Monday, July 19, 2010
Send to a Colleague
There’s a fun exercise that I do in my Creative Problem Solving classes to get the creative and logical sides of the brain working together. I ask participants to open the dictionary at random and write down a word from the page. Then I ask them to do this a second time. The next step is to create a bridge between the two words, i.e. to find something that links the words together in a rational way.
So what is the link between strategy and lasagna? I am going to use it to explain the difference between strategy and tactics, something every aspiring entrepreneur definitely needs to know.
There are several steps required when I make my very special super-sized (as in big as a baby’s bathtub) lasagna pasticiatta. I make a double or triple recipe because it is very labour intensive so I’d like to have some futurity built in. A bit like not doing an entire strategic plan every year; you should have one that works over a longer time period.
1. Information Gathering
Who is coming to dinner? How much can they eat? Do they have food allergies? Do they like Italian food? If they don’t like Italian food, do I want them at my table?
Is my pan big enough? Do I have all the ingredients I need and if not, can I get them locally? Do I have enough room in the freezer for the leftovers? Should I make or buy lasagna noodles?
3. Environmental Scan
Is the entire world on a diet? Is there a shortage of tomato sauce in Manitoba?
4. SWOT Analysis (Strengths/Weaknesses, Opportunities/Threats)
Should I be on a diet? Will I eat all the leftovers myself? Will I then need to be on a diet? Can I afford to make this dinner? Will so many people love my lasagna that they will recommend I start my own food manufacturing company and will I then become a slave to my own home-based business?
5. Develop Strategic Objectives
Create the perfect lasagna that meets the needs of my dinner guests (on several occasions); ensure that it doesn’t poison/offend/intimidate anyone; assure everyone that it has few calories and is easily digestible; go easy on the tomato sauce.
6. Action Plan (Tactical elements)
Buy ingredients; take a day out of my life to make the two sauces, prepare the three cheeses, boil and dry the noodles, assemble the lasagna; serve and beam modestly at the compliments.
Vision achieved, mission accomplished, objectives met.