I’m glad to see it: Seth Godin, one of the best thinkers of the post-Internet age, suggesting we should rethink the formal business plan assumptions we’ve been using, without change, too long. He suggests what he calls the modern business plan and I, for one, like the suggestion. He says.
I’d divide the modern business plan into five sections:
Seth’s post starts by pointing out a very real problem with traditional business plan documents:
It’s not clear to me why business plans are the way they are, but they’re often misused to obfuscate, bore and show an ability to comply with expectations.
Now that’s the real problem, as far as I’m concerned: the misuse of business plans. Is it the fault of the plan, do you think, or maybe the myth around it? After all, are travel plans, game plans, or wedding plans used to “obfuscate and bore?” No, I don’t think so. So why business plans? Because people misuse them.
Business plans are supposed to be just step one of business planning. You never finish them, you don’t expect them to correctly guess the future, but you do use them to manage and navigate towards goals, revising as necessary. Planning manages change. And Seth’s suggestion that we juggle the outline and the standard format, can’t possibly hurt.
Somebody on Twitter asked me what I thought of Seth’s post, thinking, I’m only guessing, that I’m in favor of the more traditional business plan. No way. I love the new thinking. It’s right in line with what I’ve been posting for several years now. Here’s what I wrote about that on my main blog.