Organizing for innovation

Big bold plans

Make big bold plans happen

Are you a leader with big bold plans for your organization or team, but are you not entirely sure how to make these plans come true? This blueprint lays out in clear steps how to break down your big bold plans into something concrete that you can get started with right away and, more importantly, that will get you the first results soon.

Since starting Organizing4Innovation, I have learned a thing or two about how to make big bold plans happen. Both from my own experience as well as from those of our clients. In this blog, I outline a blueprint that will help you take action toward making those big bold plans happen.

Make filling out this blueprint your first action, toward making your big bold plans happen!

What comes first?

You probably guessed this right - make a start! When making big and audacious plans, it is easy to get stuck in the planning phase. Thinking it through, you start to realize how many unknowns there are. What if this would happen, what if we would do this, wouldn't it be better if ... etc. All valid questions.

Unfortunately, rarely any of these questions can be answered, simply because you won't have the data (yet).

That makes starting so critical. Only action will help you to gather the information that you need to answer these questions and make informed decisions.

While dreaming big, starting small is best. It is simpler to get something small started. And when you can have made that first peek around the corner, you will know better what is ahead.

How to get started

So how do you get started and learn as quickly as possible? It is easier than you may think. Below is a blueprint that details 7 steps that walk you through how to get started! And these steps are so simple, that you can start with them right away.

There is a Word version of this blueprint, that you can download using the button below. Use this Word document to capture your answers and make a start to realizing your big bold plan!

1 Define the end goal

What should your big bold plan accomplish? That is, what is the outcome that you are hoping for and when should that happen?

For example, are you trying to become 100% net zero by 2050? Or are you perhaps trying to increase your online client base by 100% by the end of 2022? Try to make your goals as specific and concrete as possible, so everyone understands what your big bold plan is about and when it should be accomplished.

2 Describe the starting point

Assuming that you are starting today, describe where your are at currently with these goals. What is the current status? How far along are you?

This serves two purposes. First, by defining where you stand today, you force yourself to measure or assess what you are trying to impact. Take for instance net zero - what does that mean? Does that mean that you will be energy neutral, does it mean that you will work with your suppliers to make sure that all your products come from 100% sustainable resources? How are you planning on measuring these net zero goals?

The second purpose of this exercise is to identify the gap that you need to close. For example, do you already have online clients and do you want to grow it from 1000 to 2000 this year, or do you have no online clients and is it part of the plan to build your online pipeline?

3 Create a list of projects that you have in mind

I assume that you probably have a list already. In my experience, there are often plenty of ideas.

I would challenge you to double the number of ideas. That is, if you had a list with 5 initial ideas, to spend 5 minutes and force yourself to come up with 5 more. You will need to explore many, and many bold ideas to make a big bold plan happen

4 Clarify your budget and the available resources

Depending on where you sit in the hierarchy in your organization, you will have more access and say over the budget that you can spend on achieving your big bold plan.

It can be that you have to bootstrap - that is make do without any funding. As you can imagine - that is really hard and will mean that you need to become an effective community organizer to make others volunteer to make your plan happen. Good to know before you start!

For now, I assume you have access to at least some resources. It may not be sufficient to fully fund all your plans, but you have a budget to make something happen this year.

Besides the funding also list the resources you plan to use.

All too often, we have seen teams rely on for example the IT department for resources, but the IT resources had nobody to spare as everyone was already committed to other projects. Or vice versa, the IT department was relying on people of the business units to help out but found a closed door for the implementation of their plans, because everyone in the business unit was already overcommitted and lacked time to help out.

In other words - how much budget do you have and which resources can you use, to realize (a part of) your plan?

5 Break down your goals

In nearly all cases, your big bold goal is too far away to create an effective feedback loop. So you need to break down your goal in smaller manageable time periods.

For example, if your goal was to get 1000 new online clients by the end of 2022, and assume there are still 40 weeks in the year. That means that on average you need to bring in 25 clients each week from now on. So that will become your weekly target. Alternatively, if your goal was to become 100% net zero by 2050 and we now live in 2022. That means that you need to reduce your footprint by about 4% on average each year, starting with 2022.

Breaking down your goals this way, will help you to know if you are on track or need to speed up things. For example, if you planned to create a lead-magnet to attract new online clients and that took you a week to get out and gave you just 5 new clients. Then you know that creating one lead magnet each week will be insufficient to reach your goal of getting 1000 clients by the end of the year. You will need to find other ways to bring in 20 more online clients in a week and do so quickly to make your target.

6 Select one project to get started

Study the list of projects that you have created and select the best project(s) that you think that will most likely help you to get closest to your short-term goals.

