The Devil is in the Detail

This weeks blog comes from Glen Coe; one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.   When I look at the landscape of this place is connects me back to Vision & the Big Picture.

However, the area I want you to think about today is around ‘detail’ and the small things… and yes for those who know me well, this is probably not an area you would expect me to want to focus on!

Even though I don’t like looking at the detail, it is essential, so it’s one of those things I have to plan & schedule in – otherwise more ‘important activities’ take over.

So, ask yourself – if you are creative entrepreneur like me, where are taking the time to do the ‘detail’ in the planning?

First of all you need the Big Picture stuff crystal clear, so go back to my vision blogs to get help with that, but then it’s time for the nitty gritty of HOW you will achieve the vision.

We travelled to Scotland during the winter and did a twelve-hour decent of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.  Now as an experienced mountaineer I am pretty dialled in, I like the big picture and I also like to drill right into the detail. But you can still miss things, if you don’t focus and do the planning thoroughly!

When we were there I made two mistakes, and they were two brutal mistakes…

One was that I used a new set of boots and when we got above the snow line where it was really icy; I found my crampons didn’t fit the boot! This was a stupid error that cost me a lot because it can be very dangerous on a mountain and I didn’t have the equipment I needed to support me.

The second mistake I made, was we set out in the morning to begin the decent of a mountain that we thought would take six hours but it actually took twelve! This was due to having team members who were simply ‘maxed out’ and to there being snow at the top causing complications.  As we were out a lot longer than anticipated I hadn’t brought my head torch, making the decent a lot trickier and longer as it was really dark.

Despite making sure that I had all of the rest of the kit I needed and that I had taken care of my nutrition, these errors really cost me and they could have been fatal.

When we are looking at business it’s the same principle, you have to make sure you’ve got the macro strategy identified first. Following this, it’s about paying attention to the detail and having a detailed plan. For example if you are hiring someone you have to work out the detail surrounding the cash flow and the marketing etc. Now this detail really matters but it’s not about dialling into it straight away, its important before jumping in you have your strategy nailed down and the big things in place, after this then go into the micro detail around the key areas of their personality profile, job role & responsibilities etc.

So that’s my bit of advice for today from the beautiful Glen Coe. Make sure you’ve got the big things in place and then remember the detail; it’s the detail that holds everything – particularly when it comes to cash flow.



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