part one of the strategic planning done right series I’m conducting with my colleague and co-host Edward Plant. Edward, welcome.

Ed Plant: [00:00:17] Hi Matt. How you doing?

Matt Jones: [00:00:18] Very well. This has been a long time coming these podcast. I think we were connected probably a couple of years ago and I don’t know what happened we seem to have drifted apart but we’re back in each other’s embrace now.

Ed Plant: [00:00:29] Back at the right time stronger and better.

Matt Jones: [00:00:33] So Ed you’re from the Institute for Couples in Business, is that right?

Ed Plant: [00:00:39] That’s absolutely correct.

Matt Jones: [00:00:41] And do you want to give us a bit of a rundown as to you’ve got a very interesting past and I’m sure the audience would like to hear a little bit about that before we dive in.

Ed Plant: [00:00:51] Yeah. So I started my life after school in the Australian Army and ended up spending I call it a short time there but it ended up being 17 years where I was a engineer so I had was an engineer at the Corps of Engineers and travelled around the world with soldiers so I went to Iraq Papua New Guinea Asia. Deployed with a heap of guys at different stages and pretty much had to lead guys through those different environments. And then my roles back in Australia were around training officers to lead guys as well. So at the lieutenants captain and major level training officers to plan operations and lead their troops through those successful missions.

Matt Jones: [00:01:42] Yeah. Well, okay. 17 years.

Ed Plant: [00:01:45] Yeah. So when I got out I’d been in the Army half my life

Matt Jones: [00:01:50] (Laughs)

Ed Plant: [00:01:50] So I joined at about 17 and a half and I left at 35.

Matt Jones: [00:01:55] Okay. So there we will have listeners actually that are former military especially all of the overseas guys. I’m sure they’ll probably get a lot out of this. So now the Institute of Couples and Business let’s talk a little bit about that

Ed Plant: [00:02:08] Yeah so when I got one of the reasons I got out of the army was I realized that my values were no longer aligned and I was always doing things that somebody told me to do and I’d done really well but I’d never really had control of my destiny in what I wanted to do. So I’d spent 17 years doing everybody else’s stuff and doing it really well and I wanted to regain regain control of what I wanted to do and have a bigger impact on my life. So that meant getting out and I started working with businesses. In strategic planning. Most of them just got in and did things and there was no plan to get them towards the end game that evolved into my life. Joining me in the business and we started working with couples probably nine years ago and helping them really get their business working better. And 12 months ago we launched the Institute for Couples in Business which is now a we do research into couples and it’s a demographic that’s got no voice. So we’re providing a voice for them and they research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 30 percent of businesses that started in 2011 were couples in business.

Matt Jones: [00:03:22] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:03:22] So there’s a huge demographic there. So we provide that advocacy but also provide the support for them to get it right make life easier double their revenue and have a better life.

Matt Jones: [00:03:33] It’s certainly a relevant topic when we’re talking about trades because a lot of operators out there that are husband wife operators father son operators or that kind of stuff. So it was part of the reason why I was pretty excited to get you on the show to talk about this on a back actually as we just discussed off air back in was this or it was this time actually in 2016 it was due June 2016. I had the infamous Mr. Al Levy on the show and we were talking about why most family businesses don’t work in that episode in that series. We’re talking a little bit about org chart defining roles and leadership and all that kind of stuff. So I think this will be a very complementary series in relation to what we discussed back then and we’ve broken this down as well so we’ve called a strategic planning done right the series but it doesn’t it’s going to have a very big family spin on it which is which I think is very important. So in the first episode we can talk about beginning with the end in mind in the second episode going to be talking about defining and planning are the key areas of your business and then in the final episode are going to be talking a little bit about execution and how execution will effectively trump any plan that you’ve developed. So in your experience are those three topics topics that you see as sort of a fundamental starting point for for businesses and for couples going into business together.

Ed Plant: [00:05:07] Yeah I think we sit down with hundreds of business owners every year and all of them will say that they’ve got good planning and 80 percent of them have no idea about planning

Matt Jones: [00:05:18] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:05:18] Like they just they come up with a bit of a plan and then it doesn’t really work it doesn’t. There isn’t enough depth to it and it goes off the rails really quickly. Another opportunity comes in they jump on that they get distracted whatever happens and so it’s a combination of not planning from the start right, and not implementing it well

Matt Jones: [00:05:42] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:05:42] And so the three points we’re going to covered.

