I was working with a client today – we had named our session ‘the road map to expansion’ and the aim of our session together was to create a clear pathway from where they are now to where they want to be in the future. It was incredible what came out of our 2 hours together. My client has left with a clearly defined future position and has specific actions to take in their business in order to start manoeuvring things in the right direction right away. How to get from a to b is now significantly clearer for them, and that means that they can take the right decisions and implement the right actions at the right times, in order to take their business to the next level.
Seeing what impact our session together had, I thought it might be helpful to break down the steps we went through and share them with you, because whilst most business owners know where they are now and probably have a good idea where they are trying to get to, many of them will have the unanswered question, ‘but how do I actually get from a to b?’.
Here’s what we did:
- Firstly, we defined the future position…the goal, if you like. In our case this morning I needed to understand what exactly was meant by ‘expansion’.
- Secondly, we broke ‘expansion’ down into stages. Sometimes the big goal is too big a step to consider in one chunk. We worked out some key points along the way to ‘expansion’ that represented a significant step-change taking place.
- Thirdly we agreed which point would become the first smaller goal to work towards and put some timescales to that. So in other words, what specific aspect of ‘expansion’ would have taken place and by when?
- Fourthly – we then spent a few minutes checking that this goal ‘sat well’ with my client. It is really, really important to tune into your intuition and instincts and to check that the goals you set feel good, inspire you, excite you and feel ‘right’. If there are any niggles or worries at this stage it is important to check them out and possibly re-work your goal slightly until you know it is right.
- Fifthly, having agreed what the big goal is, and what the first big step towards achieving that is, and having checked that the goal is compelling and motivating, then the time came to start working out what needed to happen, in order to achieve the first big step. I asked my client the question ‘What do you need to start doing, stop doing or do differently, in order to achieve your first step towards expansion’? They then brainstormed everything that came into their head onto a post-it pad, writing one thing per post-it note.
- Then, once they had emptied their head onto individual post-it notes, I asked them to prioritise the list, from most important to least important (when considering the impact each idea had on achieving the goal).
- When the prioritised list was in place, we then addressed each idea in turn, starting with the most important and finishing with the least important, asking the question ‘so what do you need to do here, in order to achieve the first big step towards your goal?’. As we addressed each idea, my client defined their actions and diarised activity to make sure it would actually happen.
- Finally, we agreed when we would next meet…because being accountable to someone else will significantly increase the chances of all the agreed actions being implemented!
At our next meeting, having checked that all actions have been implemented we will check progress towards that first important goal, and depending upon progress, will define the next important step on the journey towards the bigger goal.