Selecting the best project can be super challenging with many factors to weigh in. However, we suggest you keep it simple and don't overthink it.  Remember, getting started and getting the first results is more important than to keep planning. Select a project that you think you can make happen given the available time, resources, and budget. Take your best bet and get started. You will only figure out if you choose correctly by exploring the idea and doing the project. Any results are better than none.

It is a common misperception that starting multiple projects at the same time will help you to get to the same goal faster. Trust me, it won't. Committing to one project is challenging enough. Do it well or don't do it.

So unless you have sufficient budget and resources to execute multiple projects at once, I would not recommend running projects in parallel.

How you best go about executing the project is beyond the scope of this blueprint.

Selecting a project to start with is all that I ask you to do here.

7 Start today

There is always tomorrow. But the best thing you can do is start today. What could you do today you may wonder? Fill out this blueprint! Block out time in your calendar to work on your project. Those make for a great first start!

Social conventions make it more likely that you will stick to your plan. So, announce your big bold plan to your colleagues, on social media, or in the comment section below this blog, and do that right now.

To make your big bold plan an interesting story for others, while avoiding sharing potential secrets, focus on the why of your plan. No need to publicly disclose what exactly you are going to do or how you plan to make that happen - just make a statement about the journey you started and share what you plan to accomplish.

Steps you can do to get started today:

  • Fill out the blueprint
  • Block time in the calendar to work on these plans
  • Share your big bold plans with others
  • Set up a meeting time to discuss the next step(s)

Make it happen!

To reiterate, the most important thing is to get started. The next is to start small and learn as quickly as possible what works and what doesn't.

That way, you have something to show for, have data to convince others that you are onto something special, and will attract talent who will want to help you out. What more, you will build up enough experience and confidence, so that you know exactly what needs to happen when comes crunch time toward the end, when the low hanging fruit has been taken, time pressure is mounting, and you still have some way to go to make your big bold plans happen.

You can do it! Use this blueprint to get started.

Offer

Since I love to make big bold plans happen, I am willing to offer you 15 minutes of my time to help you with your next step.

If you have questions about what to do next to realize your big bold plan, feel free to request a meeting time. In preparation for our meeting, I ask you to download and fill out the blueprint and share it with me at least 24 hours in advance of our meeting. Time is a precious resource, so let's make sure we get the most out of these 15 minutes.

Looking forward to hearing about your plans and discussing what to do next.

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Are you a leader with big bold plans for your organization or team, but are you not entirely sure how to make these plans come true? This blueprint lays out in clear steps how to break down your big bold plans into something concrete that you can get started with right away and, more importantly, that will get you the first results soon.

Since starting Organizing4Innovation, I have learned a thing or two about how to make big bold plans happen. Both from my own experience as well as from those of our clients. In this blog, I outline a blueprint that will help you take action toward making those big bold plans happen.

Make filling out this blueprint your first action, toward making your big bold plans happen!

What comes first?

You probably guessed this right - make a start! When making big and audacious plans, it is easy to get stuck in the planning phase. Thinking it through, you start to realize how many unknowns there are. What if this would happen, what if we would do this, wouldn't it be better if ... etc. All valid questions.

Unfortunately, rarely any of these questions can be answered, simply because you won't have the data (yet).

That makes starting so critical. Only action will help you to gather the information that you need to answer these questions and make informed decisions.

While dreaming big, starting small is best. It is simpler to get something small started. And when you can have made that first peek around the corner, you will know better what is ahead.

How to get started

So how do you get started and learn as quickly as possible? It is easier than you may think. Below is a blueprint that details 7 steps that walk you through how to get started! And these steps are so simple, that you can start with them right away.

There is a Word version of this blueprint, that you can download using the button below. Use this Word document to capture your answers and make a start to realizing your big bold plan!

1 Define the end goal

What should your big bold plan accomplish? That is, what is the outcome that you are hoping for and when should that happen?

For example, are you trying to become 100% net zero by 2050? Or are you perhaps trying to increase your online client base by 100% by the end of 2022? Try to make your goals as specific and concrete as possible, so everyone understands what your big bold plan is about and when it should be accomplished.

2 Describe the starting point

Assuming that you are starting today, describe where your are at currently with these goals. What is the current status? How far along are you?

This serves two purposes. First, by defining where you stand today, you force yourself to measure or assess what you are trying to impact. Take for instance net zero - what does that mean? Does that mean that you will be energy neutral, does it mean that you will work with your suppliers to make sure that all your products come from 100% sustainable resources? How are you planning on measuring these net zero goals?

The second purpose of this exercise is to identify the gap that you need to close. For example, do you already have online clients and do you want to grow it from 1000 to 2000 this year, or do you have no online clients and is it part of the plan to build your online pipeline?