Matt Jones: [00:05:44] I suppose I mean obviously after spending 17 years in the military I mean that’s that’s a lot of planning right. I mean they’re they’re pretty methodical about this setting plan setting goals have that kind of stuff.

Ed Plant: [00:05:56] Mhmm..

Matt Jones: [00:05:56] So I’m assuming that you’ve taken a lot of what you’ve learned out of that arena and applied it to traditional business?

Ed Plant: [00:06:04] Yeah absolutely and I think the military for any other military listeners out there I apologize for what I’m about to say but I think the military are amazing at planning

Matt Jones: [00:06:13] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:06:14] But they’re awful at planning as well.

Matt Jones: [00:06:16] Okay, interesting.

Ed Plant: [00:06:18] And so what happens with the military is it’s a huge based and it’s very complicated and it’s a bit of a soapbox that I could get on. But if we look at Iraq Afghanistan conflicts throughout the world there’s every bit everybody they go into with the planning of their end in mind, not the actual end demand.

Matt Jones: [00:06:38] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:06:39] And so if we look at Iraq the end in mind for most people was to handed over to Iraqi control and get out of their what that means is that as soon as they get out of there if it concreting

Matt Jones: [00:06:50] Pandamonium

Ed Plant: [00:06:51] Yep it collapses again and they need to lift it themselves instead of the goal really being long term sustainable handover. But of course of course huge amount of money government involvement and troops on the ground for a long time. So the world mechanisms for planning are amazing sometimes their outcomes are completely misaligned and it’s also a little bit of arm. It’s the Anglo Saxon British U.S. Australian let’s bring it the way that works for us

Matt Jones: [00:07:26] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:07:26] In to an Iraqi or a Muslim country or whatever it is and they’re just completely different ways of doing life

Matt Jones: [00:07:33] Yeah, interesting.

Ed Plant: [00:07:34] Which don’t get factored in a lot. We’ve got better at it over the last 10 15 years but as you look at those hotspots around the world it’s still pretty hot.

Matt Jones: [00:07:47] So diving in part one we’re going to talk about beginning with the end in mind. I mean this is all something I suppose that we hear from time to time that may sound very cliche you know like you know you’ve got to you’ve got to keep your eye on the finish line always kind of stuff. But I mean effectively it’s pretty accurate. I’m interested to sort of get dive into this one and get your take on it. So you know what effectively are we talking about here beginning with the end game on.

Ed Plant: [00:08:14] Yeah totally. So just before we get into it let me fly while we work with couples in business. Everything we’ll talk about today the foundational level stuff that you can use on small businesses or whatever business you’re running.

Matt Jones: [00:08:28] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:08:28] So there’s a lot of complexities with couples but the base foundations that we’ll go through with those.

Matt Jones: [00:08:33] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:08:33] So starting with the end of mind, Stephen Covey got it right in his best selling book and everybody will know that the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People um and start with the end of the mind. And it is as simple as knowing what’s the end game for you. And this is different for a lot of people. It could be where you want to be in retirement at the age of 70 or whatever it is or it could be how are you going to sell the business. It could be it could be as much at this stage as going to I want a business that generates this much money and gives me this much free time.

Matt Jones: [00:09:12] Yeah it’s one of I mean And I said before it’s a little bit cliche because you hear it a lot but I challenge the fact that most people probably don’t implement what they hear. By any measure I mean over the years especially when starting any business is like the biggest gold is like war I just want to make enough money so that I can pay my freakin mortgage or rent and that all of his vision about you know be able to sell the business and all that kind of stuff yeah. Great. That sounds all like unicorns and rainbows but like at the moment let me just make enough money to pay the bills kind of thing.

Ed Plant: [00:09:48] Absolutely and it’s it’s the difference between the end result and the next result. And I think in the process we really need to be clear on the end result. And the next result. And how much you put in to the end result planning depends on what stage of next year or at

Matt Jones: [00:10:06] So when you’re talking about beginning with the end in mind like is that a at that point it’s probably not so much a strategic position that you want to put yourself in is it it’s more like well this is ideally where I’d like to be I want to sell my business in 10 years I want to you know be making 100 grand a month in 10 years. It’s not really it’s sort of like a dream right. And then we need to strategize on how to get to that point is that the idea.

