10 - 10 - 10

I'm always looking for elegant ways to present big thoughts. Here's one that Suzy Welch has come up with in her new book that talks about something we do with a lot of our clients. Providing a context.

Building a business is part instinct, part passion, part plan. The better the plan, the more impact your passion and your instinct will have. Because you're giving them purpose.

But keeping the long-term plan in focus while life is coming at you is hard. And getting harder.

Suzy's elegant solution is 10 - 10 - 10 which suggests you put a frame around each decision. What impact will this have on me 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years from now?

I wish I'd thought of it myself.

But if you try to apply it to every business decision, you run the risk of drowning in paralysis by analysis.

So use 10-10-10. But filter it.

10 Minutes: Judge your instinctive reaction to something twice. Now and ten minutes from now. If it passes the 10 minute test - act on it. As Frank Capra said,  "A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something."

10 Months: If you feel passionate about something, stop and ask yourself if you're prepared to invest a year of your life in making it happen. You'll be amazed at how many times the honest answer is no.

10 Years: If you're analyzing a decision that's taking more than a few minutes to think through, decide if the best outcome you can imagine gets you closer to where you want to be ten years from now. Then decide if the worst case scenario will prevent you from getting there at all. If the answer to part two is yes, don't do it - regardless of the best case scenario. You'll find another way.


Instinct. Passion. Plan.