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The Brilliant 20-40-40 Rule

A few weeks ago I pleaded here for having a social media strategy in place. Today I want to share with you a viewpoint that having your plan is just a minor part to getting the actual job done. I picked this up from Irene Koel, one of the brilliant founders of the creative innovation agency BLOEI and have used it to my advantage ever since.

To get brilliant results, only 20% comes from your strategy or concept. The remaining 80% is neatly divided over having a great team of highly talented, brilliant people in place that works seamlessly together in executing those great plans to its fullest perfection. It pays off to get the best possible people working on the job – both internally, but this is also true for working with external parties. Your player selection is crucial for getting brilliant results.

It sounds incredibly obvious, but in reality you often see the biggest effort is placed in crafting and re-crafting that Perfect Plan – endlessly debating academically and optimizing a “what if†strategy on a piece of paper or in PowerPoint format. I guess because it gives a sense of control over things which can’t actually be controlled – especially in the long term. In today’s connected world you simply have to be able to improvise and pick up opportunities along the way. We all need to learn to deal with ambiguity.

I am not saying you don’t need to have a plan in place, but is just one-fifth of the total equation. To get brilliant results is mostly all about the doing. Consumers don’t buy plans or concepts – they tend to go for real products, services and/or experiences. That is where you (and your team!) can really make the difference. So remember: it’s (just) 20% about strategy & concept, and 40% about having a great team doing a perfect job for that remaining 40%.

Note: The attentive reader spotted that I have used the word “brilliant†quite extensively in this post. Michael Heppell inspired me to take this up into my vocabulary. His book “How to be Brilliant†– in which he talks about how being good simply isn’t enough anymore – is really a brilliant read!