Lesson 2, Topic 3
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Why the IBOS planning phase is so powerful

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Let’s use the example of going from never having completed a triathlon to being an elite triathlete in the future to explain how this planning process works. A triathlon is made up of three “legs” completed sequentially. These are a swim, a cycle and a run. Many triathlons will now let teams compete so that each team member completes a separate leg of the triathlon.

Combining your burning platform and personal goals, what is your vision for the future? E.g. My vision for the future is to be an elite triathlete.

This is your 5 – 10 year Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). E.g. My mission is to win gold in an Olympic distance triathlon in 5 years time.

Your objectives are the things you want to achieve this year. If you achieve nothing else, you will achieve your objective(s). E.g. My objective is to complete a full triathalon.

Break your objective down into a SMART goal or goals for each quarter. E.g.

  • My goal for this quarter is to complete the swim leg.
  • My goal for next quarter is to complete the cycle leg.
  • My goal for the following quarter is to complete the run leg.
  • My goal for the final quarter is to complete all three legs.

Break each goal into strategies (think of these as projects). E.g. To complete the swim leg:

  • Strategy (project) 1 is to work with a swim coach to improve technique and diet.
  • Strategy (project) 2 is to join an open water swimming club to become more comfortable swimming in the ocean (as it’s very different from swimming in a pool).

Measures are how we will ensure we are on track and judge if we have succeeded or failed. Measures are made up of lead and lag indicators.

Lead indicators tell us if we are on track to reach our goals because consistently doing these actions lead to the outcome we want. E.g. 100% compliance to swim training schedulele and maintain 80% compliance to my training diet.

Lag indicators tell us if we have achieved our SMART goal. E.g. successfully complete the swim leg of a triathlon this quarter.

Tactics are the plans that sit within each strategy (project). E.g.

  • For strategy 1:
    • This is the training program – what you will focus on in each session and how often you will train.
    • This is the diet program – the foods you will focus on eating on training days and non-training days.
  • For strategy 2:
    • This is the training program – what you will focus on in each session and how often you will train.

This is performing the actions in your plans. E.g. swimming 3 times per week under the supervision of your coach and swimming 2 times per week in the open water swimming group.

Completing these actions in accordance with the tactical plans are the lead indicators that let us know if we are on track. E.g. If I follow this training and diet program I will comfortably be able to swim the triathlon because each action moves me one step closer to my goal. Each goal I achieve moves me closer to my objective(s) which gets me closer to realising my vision.