Ed Plant: [00:10:37] Yeah I sort of call it like a pinpoint on a map so let’s say we’re sitting in Sydney Australia and we go to the end point is Rome in Italy.

Matt Jones: [00:10:46] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:10:46] So we put Marco and Rome in Italy. But right now we need to work out how we’re going to get out of Sydney. And that journey is okay. We’re going to walk from the house to the harbour. We’re going to jump on a boat and we’re going to sail to Asia then work out then and then and then we do that planning to get to Asia in detail. And so it’s that depending on the level that you’re at. So if you haven’t done a lot of planning before just put the mark on the map of where you want to be and then we need to focus down in the shorter term and do a lot more detail on that to get you out of that survival struggle. Doing it all on your own making ends meet. I approach

Matt Jones: [00:11:31] Yeah. And I know we’re going to dive into um like team building and that kind of stuff in the following episode so we weren’t recapped too much on that but we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis stress resource content into lately. And I’m guessing this will tie into it in this episode or perhaps the following episode around creating systems in the business but breaking it down into areas like your departments within your organization the roles that make up that department the responsibilities that make up the role what can all that kind of stuff. So I’m curious to see like when we’re talking about beginning with beginning with the end in mind does that play a part at that early in the pace or is that sort of more okay after we’ve got that beginning with end in mind sort of where we want to be. Then we sort of go back and frame all that other stuff up.

Ed Plant: [00:12:27] I would say it’s a time thing. So I would go if it’s over 10 years away the exit in time you don’t need to spend a lot of time on that because things are going to change so much

Matt Jones: [00:12:42] Well that’s a good point actually. You raise a good point. What is an ideal timeframe. I mean you know you’ve got a 20 year old kid that studies plumbing business like he’s probably not going to be sitting there thinking well you know what time I’m 30 I want to be retired. How do you go about setting setting a real list. Well actually maybe not realistic though. How do you go about setting an unrealistic goal. Because of his unrealistic goal it just end up on the treadmill you know.

Ed Plant: [00:13:10] The treadmill of making it happen.

Matt Jones: [00:13:11] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:13:11] Yeah for sure. And for some elements those might not be time driven like it might be dangerous to put a time thing on it

Matt Jones: [00:13:19] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:13:20] Because it starts to put that pressure on it and you go why am I going to do that. But for the 20 year old or the 25 year old or the 30 year old even it could just be enough that I want to have five trucks on the road

Matt Jones: [00:13:33] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:13:34] Turning over this much. Generating this much profit giving me this free space to look at the next options

Matt Jones: [00:13:41] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:13:42] Or to be in a position where one of the bigger construction companies are going to buy me out and do that. And so once we’ve got that that’s like a just like a marker that we’re driving towards and then we want to break down and make it a lot more real and tangible. And I think three years is a really good next step

Matt Jones: [00:14:02] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:14:02] Three years is that timeframe that just allows you to five years is a bit too far and a lot happens but three years and we go three years and then 12 months in detail and three years is enough. If you go 12 months then there’s two years left to that three year mark and you can really you can really get your head into that and it’s not too far for people to go out. There are so many complexities that spermatic control.

Matt Jones: [00:14:31] It’s interesting that three years I would have thought it would have been longer but it doesn’t make sense I mean I know even with setting goals and strategy and you know doing things within the business where I’ve been through that many business courses and had that many inverted comma experts or mentors should you say and they’re always like right. Well let’s set a 10 year goal. You know you look at it and you go yeah great 10 year goal but then you know in order to get there you really need to break it down into bite sized chunks. So I feel like the three year timeframe is far more visual than than a 10 year.

Ed Plant: [00:15:08] And what happens for a lot of business is we work with like 80 percent of them as they achieve their three year goals in 18 months. So imagine if you start if you planned in detail 10 years but you suddenly hit them like you had all of that in five years you’ve just done a huge amount of work. That didn’t need to happen. Because it’s all faster and you all got there quicker. So the time changes any plan.

Matt Jones: [00:15:34] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:15:34] So by three years is that it gives you the flexibility the direction and the ability to adapt when things happen. And I know business is complicated and it changes so quickly. Like your business today will be different to what it was six months ago.

