Being in the details is great for some jobs. For CEOs, it can be a death sentence. We're going to help keep you alive by taking you above the minutia for a flight in a unique aircraft.
Since I became certified to fly gyrocopters last month, I have a metaphor that I like to use when I’m working with clients. To do this, I take my clients “up” in a metaphorical gyrocopter and “fly” them above the details. Ready to take a trip with our founder?
Last week, our founder was dealing with how to sell her new A/R glasses. She was standing on the ground in the middle of the triangle, physically close and in the details of her business plan. As we discussed previously, this is not where you want to be all the time—you can’t see the bigger picture from here.
First Stop: 500 Feet Above the Ground
From this altitude the founder can see the store, it’s size, the surrounding roads, infrastructure, and neighborhood. At 500 feet she’s getting away from the details that she was wrestling with last week. From here she can see the types, kinds, and ages of the vehicles going to this store, the buildings around the store, and the houses and apartments nearby. She’ll get a sense of the demographics of the community and if this is a good location to do her first product sales trials. Is her Compelling Case for Customers™ meaningful to the people that shop in this store?
She’ll also see that as she gets farther away from the details of the three triangle components—business plan, financial plan, and company presentation—they start to become one point, allowing her to work with all three simultaneously and more creatively.
Second Stop: 10,000 Feet Above the Ground
When our founder has gotten a good sense of flying at 500 feet above the ground, we’ll fly up to 10,000 feet to get more perspective and distance from the details.
From this altitude, the horizon is about 120 miles away, allowing her to see all the competing retail stores within this geography. She can then ask herself whether this is a good retail store for the initial sales trials or if another retail chain may be a better fit. Would she be better off dealing with a retailer who has a national presence, but has the ability to test market in select stores in a given area before a full rollout? What are the transportation issues in this geography, taxes, sales options, and legal/regulatory constraints? What are her competitors doing? Is this geography representative of all the geographies where she wants to sell her product? What’s different in other areas? How will those differences affect her company and strategy?
One of the things she notices from 10,000 feet is that she’s too far away to be in the details of any triangle component. From this altitude the three components have merged into one, allowing her to open her mind, get creative, and use her gut and intuition to generate new ideas. Maybe she’ll discover new applications for her product, how it might affect people in different parts of the country or the world, and what populations would benefit the most.
Now, what should she do with the new ideas from her gyrocopter flight? She realizes that in order test and put her ideas into action she needs to get back into the details of research, feasibility, testing, analysis, and implementation. So she asks me to land the gyrocopter safely as soon possible.
What happens if she still needed to get farther away from the details? Maybe we’d get into a rocket so that we could look at the whole world from space.
Returning to Earth, that was the challenging part. — Buzz Aldrin
A successful capital raise and business strategy both require being in the details and getting away from them. Gaining distance from the details gives you access to your creativity, wild ideas, gut instincts, and intuition.
To be more strategic, two of my clients have put up above their desks the “Perspective from 10,000 Feet” gyrocopter slide, to remind them to get out of the details regularly.
Key Point: The best founders and managers seamlessly move between business details and high-level ideas hundreds of times each day.
How will you get out of the details so that you can be creative? What tools work best for you?
Too close to the details? Need help working on strategy and the big picture? Schedule a one-hour call with us here to find out how we can help.
Until next week!
All the best,
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