After graduating from BC, I went into the Peace Corps, and when I came back to the States, with little else than a degree in English and Biology, I was lucky enough to land a job at a large medtech corporation that was hiring interns based on attributes rather than skills and experience.
Very quickly, I and a group of other rookies hired at the same time for a specific new product, were pushed into an intensive, week-long management training session simply on "planning".
- Time management
- Team delegation and facilitation
- Project planning
The end result of which for the company was a transformation from analog to digital products, and although I was a very tiny cog in that success, what I took away from that experience was the critical nature of formal planning with frequent checks and balances coupled with the requirement to be both agile and flexible at the same time. Ever since then, the criticality of business planning has been drilled into everything I do!
During this holiday break beginning today, I'll spend most of the next two weeks updating our three planning books since much of what I wrote last year at this time is out of date 12 months later. Sure, the basics remain the same, but there have been significant shifts in the sciences of sales and marketing, and those shifts will be reflected in new tactics which will find their way into 2023 updates. The time away during the next two weeks and the overall thought process is good for my head and provides a perfect get-away at a time of year where most of our projects are winding down or are on hold and student exams are completed. Having said that, tomorrow is a day-long, personally stressful time for me as I review in the final grading.
These are the three documents that I will update over the next two weeks, and if you want to add in your own ideas and comments, just let me know, and I'm happy to provide attribution and thanks in the documents, which have added to by others along the way.
Writing the Winning...
The reason that I wrote the first book on Writing the Winning Business Plan was that I was getting overwhelmed with well-meaning entrepreneurs who wanted to "have coffee" and ask how to write a business plan for either their own well-being or for funding. Today, this free doc is heavily downloaded and is used as a textbook at MIT and Singapore University. In our work at the firm and at Tufts within The Derby Entrepreneurship Center, with both newly minted entrepreneurs and with more experienced managers, we've found that the basics always ring true, but also new ideas, new tactics and new tools are imperative especially now as the economy and new technologies shift rapidly.
From there, it was a quick journey to then write the Writing the Winning Marketing Plan book, which will undergo radical updating in the new two weeks, and the Writing the Winning Sales Plan book, which will take some interesting twists based on what we've learned this year about reducing sales cycles
Again, if you want to participate, share your own ideas or whatever, just let me know!
Most importantly, have a wonderful, warm and safe holiday !
2022 has been an exciting year of growth and new opportunities all of which have come from our relationships with our business friends, partners and advisors. Add to that another extraordinary year from my work at Tufts, and 2022 ends on a very positive note and an equally positive outlook on 2023 even given the storm clouds.
Success this coming year is all about one's attitude, and as my Vermont grandfather used to say... "there's no such thing as cold weather, just people who don't know how to dress properly"
Have a wonderful holiday! Step back, hug your kids and give thanks!