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22 Feb 2017

what the heck have russian dolls got to do with business success?

russian dolls - range.jpg

Just like in the quiet methodical assembly of a Russian Doll set, carefully completing one small beautifully crafted stage paves the way for each bigger and more striking successful achievement.

Read on to discover the Russian Doll Metaphor explained in full and the new insight it can give for your onward success.


You see, some of us only ever play small. We focus on the ‘here and now’ of our business. We firefight our way through the day busily doing the work of the business. We’re good at what we do but the reality is we’ll be unlikely to serve as many people (customers) as we’d like because we haven’t planned for that kind of growth to happen.


Some of us on the other hand are dreamers. The big thinkers, conceptualizing and hoping that one day in the future things will be great. And as good as that future looks, it too is unlikely to happen for the same reason as those who play small.

Because the plan to make the dream happen isn’t there.

Here’s the thing...

Both of these skill sets are required for business success. The ability to think small AND the ability to think big.

We need ‘small’ thinking because in business, let’s face it….there’s stuff to do. The ability to plan WHO does WHAT by WHEN is a critical part of business success.

We need ‘big’ thinking too because as individuals we need to have a vision to motivate us. To get us out of bed in the morning. It’s critical that we know what we’re aiming for.

So how do we utlilise both of these skills?

Simple. In a practical action plan.

At ActionCOACH we know that when businesses get momentum things start to happen easier and quicker but we first of all have to create that momentum.

That’s where we introduce a process of ‘chunking things down’ or creating our set of Russian dolls, if you will.

5 and 3 year goals

By chunking our long term vision (which may be 10,20 years or some day way off in the future) down into component parts of time we find that we drive greater clarity of the goals for 5 and 3 years time. At this point you don’t really need a great deal of detail about what and how to achieve these goals.

The closer the timeframe, the more important these details become.

12 month goals

Where we see most excitement and momentum being created is in the 12 month window.

Getting clear on what we want to have in our business (and life) is 1 years time is what we’re after here. And there’s 3 things to check:

  • Why? Why is this goal important? What PURPOSE does it serve?
  • What? What does the business have to DO to make the goal happen?
  • Who? Who do you/the team/the business have to BE or BEcome to achieve the goal?

A large degree of ‘goal clarity’ is needed here and a decent understanding of the broad details of ‘how’ will be required at this stage.

90 day priorities

Having got a clear sense of what we need to achieve in the forthcoming year, we’re looking to get clarity on the key priorities we need to deliver in the next 3 months.

We tend to ask for no more than 3 here.

So what are the 3 biggest priorities that need to be delivered that fit into the bigger 12 month objective? It might be a client acquisition target. It might be a recruitment goal or progress on an element of process systemisation. It can be anything….as long as it moves us closer to the longer-term goal and, like one of the smaller Russian dolls, it must fit into the bigger plan.

Monthly focus

Now that we’re looking only at the next 90 days, the chances are we’ve got a clearer view of what our calendars look (or need to look) like. We know the resources we’ve have available to us so we’re looking at this point to get much more granular in how we start to plan ours (and our team’s) focus.

Weekly Tasks

By the time we’ve gone through this ‘chunking’ process it will become very clear to us the tasks we need to do on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis. This is where thinking small really helps. It gives us the ability to see the constituent parts which we can either do ourselves. delegate out to the team or outsource.

Getting to this level of detail in the plan also helps us in managing our people (through support and accountability) to ensure that what needs to get done is done!

It works!

This process of chunking things down in exactly this way is something we’ve been doing with our clients for years and we’ve done it for this long for one simple reason. It works!

Would you like to have the same feeling of control that our clients get when they complete their 90 day plan?

Are you looking to kick start the momentum that’s needed to set your team off in the right direction?

My purpose is to help as many Scottish business owners create thriving businesses as possible so click here to get the workbook we give to clients to help them prepare for our 90 Day Planning session and get cracking on creating your plan.

And if you want to be supported through to the completion of your very own 90 day plan why not join us at our forthcoming GrowthCLUB 90 Day Planning day in a weeks time here in Edinburgh.

To your success!