3 Create a list of projects that you have in mind

I assume that you probably have a list already. In my experience, there are often plenty of ideas.

I would challenge you to double the number of ideas. That is, if you had a list with 5 initial ideas, to spend 5 minutes and force yourself to come up with 5 more. You will need to explore many, and many bold ideas to make a big bold plan happen

4 Clarify your budget and the available resources

Depending on where you sit in the hierarchy in your organization, you will have more access and say over the budget that you can spend on achieving your big bold plan.

It can be that you have to bootstrap - that is make do without any funding. As you can imagine - that is really hard and will mean that you need to become an effective community organizer to make others volunteer to make your plan happen. Good to know before you start!

For now, I assume you have access to at least some resources. It may not be sufficient to fully fund all your plans, but you have a budget to make something happen this year.

Besides the funding also list the resources you plan to use.

All too often, we have seen teams rely on for example the IT department for resources, but the IT resources had nobody to spare as everyone was already committed to other projects. Or vice versa, the IT department was relying on people of the business units to help out but found a closed door for the implementation of their plans, because everyone in the business unit was already overcommitted and lacked time to help out.

In other words - how much budget do you have and which resources can you use, to realize (a part of) your plan?

5 Break down your goals

In nearly all cases, your big bold goal is too far away to create an effective feedback loop. So you need to break down your goal in smaller manageable time periods.

For example, if your goal was to get 1000 new online clients by the end of 2022, and assume there are still 40 weeks in the year. That means that on average you need to bring in 25 clients each week from now on. So that will become your weekly target. Alternatively, if your goal was to become 100% net zero by 2050 and we now live in 2022. That means that you need to reduce your footprint by about 4% on average each year, starting with 2022.

Breaking down your goals this way, will help you to know if you are on track or need to speed up things. For example, if you planned to create a lead-magnet to attract new online clients and that took you a week to get out and gave you just 5 new clients. Then you know that creating one lead magnet each week will be insufficient to reach your goal of getting 1000 clients by the end of the year. You will need to find other ways to bring in 20 more online clients in a week and do so quickly to make your target.

6 Select one project to get started

Study the list of projects that you have created and select the best project(s) that you think that will most likely help you to get closest to your short-term goals.

Selecting the best project can be super challenging with many factors to weigh in. However, we suggest you keep it simple and don't overthink it.  Remember, getting started and getting the first results is more important than to keep planning. Select a project that you think you can make happen given the available time, resources, and budget. Take your best bet and get started. You will only figure out if you choose correctly by exploring the idea and doing the project. Any results are better than none.

It is a common misperception that starting multiple projects at the same time will help you to get to the same goal faster. Trust me, it won't. Committing to one project is challenging enough. Do it well or don't do it.

So unless you have sufficient budget and resources to execute multiple projects at once, I would not recommend running projects in parallel.

How you best go about executing the project is beyond the scope of this blueprint.

Selecting a project to start with is all that I ask you to do here.

7 Start today

There is always tomorrow. But the best thing you can do is start today. What could you do today you may wonder? Fill out this blueprint! Block out time in your calendar to work on your project. Those make for a great first start!

Social conventions make it more likely that you will stick to your plan. So, announce your big bold plan to your colleagues, on social media, or in the comment section below this blog, and do that right now.

To make your big bold plan an interesting story for others, while avoiding sharing potential secrets, focus on the why of your plan. No need to publicly disclose what exactly you are going to do or how you plan to make that happen - just make a statement about the journey you started and share what you plan to accomplish.

Steps you can do to get started today:

  • Fill out the blueprint
  • Block time in the calendar to work on these plans
  • Share your big bold plans with others
  • Set up a meeting time to discuss the next step(s)

Make it happen!

To reiterate, the most important thing is to get started. The next is to start small and learn as quickly as possible what works and what doesn't.

That way, you have something to show for, have data to convince others that you are onto something special, and will attract talent who will want to help you out. What more, you will build up enough experience and confidence, so that you know exactly what needs to happen when comes crunch time toward the end, when the low hanging fruit has been taken, time pressure is mounting, and you still have some way to go to make your big bold plans happen.

You can do it! Use this blueprint to get started.

Offer

Since I love to make big bold plans happen, I am offering you 30 minutes of my time to help you with your next step.

If you have questions about what to do next to realize your big bold plan, feel free to set up a meeting time. In preparation for our meeting, I ask you to download and fill out the blueprint and share it with me at least 24 hours in advance of our meeting. Time is a precious resource, so let's make sure we get the most out of these 30 minutes.

Looking forward to hearing about your plans and discussing what to do next.