Lesson 2: Have a Direction Not a Plan

DIrection - sign post

As part of the Commit or Kill campaign for Book Rapper, here’s Book Rapper Lesson #2.

Planning Things

My bias in life is to plan things. Therefore, it’s probably not a surprise for me to declare that I have a Masters Degree in Architecture. Architects are the ultimate planners. That’s all they do. They don’t build anything. That’s for someone else to do.

Planning Before Doing

In the past I would be constantly planning things – particularly around my business. Always making notes, drawing diagrams and plotting my way forward. I took a very different tack with Book Rapper.

Have a Direction not a Plan

Whilst I didn’t have a detailed step-by-step plan, I did have a clear strategic direction. I kept in mind two basic questions:

  1. What’s the best way to pull the key ideas out of this book? I felt if I simply focussed on this I would come up with a great product.
  2. How do I reach more people? And, if I addressed this question it would attract an audience to Book Rapper.

The Key to Innovation

Having a clear direction – the WHAT – left the process or HOW open for innovation. This is a great way to manage employees if you want to engage them in your work. And, it’s also a great way to build a startup business. Fundamentally, it presumes you’re better off working out things in small incremental decisions than you are to preplan the whole organisation. And, this is the guideline that let Book Rapper evolve.

The Lesson

Be really clear strategically what you’re building. And, plan loosely to give yourself and your team the best chance to innovate and evolve.


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