Time for Unplanning?

“Unplanning” is the brainchild of Mason Zimbler Creative Director David Sloly and business advisor and author Ian Sanders. The pair unveiled their new outlook on business planning at the prestigious South by South West (SXSW) Interactive festival, held this March in Austin, Texas. The theory acknowledges the unpredictable nature of business today, and advocates agility and action over unnecessary research and planning. Here’s a bite of the apple.


By Judy Racino

“Unplanning” is the brainchild of Mason Zimbler Creative Director David Sloly and business advisor and author Ian Sanders. The pair unveiled their new outlook on business planning at the prestigious South by South West (SXSW) Interactive festival, held this March in Austin, Texas. The theory acknowledges the unpredictable nature of business today, and advocates agility and action over unnecessary research and planning. Here’s a bite of the apple.

What is a plan anyway?

There are plans that are written in months – years even – and plans that are written a heck of a lot more quickly than that. Take for example Hotmail: its business plan was written overnight by one of the founders, Sabeer Bhatia. It was enough to secure finances to hire programmers to create their webmail service, which was later sold to Microsoft for $400 million.

Why do we plan?

Extensive plans with involvement from management teams, analysts and advisors are meaningless in our fast-moving world. David Hieatt, entrepreneur, co-founder of howies and curator of  the ‘Do Lectures’, believes that, “Really, a business plan is another way of saying ‘guess’; a strategy is another way of saying ‘hunch’. The awful truth is that we don’t know what will work. But it’s hard to get funding for a guess, and to persuade a boardroom to back your hunch with their money. We need to adopt the idea of trying to fail faster; of trying lots of new ways of doing something; to take risks and to experiment as if we don’t know the answer.We just need to stop acting so smart.”

If the risk is low, press green and go!

Good plans are short, sweet and clear. If you’re not risking too much money, too many people or staking your reputation, then just go for it. A web-based business can be launched in beta tomorrow, and you can fine tune as you go. Tom Peters, uber-guru, author and speaker, said “I’ve learned one thing in 40 years of business: he who tries the most stuff fastest, wins.”

If the risk is high, ask why

If you focus on associated risks, you’re going to run into problems. This is because the primitive fight-or-flight area of your brain will create chemicals and a physical reaction stopping you from doing something that is potentially dangerous. It will paralyse you and prevent you from acting on what could be a great idea. So confront the risk, trust your instincts and just get on with it!

Why the notion of long-term planning is broken

Big corporations have typically engaged in really long-term plans, however the technology explosion means that a five-year plan is impossible in our new world, where five years no longer represents what it used to. Kevin Roberts, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO, said, “A company’s success can be measured in an inverse ratio to the amount of time spent on traditional strategic planning… It’s about ‘surfing’, not ‘managing’.”

Adapt and thrive

It’s the flexible and open-minded business driver who grasps opportunities and embraces change that will come out tops. This harks back to the Darwinian theory of evolution. In Charles Darwin’s words, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

”

Change your mindset

So ditch the PowerPoint slides, the spreadsheets, the big fat documents and focus instead on your damn fine idea, your audience, your market differentiator and your money-making model.

The complete ebook is provided below.

Unplan Your Business

Have a Request?

If you have information or offering requests that you would like to ask us about, please let us know and we will make our response to you a priority.

ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights data and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by business, information technology, and legal professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding data and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.

ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a technology marketing firm providing strategic planning and tactical execution expertise in support of data and legal discovery organizations. Registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world, ComplexDiscovery OÜ operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.

A (Brand) New Approach? Considering the Framework and Structure of eDiscovery Offerings

Today’s eDiscovery providers may benefit from the lessons learned in the creation of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album by creating a concept for branding and packaging their offerings within that brand in a connected, theme-based way that represents the offerings’ promise and capability in a way that is easy to understand and remember.

This fictionalized branding approach was developed from the intellectual exercise of trying to figure out a reasonable and memorable way to descriptively highlight the promise and capabilities of offerings typically delivered by full-service eDiscovery providers. It may not be completely comprehensive or fully normalized. However, the hope of sharing this branding example is that it might help those involved in the branding and communication of eDiscovery provider services and solutions.

eDiscovery Mergers, Acquisitions, and Investments in 2020

Since beginning to track the number of publicly highlighted merger, acquisition,...

Relativity Acquires VerQu

According to Relativity CEO Mike Gamson, "It's imperative that the legal...

eDiscovery Mergers, Acquisitions, and Investments in Q4 2020

From Nuix and DISCO to Exterro and AccessData, the following findings,...

DISCO Closes Funding Round of $100 Million

According to DISCO CEO Kiwi Camara, “Legaltech is booming now, and...

A New Era in eDiscovery? Framing Market Growth Through the Lens of Six Eras

There are many excellent resources for considering chronological and historiographical approaches...

An eDiscovery Market Size Mashup: 2020-2025 Worldwide Software and Services Overview

While the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for worldwide eDiscovery software...

Resetting the Baseline? eDiscovery Market Size Adjustments for 2020

An unanticipated pandemeconomic-driven retraction in eDiscovery spending during 2020 has resulted...

Home or Away? New eDiscovery Collection Market Sizing and Pricing Considerations

One of the key home (onsite) or away (remote) decisions that...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for December 2020

May the peace and joy of the holiday season be with...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for November 2020

From market sizing and cyber law to industry investments and customer...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for October 2020

From business confidence and captive ALSPs to digital republics and mass...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for September 2020

From cloud forensics and cyber defense to social media and surveys,...

Only a Matter of Time? HaystackID Launches New Service for Data Breach Discovery and Review

According to HaystackID's Chief Innovation Officer and President of Global Investigations,...

It’s a Match! Focusing on the Total Cost of eDiscovery Review with ReviewRight Match

As a leader in remote legal document review, HaystackID provides clients...

From Proactive Detection to Data Breach Reviews: Sensitive Data Discovery and Extraction with Ascema

A steady rise in the number of sensitive data discovery requirements...

A Running List: Top 100+ eDiscovery Providers

Based on a compilation of research from analyst firms and industry...

Not So Outstanding? eDiscovery Operational Metrics in the Winter of 2021

In the winter of 2021, eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey more...

A Lifting of the Fog? Winter 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

This is the twenty-first quarterly eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey conducted by...

High Five? An Aggregate Overview of Five Semi-Annual eDiscovery Pricing Surveys

As we are in the midst of a pandemic that has...

Balancing Relevance and Reality? Winter 2021 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results

Based on the complexity of data and legal discovery, it is...