Matt Jones: [00:15:50] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:15:50] Never mind three months ago

Matt Jones: [00:15:52] Yeah. And I don’t think that’s you know some of the pitfalls that people will tend to fall into when you look at a business and the ones that tend not to be adaptable and tend not to want to evolve. Normally the ones that typically get screwed over in the end or they go under or whatever it is. But having that ability to I suppose adapt and change to things that are happening within the industry within the market or that kind of stuff that’s really important for a business owner. So I’m just curious how you know when you’re beginning with the end in mind you’re basically talking about an end goal that well maybe the end goal doesn’t change but the journey to get there certainly will

Ed Plant: [00:16:34] Yeah certainly. Suddenly the other the other aspect in Europe or a bit in the digital world where technology is so huge

Matt Jones: [00:16:40] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:16:41] We can’t even contemplate the technology that’s going to be there for business in 10 years time.

Matt Jones: [00:16:45] Yeah, that’s right.

Ed Plant: [00:16:47] Like it’s mind blowing what could happen if we look at 10 years ago podcasts weren’t even on the radar

Matt Jones: [00:16:54] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:16:54] And all these things.

Matt Jones: [00:16:56] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:16:57] So what when we were in the Army one of the basic things that I learned was the we did operational planning for multi thousands of people down all the way down to platoons which was a 30 man team and at the platoon level they had a one page map that showed them everything they needed to do for their mission. So it had the resources they were allocated the timelines they had to adhere to the timelines on a map of where they went to be what resources they’d have the different team members that they’d get given for certain missions when they had done what they could do with them they’d have essential tasks that absolutely had to be achieved. They’d have employed tasks to have what would be good to achieve and they’d have mission essential tasks which were the priority for the mission and that was all on one page and anybody in that platoon could pick up that plan and understand what needed to be happened

Matt Jones: [00:17:52] Yeah, right.

Ed Plant: [00:17:53] And the reason for this was that if the boss got killed, the next person

Matt Jones: [00:17:57] So

Ed Plant: [00:17:58] Needed to step up and do it.

Matt Jones: [00:17:59] Yeah. So with that with that one page map, Ed. Would that include like the leadership structure?

Ed Plant: [00:18:08] Yes. So the chain of command absolutely, and end roles and responsibilities for all the main groups.

Matt Jones: [00:18:15] To frequent big page.

Ed Plant: [00:18:17] Well (Laughs) well it’s not it was in a three piece paper

Matt Jones: [00:18:22] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:18:22] But it was the language that the military makes it is that everybody is clear on the organisation and the role that they’re in who is in command and what happens when so because we’ve tried it. We’ve lived it and we’ve done it all. So it was it was a map in the middle and then the left hand side and the bottom had all the information and details for the taskings missions right down

Matt Jones: [00:18:49] Yeah, well.

Ed Plant: [00:18:50] So what I think businesses need is that one page. Like we don’t need a 28 page document that we never use. We need something we can pick up and run with on a regular basis. We call this a business street plan

Matt Jones: [00:19:05] Yeah. And so when we’re talking about beginning with the end in mind and we’ve we’ve got a bit of a family spin on this and so you know in scenarios where say you’re in a business with your partner or perhaps you’re in a scenario where you have been working with say your dad who is the builder and you’d want to take the business over at some point that beginning with the end in mind really needs to basically involve every both of you, right?

Ed Plant: [00:19:37] Yeah and I think you’ve hit on one of the core problems and we call it getting on the same page whether it’s dad son dad daughter mom daughter or husband wife or couple if they’re not on the same page it’s just going to cause friction.

Matt Jones: [00:19:54] Of course.

Ed Plant: [00:19:55] Dad’s got a different agenda of what he wants out of the business what he wants to get out. Compared to the son

Matt Jones: [00:20:02] Yeah

Ed Plant: [00:20:03] It’s going to cause problems

Matt Jones: [00:20:05] I can’t imagine that there would be a single father son business on the planet. They would have the same goals that Dad would be like we all want to play golf on the sea on the boat and the sons like I would have built an empire, like chalk and cheese.

Ed Plant: [00:20:18] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:20:19] Well yes. However quite often the son’s goal is to get the dad playing golf and sitting on the beach

Matt Jones: [00:20:24] Yeah, exactly.

Ed Plant: [00:20:24] Because I want you out of the business as quick as possible because I want to do it my way.

Matt Jones: [00:20:34] Funny segway side story here but one of my good friends who who definitely won’t won’t listen to his podcast are he will say well he he had a very successful window doing business which raises he basically went in there and worked with his dad and his dad was like we want to get a consultant in here want to see where the bottlenecks in the business are and Tim was like, no we don’t do that’s a waste of money it’s going to be an expense we don’t need his dad is like no we need to do it we’re going to do it and things like that and I do this and he goes I’m doing it. So he gets this consultant in the way of the consultant turns around at the end of the over they look through all the business and he basically says to Tim who is a general manager you guys make the bottleneck in the business is your dad you’ve got to get it. So basically I had to force his dad into early retirement which was hilarious but, yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:21:25] And it’s so true. I mean yeah the stories are out of control as a family business that had 15 stores and the dad was still going down to every store on a weekly basis and meddling in how they were delivering their product.

Matt Jones: [00:21:44] Short

Ed Plant: [00:21:44] It’s like

Matt Jones: [00:21:45] Yeah

Ed Plant: [00:21:45] Get out of that.

Matt Jones: [00:21:47] I mean it must be hard though as well for the dad right because he does like well this is my baby builder from the ground up like you know I want to make sure everyone’s not doing things my way which I know may not be the right way but it’s

Ed Plant: [00:22:00] And they come from a generation where they probably were alive when a World War was on. They’ve

Matt Jones: [00:22:06] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:22:06] Gone through those hard times and they’ve they’ve built their business by getting in and doing it really hands on and they’ve grown it that way and that’s how they know how to do life.

Matt Jones: [00:22:15] Right, right.

Ed Plant: [00:22:16] So it’s tough to say to them stop doing that way

Matt Jones: [00:22:19] Is interesting I mean I’ve I’ve spoken about this before on the show but I mean I know even in my experience when I was growing going through my apprenticeship and things like that you know you grow up or you you spend your time learning you know in your apprenticeship the way that the company that you work for the way they operate. So it’s oh okay well this is how we invoice. Okay this is how this is done this is done. So this is you don’t really get any exposure to the better ways of doing things and you know especially when we talk I mean my new this is going back a few years but. You know technology and things like that you know how the role that technology can play in replacing certain certain areas of business and all that kind of stuff and then from the business owners perspective you know they’d be like well why would I change this works fine we’ll be doing this for ages but they don’t understand is this so many better ways to be doing things.

Ed Plant: [00:23:11] I totally last year doing a I did a gig some work with the company and I rang up before the first day and said, hey dude the payment hasn’t come through for the first bit and they said yeah that’s because we pay in checks and I’ll bring the cheque to you on Friday when we catch up. And I was like, what?

Matt Jones: [00:23:32] (Laughs) Oh, God.

Ed Plant: [00:23:33] Every Thursday, the director still wrote checks out to pay everybody wages and they went to the bank that afternoon to bank him

Matt Jones: [00:23:42] Jesus, that’s insane.

Ed Plant: [00:23:43] And this wasn’t 10 years ago. This was 18 months ago.

Matt Jones: [00:23:46] I didn’t even know you’d get checks anymore. Well I’ve never I’ve never had a cheque book in my business that’s insane anyway. All right so I think we’ve digressed a little bit there but I’m getting back to it. So beginning with the end in mind let’s talk about first of all I suppose. I mean we’ve we’ve spoken about you know understanding where we want to be which is kind of at that stage more of a hope a dream a wish than a reality. So I guess in the next episode we’re going to dive into how to define and break down the bite sized chunks which can help us get to that goal, is that right?

Ed Plant: [00:24:26] Yes. So let’s very simply for anyone listening do a simple exercise get a sheet of A4 paper draw a big cross on it so that you’d break it up into quadrants and in the top left hand corner. Let’s call this three years we’ll call it vision. And in that preview you just want to paint a picture of what you want that three years to look like you want to own your own premises. How many trucks on the road how many team turnover type a client’s lifestyle family. Own your own house whatever that looks like. Go visual go big and make it and do that in the top left hand corner in the top right hand corner. Let’s just call this goal and make this 12 months. And this is the start of our business street plan and goals. Just make them realistic and achievable and measurable. So looking at monthly target monthly turnover, lage you need systems you need in place marketing you need to do team development recruitment and the list goes on whatever you need for that to achieve that 12 month goal and then the next part which will come to light is the bottom left hand and we call that projects and we want to get clear on what you need to work on in every three month price basis so that projects down there and then the bottom right hand corner is we reserve for weekly actions and in those weekly actions we need to do three things every week that go towards achieving the projects

Matt Jones: [00:26:05] Okay, so effectively you can have this draw up on like say a whiteboard or something and the top two will stay the same for a year. The bottom left will stay the same for three months and then every week you’ll change the bottom right quadrant.

