Strategy

14th August 2014

Start at the end

Hi,

Team Massive Result’s Thursday’s Thoughts

Please enjoy “Start at the end” by Ian Kinnery

If we were going to build a house, a bridge or a boat; if we were going to bake a cake, knit a jumper or plant a flowerbed we would follow a fairly obvious and well-understood methodology.
Some way, some how we would begin with what we wanted the end product to look like, what we wanted the end product to be and then we would work out how to build what we can imagine in our mind’s eye from the resources that are available to us. The trendy term for this is “reverse engineering”.
This always strikes me as a misnomer. It isn’t reverse anything. That is precisely what engineers and designers do. They design the end product. They engineer the end product.
Engineers don’t look at a pile of steel and randomly start welding bits of it together and accidentally come up with a bridge or a crane or a space rocket. They begin with what they want the end product to be and set about designing and engineering it.
I am constantly amazed that when it comes to building businesses how often we fail to put the same principles into practice.
I am often asked, “do you think we should do A, or B?”, “shall we follow this strategy or that strategy?”. My standard reply is simply another question, “what are you trying to achieve?”. That question is often met with silence because there is a lack of clarity about what it is we are trying to achieve and how this particular decision fits in with our overall game plan.
In a previous blog I argued that there is no right or wrong, only choices. What will make any choice more, or less, appropriate will be how well it aligns with our intended outcome. Chocolate may be a great choice of material if we are engineering a cake but not if we are engineering a fireguard.
It is the same when growing a business. We should not be taking random decisions and stringing them together in the hope that the end product might be something we desire. Surely we should be designing the business, engineering the business, the outcome, that we want.
In Alice in Wonderland  Lewis Carroll wrote. “Alice came to a fork in the road ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
We can only make appropriate decisions in the context of what it is we are trying to achieve.
The second of Steven Covey’s seven habits is “start with the end in mind”. Clarity about what you are trying to achieve is a fundamental requirement of building anything. Once we know what we are trying to create, the how is much easier.

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Not only is it free but I guarantee you will come away with more ideas than you arrived with any one of which is capable of transforming your business.
 To read more ‘Thursdays Thoughts’ by Ian Kinnery and many other blogs please visit our website