Friday, February 29, 2008

Reverse Planning - use it for business and to write bestsellers!

Where would you like your business to be in one year, 6 months, 1 month , 1 week. We all probably have answers, but the question is "how are you going to get there". We write a business plan but starting from where you are now and going forward has many (millions) of possible outcomes. So what to do?

I really like the miitary strategy of reverse planning. This is a process whereby you determine a long term (6 month) target. Then you imagine yourself at that point. You then envisage yourself at the point just before you reach your goal. Write that point down as a target. Then you envisage yourself at the point just before you reached that point and write that down. You continue this process backwards untill you reach the point at which you are now. Voila you have a plan with clearly defined targets along the way. All you need to do us reverse the plan and carry it out.

If you plan forwards it is easy to lose your way because there are so many possible futures. Reverse planning sees only one end point and creates a path of targets / goals for you to acheive on your way there.

It turns out that JK Rowling used reverse planning in the writing of Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone The basic idea... Harry, I saw Harry very very very clearly. Very vividly. And I knew he didn't know he was a wizard. So I see this skinny little boy with black hair, and green eyes, and glasses. And erm... Patched-up glasses, you know, that got scotch tape around them, holding them together. And I knew that *he* didn't know what he was. And so then I kind of worked backwards from that position to find out how that could be, that he wouldn't know what he was. And er... at the same time I'm thinking that he's gonna go to wizard's school. And that was when it really caught fire for me, I got really excited of the idea of what wizard's school would be like."

So you can use reverse planning for business life and writing multi million bestselling novels (apparently).

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