Tuesday, April 09, 2013

"Plan B" by David Kord Murray

Plan B: How to Hatch a Second Plan That's Always Better Than Your First by David Kord Murray may have taken a long time between purchase and reading for me, but was a solid business book.

I previously read and reviewed his Borrowing Brilliance and Plan B was an interesting follow up that lays out Murray's 11 "Principles of Adaptive Management." The principles themselves can be found in a book synopsis by Harvey Schachter for the Toronto newspaper Global and Mail and the ones that struck me as most interesting are the following...

Principle of Problems - The idea behind this was that an owner or employee should figure out what problem their business trying to solve. This very much reminded me of the book How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon with the idea expressed there (which I noted in a review of the book) being to consider what job a product or service fills. On the same topic of writing by Christensen, Murray refers to him the end of Plan B to  in a chapter on evolving plans and strategic evolution vs tactical alternations.

Principle of Solutions - This as described by Murray was about the the importance of tactics, especially as they align with strategy. Concept from the book is that too often tactics are overlooked in importance, and it's an examination of tactics that can reveal what will work in an endeavor... with the example given of finding the tactics that would be used to successfully return to Earth the Apollo 13 crew after an equipment failure.

Principle of Force - This was one of those situations where an idea from someone made me think of a similar concept I've seen elsewhere previously. Specifically, what I took from Murray in this chapter was the notion of being expert at the most niche thing possible. I may have seen other writers expound on this as well, but the person I recall who covered it was Tim Ferriss is his book The 4-Hour Workweek (which I reviewed here).

Principle of paper plans - Concept simplified was that the important thing isn't the plan itself, but the thinking through of the business idea that's required to actually write the plan.

Principle of Multiple Futures - This somewhat ties into the idea of paper plans and them not being the end-all, be-all, but the idea I took from Murray in this section was the best way to make predictions is to make a lot of them and best way to plan for outcomes is to consider a lot of them. Basically, things won't often turn out exactly like we expect so multiple outcomes should be considered along with potential reactions to them.