Our process employs narrative storytelling, mind mapping, human-centered design, and lean startup methodologies. We employ other tools and thought processes, however, those mentioned above are the tools central to the work we do, with you.
We leverage these tools because when taken together they have delivered great results for the people and businesses we serve.
First, we will dive into liberating the Narrative Stories which will tell us about you, how you became the person you are today, and what you know about the people in the markets you serve.
While we explore your stories we begin creating a mind map. Here is a definition: Mind Mapping = A diagram used to represent ideas or information branching from a central key word or idea and used as an aid in study, organization, problem-solving, decision-making, and writing. We use mind mapping because when exploring your stories we gather a lot of information and mind maps are very useful in allowing us to find order (the needle in the haystack) when information density high.
Sample Mind Map
Mind mapping helps us find the meaning hidden within all of the information we expose. Our mind maps become the dynamic surface we use to watch your stories first appear, then morph, and grow into a powerful resource for you and your business.
There are five stories which are foundational to our work together. These stories fit together like Lego pieces. Each story supports the others. One of my favorite philosophers said this “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle
The Five Stories Are:
The coaching process facilitates your discovery of these five story types.
Origin – Your first memory of that thing which makes you remarkable?
Founding – Why you decided to use your talent to found your business?
Customer – Who you founded the business to serve and why them?
Product – How you determined your product or service design and value?
Evolution – How and why you and your business vision have evolved over time?
With our stories well in hand, our brand strategy will begin coming into focus. Next, we move from building our brand strategy to building our strategic marketing & sales plans. To assure our marketing and sales plans generate the kinds of campaigns that resonate with the people in our marketplace we will use the Design Thinking model as shared in the book Designing for Growth authored by Jean Liedtke and Tim Ogilvie.
The process is represented by the process flow illustrated in this graphic:
Using human-centered design thinking as the foundational idea of the coaching process. We move you from what is the current state, to what if we tried thesethingss, to of the things which are the few that truly wow, and finally which is the solitary idea that will work. will wow our ideal customers.
WHAT IS = current state
WHAT IF = all of the possibilities that might improve our position
WHAT WOWS = the best few taken from the array of what if ideas
When we determine the ideas we believe that will wow our ideal customers we move on to selecting the one idea which is what the team agrees is the idea that will deliver WHAT WORKS = Maximum Value
The Lean Startup model does not replace your business plan however it does serve as your day to day roadmap as you drive your business from one milestone to another (more on the importance of your business plan later).
Lean Startup employs all of the information we will learn about ourselves, our marketplace and most importantly about the ideal customers we founded the company to serve.
Lean Startup forces us to answer the following question and more:
Our intentions as founders
Who we serve
Why we serve them
How they are changed after they acquire our product or service.
The template above is found in the book authored by Eric Ries, titled: Lean Startup – How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.
Let’s get started!