Ed Plant: [00:26:19] And I use post-it notes so I just stick over the post it notes in the bottom right hand corner with my three for the week

Matt Jones: [00:26:26] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:26:27] And then

Matt Jones: [00:26:27] Leave the others up there?

Ed Plant: [00:26:29] Leave the others up there yeah, so I can see where I am. What this allows us to do is drive towards the big picture while still getting stuff done in the day to day and what happens in every business is they get stuck in the day to day and that consumes them and they spend without really looking to make sure it’s getting them towards the big picture.

Matt Jones: [00:26:47] I love that framework. Let’s bring it.

Ed Plant: [00:26:49] And so that does that and every what. What happens is well with the post-it note as you look at it and you go on Wednesday and go Oh I haven’t done a thing I need to pull my finger out and do those three things. And then on Friday you can check in and go. Yes I did them.

Matt Jones: [00:27:05] It’s

Ed Plant: [00:27:05] And if you do that if you do three things every week towards your three major projects that are going to help you achieve your number one goal, in three months you’ll have killed those projects.

Matt Jones: [00:27:16] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:27:16] Now and then if you do that four times a year you’ll hit 12 on the project and most of our clients hided in about the eight month timeframe.

Matt Jones: [00:27:24] Yeah, interesting. Oh man I tell you there’s so much power in breaking like those goals and accountability down into the weekly chunks and even

Ed Plant: [00:27:32] We just want to chunk it down.

Matt Jones: [00:27:33] Yeah, totally. Like it just I mean oh I know. You know at one point I was doing like an accountability program with a friend of mine and we were just killing it and anyone had a kid selfish prick. But before that they were just everything we would I was it was a bang bang bang ticking things off the list. We had a very old line drawn up in this beautiful little project management speaking and then all of a sudden it all fell apart. But it was it just goes to show that you know that sort of you know breaking it down into little actionable things. We had it you know we were tight we had ways that we with our project management tool we could tie the goal into the monthly and the quarterly like it was so cool.

Ed Plant: [00:28:12] Yeah.

Matt Jones: [00:28:12] So you go back to that actually I totally forgot about it.

Ed Plant: [00:28:14] Totally really powerful.

Matt Jones: [00:28:16] Yeah, absolutely.

Ed Plant: [00:28:16] And what I think is important is what this by just having that one page what it allows you to do is be really clear on where you’re going and get you out of the the cycle that you can get yourself into just doing stuff because you’ve always done that and the importance of this is and it was from the military when we used to call it once the mission starts you cross the line of departure, rounds can start going downrange and as soon as rounds go down range things change. Shit happens and things can get crazy but your plan needs to be able to deal with all those contingencies and everybody needs to keep moving towards the big mission so that once you cross the line of departure whatever happens everybody is still on track and stays on track and business is like that you’ll get problems there’s no way that you can say your plan and everything will go perfect.

Matt Jones: [00:29:11] So

Ed Plant: [00:29:11] You’re living in a bubble. That’s the case. So by having this this framework it allows you to see the big picture and adjust when problems come in according to what what’s going to get you to the result you want.

Matt Jones: [00:29:22] Stupid question but maybe not, like a lot of the guys out there have interests in. I once maybe multiple businesses or maybe like significantly different areas of a business like oh where plumbers electricians and (inaudible) or where you know we’re plumbing but we’re looking to acquire a building company or something like that. Would you apply that framework to the organization as a whole or would you apply it to the different segments of the business? Or both.

Ed Plant: [00:29:55] So once again drawing on my Army experience we had everything was nested. If I can use that word. So if you imagine when we are in Iraq we had the Iraq objectives for handing over to Iraqi control and then every province would have their missions and then inside every province there were battalions and brigades that had their missions but they, if you imagine the platoon achieved their mission which allowed the company to achieve their mission which allowed the battalion to achieve their mission. The brigade the province the country so they all nested that aligned and helped each other.

Matt Jones: [00:30:33] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:30:34] That’s what I’d recommend. They have one for the company overall and then in each of those departments have one for those those areas

Matt Jones: [00:30:43] Gotcha.

Ed Plant: [00:30:44] Though the reality for most for most business owners depending on their level of experience though or their level of time in the business is if they have too many parts too early they’ll do all of them poorly and not get the traction they want.

