Saturday, 22 May 2010

"When There's No Plan A"

I've been talking to Jonathan Moules, Enterprise Editor at The Financial Times for a while about #Unplan, putting him in touch with entrepreneurs I know who embrace the 'unplan your business' philosophy. So I'm delighted to see the results of that in an article in today's FT "When There's No Plan A" featuring my #unplan buddies Gary Vaynerchuk, David Hieatt and Raj Dey. You can read the article online at here (registration applies). You can also click to view a scan of the article below (this content is copyright The Financial Times). Finally, a big shout out to my #Unplan collaborator David Sloly who was not mentioned in the article; I'd like to point out that 'Unplan Your Business' is a collaborative project with David and that he is the co-author of our free guide, that you can grab here.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Peter Bregman On Unplanning

I just discovered a couple of posts from Peter Bregman. Peter is  CEO of Bregman Partners  and writes a weekly column, How We Work, for

It's worth checking out his column “Don’t Get Distracted By your Plan” where he talks about his business journey:

“I started my company over 12 years ago with a 50-page business plan. It was a very useful tool — it kept me focused, helped me avoid mistakes, enabled me to settle on a growth strategy. But if you look at my company today, it looks nothing like that plan. Because the economy changed, I changed, my clients changed, and the opportunities changed. If I had stuck to my plan, I would have failed. It was by keeping my eye on the changing environment, and being willing to toss the plan and create a new one in sync with new realities that enabled me to grow my business”
There’s a follow up column “Why Not Having A Plan Can Be The Best Plan Of All” where Peter advocates the need to stay flexible in career development and the qualities entrepreneurs need to experiment in business:
“The entire path need not be clear. Most successful people and businesses have meandered their way to success by being willing to exercise their talents in ways they never would have imagined at the onset.”

Friday, 7 May 2010

David Heinemeier Hansson: Planning Can Be Harmful

David Heinemeier Hansson is a partner at Chicago software house 37signals. He’s the co-author of a great book ‘Rework’ which I have mentioned before on this blog because it really resonates with the whole Unplan ethos.

Here’s a great little video (2 mins) called ‘Planning Is Guessing’ taken from David’s presentation at Stanford University’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Lecture Series in January this year. David's take on business planning is that a start-up doesn't even know if it will be doing business in five years, let alone five months. A new business in a new industry has no clue what it will need long-term. In fact, he adds, most decisions for a start-up are incredibly temporary. His own experience at 37signals is that although they’ve been around for ten years, they only worry about ‘the next two weeks’ or if things are really crazy ‘two months’. They don’t worry about what next year might look like as it has very little impact on what it will actually look like.