What have you learned, discovered and felt since the day you stepped into this five-week sprint in April to rechart your business path? Did you feel confident, yet curious, about the guidance offered? Did you wonder how many others, just like you, in our community of leaders of professions, industries, standards and credentials, were going on this same recharting trail, with you, but in their Stay in Shelter office?
The reward for completing the fifth step is a better chart for your business path. The reward is in the journey and the experience, even more than the final document. The value comes in proving you absolutely can rediscover business purpose, overcome all procrastination and distractions, and make recharting skills work for you. The reward is in five powerful lessons learned as you did the work assigned.
This week’s assignment gets you to the start of tracks and traction on your better chart. When you wrap up this week’s installment, you have completed a full cycle in the Ultimate Guide formula—from an explosion of thoughts, all the way down to one path worth taking. Everything else, you now see, looking back, was a diversion or something not yet worthy of your time and imagination.
Buckle up. This goes fast. Momentum and wisdom you need for this step comes from all thinking, writing, strategizing and scribbling in margins done to create multiple pages of your one master document.
Messy is okay and colorful is certain. That’s because you marked everything blue that was familiar, everything in orange for creative and more imaginative, and purple marks the unimagined and unprecedented issues and questions.
Remember the green marker? Starting today, pick ONE item, including its better questions and sorting notes. In green mark that #1 and move it onto a clean sheet of paper (a new document) and answer the following nine questions.
Your master sheet is the wheel. You don’t need to recreate it—ever again. What a relief! The instructions in each step made sure your wheel was study with five spokes. Just like your car wheel with five lug nuts to keep it on and reliable.
Rinse and repeat for greater impact. When done with the one you picked to work on first, you can work the same five steps for another major item or “What if” scenario on your master sheet. Decide which one gets the green marker for #2 out of the chute and onto a clean sheet. Answer the same nine questions.
Each time you run your best ideas and options through the five stages you create tracks on the chart for your business today and well beyond the pandemic. This evolves workable strategies, complete with buy-in before launch. This eliminates detours and delays. A feeling of confidence and comfort takes hold as you see you are running toward something much clearer now on the wheel you created. That’s so much better than running inside someone else’s hamster wheel.
The best part of this Ultimate Guide experience happens when eyebrows go up and you reveal the epiphany when realizing it’s all about acceptance of all thoughts, all questions and flexibility to handle both the crisis and the choice.
Here’s what makes today and the pandemic so tough. Our brains and souls are hard wired to connect, share, build communities, love and make an impact. Everything else is ephemeral. That’s why recharting your business model, your life and how you form or keep relationships matters so much.
That’s why you’ll value the time you devoted to sticking with the five steps for five weeks, then use this Ultimate Guide over and again.
When time comes to work on operating plans, strategic plans, communications plans and scopes of work charts, depend on your master sheet to pull out the winners to get plans done faster. Pull items, one at a time, to facilitate the conversations around customer validation and amplification of your best effort.
The fifth step provides details and variables. Here’s why it’s better than a plan. It’s an all-in-one-place chart into which you constantly feed data. It works like the GPS in your car which picks up data from the satellites which track every mile, no, every foot you are moving ahead or backward in your car. Or the GPS in your golf cart. Constantly adjusting to help you stay focused on the destination.
If you take a wrong turn, a map adjusts and offers suggestions such as make a legal U-turn or proceed three miles to Exit 443. The lesson? Keep moving! Most of the time you did not fall off the earth. You just went someplace uncharted. And guess what? You can decide in a flash that is a better move than your original track or not. The options and data are in your master sheet.
Your decision just added an extra four miles but you and still moving and you will get there! You might even see something along the way that makes the adjustment more pleasant, more engaging. That’s why in Stage Two we asked for all of your imagination then you researched it with your team. People who argue with their GPS usually lose the argument because the shortcut they guessed is not there. You need a chart that serves you—the one you created with our guidance in this blog. Otherwise, you risk recalling an outdated experience—a turnoff, a gas station, a landmark no longer there.
As you come to the final turn on this five-week track together, you’ll notice there is no checkered flag. You have more laps, more miles. The best part is you are moving fast and ahead of where you were on April 28 when you started following the instructions and paths possible.
All who followed instructions are not lost. If you missed a week, pick up where you left off and complete at least one lap around the track. Do all five steps for your best option, listed in Stage One.
If you put your whole head and heart in this, your reward is the five powerful lessons every professional tells us they experience:
If there is a sum total of these five powerful lessons, find it in VUCA.
“For years, we have been hearing and talking about the impending “VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world. Over and over again, we were told to prepare for seismic change that was sure to arrive, to boost agility in anticipation of abrupt, profound disruption. COVID-19 was a misfortune long foreseen; only the dates and other specific details were missing.” —Quy Huy, INSEAD Professor of Strategic Management
This is a time for energizing yourself and others to create the new chart for your business, your career, your profession. Liz Guthridge an experienced guide with decades of results using VUCA added this wisdom to the Ultimate Guide: “This is totally about the emerging, different situations and not at all about criticizing your or others in your business for past choices.”
What you make of the shift will determine your future. It might turn out to be your pivot or give you that feeling “You got this.” Our hope is you grab on to this Ultimate Guide, follow the five steps, do the work, and let us know what you discovered.
One option is to contact me by email and set a time to get some feedback on any one or all steps. No charge; reserve a spot here. The Ultimate Guide is my gift to the people in my community of leaders of professionals, association executives, standards setters, credentials creators, industry pacesetters and all of their customers.
Another option is to suggest sharing your new charts or recharting experiences with others who gathered here each week and worked remotely with me, Georgia Patrick. Tell me how you see that happening and we’ll collaborate to turn your wish to reality.
Now that you are more skilled at creating options and better questions, what can you suggest? What would help you further? And you’d like this community to do it? A short email to Georgia@Communicators.com will work with your comments or deeper question.