Alastair Dryburgh wrote a price in last month's Management Today, 'Eight ways to design a better start-up’. The notion of business design (i.e. how you shape your venture) is an overlooked consideration for start-ups and he makes some good points about planning:
“This may sound heretical, but don't have a detailed business plan. Plans are dangerous because you can become wedded to them, even if it is soon clear they won't work.”
Alistair’s principles can be useful but effective design is less about fixed blueprints and more about creating the right attitude as the foundation for business success. Design the shape and culture of your business, yes; but don’t spend too much time creating a beautiful theoretical model that will never work in the real world. Being liberated from a plan means you have the flexibility to prototype your ideas in the market and then reinvent your offering accordingly. For me, business design is not about getting your model right first and sticking to it. It’s about getting your mindset right but staying agile and flexible to adapt as you go.
And the October issue of Management Today just published a letter from me saying just that (click on the above image to view).