I'm back from the Advance. It was hard to get back to computers yesterday. And, uh, I don't think I can tackle describing the experience in words quite yet.
To bring the Dwelve process home in business terms, it provides you with a personal strategic vision (with modifications, it can be used for organizational strategic vision too). And if you remember I called the entire process a journey.
Great journeys start with a vision...
Journeys have specific goals or objectives that drive certain behavior. John F. Kennedy wanted to have a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. This goal focused many people's energy into specific actions to achieve this deadline. That's the purpose of a well-defined objective; it produces meaningful action. - The One Page Business Plan, by Jim Horan
The intent of the Dwelve process is to come up with a compelling vision that we truly want to throw our full self wholeheartedly into.
After the Illumination phase - if we can accept the continuation of the "not knowing" receptive state of mind, in fact I told participatants to "expect absolutely nothing" - a strategic vision starts formulating and emerging.
Without clarity and focus, our energy is scattered and uncommitted. We say yes when we should say no, and we say no when we should say yes. And coming up with simple yes-no decisions can be excrutiatingly conflicted without alignment to a vision. With a clear vision to focus on, every other decision simply becomes "Does this move me closer to or farther from my vision?"
Strategy 2 - Focus on Apple
Apple is becoming a growth company again because Steve Jobs knows how to focus his innovation energy on three product families with three clear marketing messages (portables, desktops, and music players). So when we say focus on Apple, we are really talking about focus. Mr. Jobs knows that when you try to push more than three product messages at a time, people get confused and you lose your leverage.
For smaller companies, that usually means focusing on one product or service and one marketing message. Google is the supreme example here. The "Holy Trinity" at Google (founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and CEO Eric Schmidt) is so focused on search, and making it the best search and the easiest search, that they're almost boring to talk to. But that focus drove their market cap to $60 billion in seven years. - "Growth Strategies: Product Focus and Asian Tigers", Tony Perkins, Always On Network blog
Take one savvy tailor in the UK. Niche the offering. Niche it again...
I can hear you groaning. No not that. Yes that. It may mean gripping juicy possibilities, intriguing potentialities and luscious maybes will be shelved - perhaps even permanently. This has got to be the grand mistake of most start-ups I've seen: the compulsion to do it all and thus stand for nothing.
Niche implies focus. Implies clarity. When someone is crystal clear about what they want, they go after it. Everything else doesn't register, but it's not deemed a sacrifice - it's only clutter. Tactical decisions can now be made peaceably and with minimal effort...that is, until enough changes internally or externally that it's again time to revisit and reformulate the strategic vision again.
A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home. - Rumi