Thrive in Uncertainty: 20 Mile March Concept by Jim Collins, A Plan is not a Strategy & Job Description vs Scorecard
31 July 2022 Newsletter
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.” Albert Einstein
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a busy week with a trip to Adelaide for a 2-day growth program workshop with a team I’ve been working with for two years but only met for the first time in person this week! Working with them in person was great, but even better was the impact we’ve created over the past two years, almost doubling the business.
Job Description vs Scorecard
One of the things we worked on in Adelaide in detail was Job Scorecards, and I’ve also done a lot of work in the past few years on this within my book about Onboarding – because to effectively onboard, the first thing is an effective job scorecard. During the workshop, people were interchanging the phrase ‘job description’ with ‘job scorecard’, and we worked to define the difference clearly.
A good analogy is a sports player. Imagine the description of a football player. 190 cm tall. From Ireland. Brown hair. They played for teams A, B & C. Now let’s think about the scorecard for that same player. Played 150 games. Scored 60 goals and 400 points. Won the best player at their club. Now that’s not a perfect description, but I’m sure you take my point as an analogy for the difference between the job description and the job scorecard. One describes a person, and the other is a measurement of their score.
So, of course, when assessing your existing team or potential team members, what would you rather understand; their description or scorecard?
Stand out job advert
We all know it’s tough getting job applicants at the moment. So it was interesting to see this novel approach when I was in Adelaide from a tree planting company.
Here’s what makes this advert stand out for me:
- The headline contains a swear word – appealing to the ideal candidate.
- The headline promises you will love the job.
- The ad isn’t on a job board; it’s taped to a pedestrian crossing (advertising where potential candidates are and competitors aren’t!).
- They outline the bad (and state that you will cry for some drama in the story!).
- They state the pay rate; the demographic wants to make quick decisions.
- They state the flexibility of the role.
- They have a QR code, making it easy for potential candidates to learn more.
It begs the question, if candidates aren’t applying for your jobs, what are you doing that’s different to try to attract applicants?
A Plan is not a Strategy
This week I came across this excellent 9-minute video from Roger Martin and HBR.
From the video:
“A comprehensive plan—with goals, initiatives, and budgets–is comforting. But starting with a plan is a terrible way to make strategy. Roger Martin, former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s leading thinkers on strategy, says developing strategy means going outside an organization’s comfort zone and escaping the common traps of strategic planning.”
As I’ve spoken about before, it advocates that strategic planning should not be one phrase and that ‘planning’ is something we control, where we decide what to spend money on. That’s why people are comfortable with planning. But, on the other hand, strategy tells us how we make money, which we have very little direct control over and is therefore uncomfortable.
Martin describes strategy as “An integrated set of choices that positions you on a playing field of your choice in a way that you win.”
See the video here: A Plan Is Not a Strategy
The 120km skyscraper
Here’s the wildest article I read this week. Saudi Arabia is planning a skyscraper 12 storeys high and 120 kilometers long.
Designers of the Mirror Line propose two parallel structures traversing mountains and desert as part of a futuristic development to transform the kingdom.
Read the article here: Saudi Arabia plans to build a massive skyscraper that stretches for 75 miles and can host 5 million people
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
The 20 Mile March Concept By Jim Collins: Thrive in Uncertainty
The 20 Mile March is a concept developed by Jim Collins in the book Great by Choice. Enterprises that prevail in turbulence self-impose a rigorous performance mark to hit with great consistency—like hiking across the United States by marching at least 20 miles a day, every day. The march imposes order amidst disorder, discipline amidst chaos, and consistency amidst uncertainty. The 20 Mile March works only if you actually hit your march year after year; if you set a 20 Mile March and then fail to achieve it, you may well get crushed by events.
Having a clear 20 Mile March focuses the mind; because everyone on the team knows the markers and their importance, they can stay on track. Financial markets are out of your control. Customers are out of your control. Earthquakes are out of your control. Global competition is out of your control. Technological change is out of your control. Most everything is ultimately out of your control. But when you 20 Mile March, you have a tangible point of focus that keeps you and your team moving forward, despite the confusion, uncertainty, and even chaos.
The 20 Mile March concept by Jim Collins is critically important right now because;
- Inflationary prices are out of your control.
- Supply chain issues are out of your control.
- Pandemics are out of your control.
- Global shipping rates are out of your control.
- Interest rates are out of your control.
- Everything is probably outside your control.
But when you have a 20 Mile March, you have a tangible point of focus that keeps you and your team moving forward, despite the confusion, uncertainty, and even chaos.
In this episode, we talk about The 20 Mile March concept By Jim Collins, and why you should consider it in your business. We list how to use it, and provide examples of businesses 20 mile metrics.
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