Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy form the powerhouse behind The Blueprint. This is not a product or service, but a dynamic and innovative process that allows businesses and individuals to enact great vision by “stripping away layers of varnish until the real wood is revealed”. Spend just 30-minutes in their company, and you instantly want them to help you create a new blueprint for your business. They’re irresistible.
They are fun, they are dynamic, they are highly intelligent. Being seasoned in business, and highly successful in their own right, they are also extremely good at what they do, with an amazing track record behind them.
Implemented right, The Blueprint is one way to get to profitability sooner.
Ian Chamandy is a proud strategist, quick to cut through the chaff to get to the wheat. Equally adept at business planning, Ken Aber is the type to listen and observe, then, in concert with his partner, lead businesses to find their cores, their corporate DNA: in other words, a brilliant tactician with a strategic mindset. What a dream team!
By the end of The Blueprint business planning process, an entire organization (or an individual) can succinctly answer the “Why should I chose you?” question in seven words or less. Two or three words are even better.
It’s not as simple as creating a catchy ‘tag-line’, although that is one salient part of the process. It’s more about getting to the core dialogue of a business and creating a plan, a business architecture, so that everyone involved in a business changes their perception of a company’s core proposition in mere minutes, and starts living the company story in every moment. This is a radical change that penetrates deep into the heart of corporate culture – in the best of possible ways.
Getting on for seven years ago, Ken and Ian started having a conversation about business planning – in the upper level of Balzac, purveyor of excellent coffee in Toronto’s Distillery District. They realized they had a shared passion for strategic planning, and shared frustration about the conventional planning process. They intuitively knew there was a better way to go about this – a way in which people would be so inspired by the plan that they are similarly inspired to implement it, and live and breathe it every moment of their working lives.
Business planning is broken
To better understand how the business planning process was broken – and if you’ve ever spent two or three days with fellow executives in an off-site strategic planning meeting, bored out of your mind, and convinced that you could spend your time better, you would understand the ‘broken’ description – this pair stripped it down to its simplest terms.
Who are you?
Where are you going?
How are you going to get there?
“This is effective for organizations, charities, individuals or even people like politicians”, said Chamandy. “We have a conversation that revolves around why I should choose, you, donate to you, work for your organization, or vote for you. Even why I should hire you. It’s the single most important question in business. You may have the greatest product, service, people or business, but if you cannot answer the ‘Why should I choose you?’ question, you are going to fail.”
Clarity and brevity are all that really matter
Ken Aber & Ian Chamandy The Blueprint How Blueprint works is to hold between four and six half-day sessions with a leadership team (or individual) to guide them through the Blueprint process. Well described on their website, the four components are Core Proposition (what defines you at the ‘DNA’ level), Business Architecture, Core Dialogue (which allows everyone in the company to articulate answers to questions in ways that are meaningful to them) and the Company Story.
According to Aber, all of this is arrived at following “three or four hours of Ian and I, in a collaborative process of course, asking questions and saying “bull” to most of the long-winded answers, until we have stripped away all the layers of varnish. We believe that business leaders have all the answers, and that The Blueprint is the process for extracting it, getting to clarity quickly and creating succinct core propositions, core dialogues and company stories.”
Ask any of their clients, and they will tell you that it works. And it works extraordinarily effectively. If only they’d been around 20 years ago when I was a senior executive in a software company: we could never quite put our finger on our core differentiator. The Blueprint would have been perfect.
Blueprint: core propositions that work
United Van Lines – a higher standard of care
Interiors Inc. – opening sooner
Famous People Players – we inspire people to achieve more
A cancer charity – more birthdays.
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