Matt Jones: [00:30:59] Right. Yeah I just know that’s a real I mean if you look at you know you so you when you run to be oriented this is very effectively as well. I’m wondering why you looking at that. Framework know how you would apply that and it sounds like you would. I mean for me for me the two businesses are significantly different so it would mean probably having like the overall and then having the two individuals that make up the overall

Ed Plant: [00:31:24] You know so we have two businesses one of them’s the business networking organisation and I’ve got I use our business street plans in a bit more detail. We’ve got a few more detailed processes but this is a really good tool district plan to start off within your planning. So I have one for the Business League and I have one for the Institute for Couples and Business but my key consideration is really around time and how much of my time I put into each and I’m really strict on the time I put into the business like

Matt Jones: [00:31:57] Yeah okay, I’m with you. Good good. All right well I’m pretty stoked with that. Is there anything you want to want to add before we wrap this one up and hop into the next one?

Ed Plant: [00:32:11] Not really I think planning can be scary and people can say I don’t want that much control in that much direction but it really allows you the freedom to go and do more of what you love doing and just take it simply. A lot of people bite off too much and try and achieve too much. So really in the first three months of your new planning cycle just take small chunks and get momentum for you instead of overwhelming yourself from the start.

Matt Jones: [00:32:37] Well I’d like to throw a challenge out there to all the listeners for you guys that are a lot of you there are in the Facebook community. I want you to go and draw out that quadrant for me. So the three year vision in the top left corner of the quadrant in the top right quadrant the 12 month goal the bottom quadrant bottom left quadrant. You can do the projects for three months and then do the weekly action for the week leading up to that three month period for the week that you’re currently in and then take a photo and post it in the Facebook community. And the winner will get something really awesome which I haven’t decided yet. Maybe one of maybe one of Edwards books. Do you reckon it?

Ed Plant: [00:33:21] Yeah, totally need this tip.

Matt Jones: [00:33:23] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:33:23] We can give you a book. Yeah, totally.

Matt Jones: [00:33:24] Fantastic.

Matt Jones: [00:33:26] All right fantastic.

Ed Plant: [00:33:27] Or the winner we could do a quick critique on our plan and see how we can help it make it better.

Matt Jones: [00:33:31] Well that’s actually very good. By the way guys is in the community so. Yeah by all means will make a bit of a make a bit of a fuss about that and we can we can run a bit of a fun contest or something like that.

Ed Plant: [00:33:44] Yeah and if you want to chuck up a copy of the street plan into the community we can check it in the files section.

Matt Jones: [00:33:51] The one we just spoke of that quadrant.

Ed Plant: [00:33:53] Yeah yeah

Matt Jones: [00:33:54] Okay.

Matt Jones: [00:33:55] Well maybe we can give the guys like a framework to download and they can populate it. Yeah it it’s cool. All right. Awesome. So this is out there. Ed, where can they get hold of you. What’s the best place? I’ll put links

Ed Plant: [00:34:10] So

Matt Jones: [00:34:10] To this in the show notes obviously obviously

Ed Plant: [00:34:12] Institute for couples and business dot com is our website. We’re on Facebook. Edward (inaudible) Plant. We also have a couples in business close group so if you’re a couple in business jump on over to that and just look for Couples in Business on Facebook.

Matt Jones: [00:34:28] Okay. I’ll put some links guys to those where you spoke about them in the show notes so you’ll be able to get hold of that. If you had of course the web page I’ll send you. All right. Well let’s wrap this one up and we’ll come back with the following episode which is going to be defining and planning the key areas of your business in that episode. We’re going to give a bit more granular detail into I suppose the road map to help us get to these goals, is that right?

Ed Plant: [00:35:02] Yeah absolutely and specifically spend time on getting to the 12 month goals right and the projects or pillars right to make sure you know up

Matt Jones: [00:35:12] Okay, rad. All right well let’s wrap this up. Thanks for your time mate. And we will come back with the following episode for the listeners in a following week.

Ed Plant: [00:35:20] Fantastic. Awesome chatting up.

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Matt Jones
Founder at The Site Shed
I'm the facilitator here at The Site Shed. My passion lies in doing anything that helps trade based organisations grow. My other company, Tradie Web Guys, helps tradespeople stand out online, while The Site Shed is all about education and resources.
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