Business Planning Starts With Perspective

An introduction to Perspective

By Ian Richardson, Managing Partner, Richardson & Richardson Consulting LLC

Those of you who know me know I’m a huge fan of Tom Paterson’s work, specifically the StratOp toolset (more information on that and When Carrie and I sat down to figure out a content calendar for R&R, we really wanted to have a theme that would resonate down to the core structure of our business. We wanted something that was in our DNA so to speak. During the discussion at Beaver Lake in the Ozarks, Arkansas, the idea floated up around tying the theme to the StratOp process. We both were immediately onboard – you know the feeling we felt, its that electric spark that shoots through the air when an amazing idea lands.

It’s prudent to give an overview of that process before we dive into the rest of this post.

The StratOp Process

StratOp is a business management system and functions off a defined set of tools, conversations, gatherings, and communications. Underneath this suite of items lies a core process that is divided into 6 stages. This process forms the basis of our “theme” for content for this year. Indeed, the process forms the basis for our entire consulting practice, so what better than to dive into and discuss than the cornerstone of our company, offerings, and value proposition?

The process has six steps, and is arranged in a circular fashion, as shown below.

The Strat Op Process

The StratOp Process

We always start with Perspective – indeed most strategic endeavors fail due to a lack of intentional care around gathering perspective. Businesses tend to want the “fast” fix – diving into solutions without considering the problem. This “immediacy culture” is pervasive in today’s business environment, and is the cause of frustration, heartache, and resentments in organizations both large and small.

Perspective to Expect

Carrie and I will be talking about perspective for the next couple of months, diving into a variety of topics. Some of the items we plan to explore are:

You’ll notice that some (or all) of these items have been linked to other content on our website. That’s by design – over the coming months as this content is developed and published, we’ll use this page as a master index for our content around perspective.

One of the values of following a perspective first consultancy is that we don’t have to provide all of it. We’re planning on hosting some additional thought leaders in this space on our webinar series: The Thursday Process as well as on our Podcast: W.I.N. – What’s Important Now. 

You’ll also see a whitepaper drop around how you can validate assumptions around customer values, as well as measure objectively how you are doing at presenting value to your primary or key customers. You’ll find that whitepaper available here.

So – with all the “coming soon” out of the way – what is perspective anyway?

Perspective is around answering the question “Where are we now?”

That question is simple, yet powerful. As with most of the tools, processes, and ideas we utilize, the question is infinitely scalable. Imagine – We can examine this question around our current location (for those who like to be as literal as possible), we can examine it around our entire organization (where is our organization?), but we can also take this question further. What is the current state of our sales team? How effective is our new customer onboarding procedure? How are we doing at internal company communication? Is our marketing effective?

All these questions, and many more, are examples of “Where are we today?” – Simply put – we’re taking an assessment of our current state. Current state can apply to any topic, micro or macro, and is heavily valuable when it comes to planning, or defining “future state.” An easy analogy is you can’t get to where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re starting from. How would you know what direction you needed to go?

Final Thoughts

There are many tools, options, and tactics for gaining perspective. Approaching the task with a genuine state of curiosity is an effective way to make sure you gather perspective. Keep in mind that it’s better to find an inconvenient truth before that truth finds you (Thanks Tom).

  • Approach a topic openly.
  • Remove attachment to any “sacred cows” or preconceived notions.
  • Allow yourself to gain understanding you might not otherwise have.
  • Use your additional insight or expanded window into the topic to set more robust, effective, achievable goals
  • Create action oriented plans to achieve those goals.
  • Remember to execute against your plans and hold others accountable for their part.

If you’re struggling to set or achieve perspective, Richardson & Richardson can help. Take a look at the linked resources throughout this article, or explore more about our successes by visiting our case studies.  You can learn more about our process by clicking here, or feel free to book an initial consultation with the Richardsons to get the conversation jump started. 



Share this Post