Co-creating Playbooks for your team provides the guidelines for extraordinary business growth, expansion and sustainability.
There’s a difference, however, between a business playbook and regarding that playbook as a prescriptive cookbook.
Anyone who has watched an NFL football game understands that the team has a plan of “what that game is supposed to look like.” Game plans are guidelines instead of absolutes. Game plans take into account the probability of achieving successful completions that lead to successful outcomes: winning the game. Game plans take into account team history, watching film and assessing the players and field conditions.
After the first whistle, you know what happens. The game plan can be quickly thrown out. That is when the coach starts to earn his salary, dealing with a constantly shifting set of variables amidst uncertainty.
Game plans leverage the team’s ability to successfully execute from the options that comprise their Playbook. New week. New team. New game plan. New options from the Playbook.
On the other hand, a cookbook outlines a process, and specific steps (absolutes not guidelines), taken in specific order, to achieve a specific outcome. There is a reason the cookbook process is prescriptive. The desired output must meet specific design and manufacturing tolerances with minimal or no glitches and elimination of waste and defects.
A cookbook allows very little wiggle room.
Anyone who has ever decided to take shortcuts in a solid business, project management or manufacturing process in order to save time and/or money knows what the output and business consequences were. Follow the cookbook.
Anyone who has ever decided to “cookbook” a qualitative and quantitative process, like building Houses of Quality for new product development, quickly finds out that it also takes a master facilitator to pull from her Playbook to make sure the team has spent adequate time understanding and defining the problem before rushing headlong into cookbooking project design.
In their seminal book, Beyond Change Management, Dean Anderson and Linda Ackerman Anderson quote a 2008 IBM study of 1500 global change management executives that reveals 60% of change efforts are unsuccessful in delivering on their objectives (p. 19, 234). The culprit: poor change leadership in understanding, designing and implementing the change.
If you are a business leader considering a Playbook for growth and expansion, the first order of business may not be that deep-dive into Playbook creation. You may need to revise – or even create – more than a few process cookbooks for your organization.
Cookbooks aren’t considered as sexy as Playbooks. Yet they are extremely valuable. Rock solid cookbooks become part of the whole which comprises your Playbooks.
Cookbooks reinforce process and discipline within your corporate culture. Cookbooks produce successful, and reproducible, outcomes for your company and your customers. Most importantly, cookbooks create a healthy sense of confidence and well-being in your employees as you introduce skills training that may have been lacking.
Do you need a cookbook of processes that takes into account various internal systems, instead of a Playbook?
Playbooks provide a framework for modeling your business outcomes. They provide wiggle room and the space to pivot. Playbooks are non-prescriptive and non-linear. Playbooks account for the constantly shifting, multi-factorial dynamics of your external business ecosystem.
Just like an NFL team encounters.
Playbooks make you and your team sensitive to the impact of internal and external individual mindset and corporate culture on how and why you and your customers make business decisions.
You, as a Leader of Worth, must consider where to begin: Playbook or Cookbook?
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.