I'm working in a company. You can say that everything is going well, the salary is right, the working environment also, and even the prospects for domestic growth are not bad. I am recognized as a professional and committed person. But I don't see myself here in three or five years., the project doesn't fill me. I don't know how to approach it., I'd like to do something else but in the short term I can't give up my current income.
Do you identify with this reflection?
So begins to take shape Plan B
Indeed,, so a Plan B starts to come up. And the personal branding has a lot to do with it. Such a situation is much more common than we think. Money isn't everything., neither the work environment nor the prestige of the organization for which we work. Abraham Maslow he was cleared in his Theory of Human Motivation (1943) where he laid out his hierarchy of human needs, popularly known as Maslow Pyramid. In the 5 levels of that scale, once the basic needs of Physiology, of the Security and Affiliation the two most complex levels appear: Recognition (self-awareness, Confidence, Respect, Success) And finally self-realization (Morality, Creativity, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts...). In my opinion personal brand management can help in the recognition process, because self-realization depends on many other factors and does not require as a single springboard the recognition.
Key elements in a Plan B
In consulting I have worked more than once in Plan B scenarios. This is a projective strategy, to prepare for a moment that can take two, three and up to five years to be produced, and that requires large doses of mental openness for the client and great empathy skills for the mentor. The most common elements to work on a plan B are:
The first job is to know what's wrong right now and with the current job. Which parts of our pyramid are not satisfied and what the reasons may be. Here we often find several reasons:
- Inertia: I don't know how I got here, I haven't known.
- Routine: many people the comfort of routine satisfies them, others sour their character.
- Clash of values. It is possible that, despite our good internal and external valuation (stakeholders), our values are at odds with those of the organization. This is easy for it to happen in large corporations, in polluting companies, political parties, public administrations, but also in all those organizations that consider their professionals as mere human resources and not as essential components of the Brand.
- Lack of vision for the future: This point is important and takes us to the next phase. If we don't know where the organization is going, or we simply don't agree with that purpose, the pieces don't fit and we go back to conflict. In this sense, there are too many companies, large or small, whose only vision is to lead its market segment, a poor vision, unmotivating and confusing (leading a market can be a business goal, not a vision).
Perhaps this is the highlight of Plan B. When we already know what's wrong, we need to know what would motivate us and it would give us back the illusion of working on a project. There are different ways of raising vision, there's no better than another and it's going to depend on each person:
- A dream: we all dream, although childhood dreams seem to be richer, dreaming is free (for now) and it can help us raise our vision. Remember Martin Luther King and his story "I Have a Dream"?
- A legacy: it's about imagining what they'll say about us when we're not in this world. Imagine how they'll remember us. This is how we remember Gandhi, to Edisson, to Van Gogh, perhaps misunderstood in their time but recognized much later.
- One why: We'll never know if Apple's founders, Jobs and Wozniak, drafted their vision by creating the apple company. But it does seem likely that Gebbia, Chesky and Blecharczyk, founders of Airbnb would like to respond to why there was no Community market based on Confidence that would allow people to post, detect and book accommodation around the world with the ease of doing so from a mobile phone.
- A passion:: sincerely, this is the most common case I've found, and perhaps one of those with the greatest driving force. The question is simple What are we passionate about? The answer also: Let's do it. Implementation is more complex, which brings us to the next point, the project.
The project is the soul and planning area of the plan. Many people are looking forward to this moment even knowing how to not know when they will be able to implement it. So as not to leave any bullets in the chamber, it is advisable to take into account the elements of the project.
- Share: even if it is quiet and with a low core and maximum confidence, sharing the vision is important: it's not about submitting it for approval: don't do it, they'll throw it at you on the ground. Unfortunately the world is populated by people who prioritize security to happiness. It's more about warning that there will be a change in coordinates and that we will need all the support in the world.
- Objectives: here we have to be very clear about what we want to achieve in short and medium terms (the long ones no longer exist). Recognition as an expert in a new sector will come, But it will be slow, so it's good to write smaller, more achievable goals that give us encouragement to move on. Smart model is reasonably effective (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-orientes, Time-limited).
- Business Model. We've already talked about that in other posts, but analyze the new value propositions, target audiences, key new partners, new activities, new channels... it's vitally important. And let's remember that a good job in a business model shouldn't be a solo job: the help of a specialist will be appreciable.
- Positioning. Where do we want to occupy in the minds of our future customers, Collaborators, Partners? how will we differentiate ourselves from proposals similar to ours?
- Message. It's about knowing the concepts and keywords that will define our value propositions. It's not an easy exercise, but if you've worked well the vision, mission and business model will only have to go from prosa to poetry. Here it is worth thinking about all the formats that message will: a video-presentation, an excerpt from Linkedin, a business card, a brand, a personal slogan, an elevator-pitch...
- Communication plan. Although it is possible that at the time of implementing the plan things have evolved, it is worth having the communication plan planned and those who are going to help us implement it so that, come day, the timetable and the means are well defined, whether it's classic or digital media, free means or means of payment.
This is the part of Plan B that is not activated until Plan A is extinguished. The entire project should be reviewed to update it and define the Kpi (Key Performace Indicators) which are those variables, Factors, units of measure, we consider "strategic" in our project.
If I had to add one last element, this would certainly be a combination of Patience, persistence and Creativity. I would also say that the plans are to be planned and fulfilled but also to be planned and thrown away, and that's what we need to be flexible about.
- I have a good friend who's been working a whole year on a Plan B., investing effort, time and money and finally realized that it was within his competitive reach but out of his focus and vision. He's broken it and gone for something else.. You don't have to board a sailboat if the sea is dizzy.
- On the other hand, one of my best clients (And now friend) is about to fulfill the dream he drew - with some help- three years ago. Congratulations, whoever follows it gets it, And this post is coming for you.
Do you want it in picture? Here's a pictogram: