The Zen Business Podcast talks Contextual Business Plans

[ Over the past few months, our own Director of Advisory Jacob Aldridge has been a recurring guest on the Zen Business Podcast. ]
by Jacob Aldridge Published

Over the past few months, I have been a recurring guest on the Zen Business Podcast and have been talking with host Simon Bell about the 12 most powerful decisions you can make in business, the Contextual Business Plan.

If you love a power-packed podcast (or four!) full of value bombs and practical insights, add these to your playlist.

Episode 12 – Vision and the First Layer of Context

Simon says“In this episode, we’re going to discuss what I call the Contextual Business Plan, and specifically look at the top layer of context, which looks at the commercial, cultural and wealth vision you have for your business.

My goal in this episode is three fold: One, to have the contextual business plan be relevant to ANY business owner or entrepreneur listening, regardless of where you are in your business life cycle or SIZE of your business… Two, to extract as much practical “how to” as I can fromJacob’s amazing business brain. Three, to have a bit of fun in the process.”

The feedback about the drive and direction discussed was incredible! So I was quickly ushered back to talk more.

Episode 17 – The Strategy Layer of the Contextual Business Plan

Having introduced the Layers of Context framework, and explained the top layer “Vision”, we move one layer down.

Once you have the Vision … you need the Strategy to take you there. Specifically:

- Growth or Capacity Planning

- Your Brand Promise, and

- The Customer Journey.

Episode 20 – Resources to support your Business Plan

So you have the Vision and Strategy – but HOW are you going to make it happen? In this episode, Simon and I talk about the Resources layer of the contextual business plan, covering Organisational Design, Learning and Development, and understanding your Profit Formula (and other key drivers of financial performance).

Some business owners are great at the detail, and lack the big picture; others love the big picture and struggle with implementation. This episode is the perfect middle-point between those two worlds.

Episode 24 – The Final Two Layers – Systems and Expectations

Much faster than planned given the excellent listener demand to finish the whole conversation, Simon and I wrap up the Contextual Business Plan conversation by exploring the final two layers of context – documenting effective Systems, and clearly communicating Expectations.

Most business owners who feel stuck in the ‘Stuff’, or the ‘Content’ (rather than the ‘Context’), move from the bottom up – attempting to address expectations, and occasionally finding time to improve their systems. This may be the necessary approach, though hopefully through this series of conversations (and plenty of laughs along the way), the Zen Business Podcast has helped you see the value and speed achieved by working (on your own, or with a contextual business coach) from the top down.

You can listen to all the episodes of the Zen Business Podcast here -

You can see the visual version of the Contextual Business Plan in the #BlackboardFridays episode here -

And of course, if you’d like to talk more with our contextual business coach Jacob Aldridge, contact him here -

Jacob Aldridge
read more by Jacob Aldridge

Over the past 12 years, more than 300 active growth businesses in Australia, the UK, and Asia-Pacific have worked with Jacob in his role as an international business coach, partner and advisor.

As the Head of Advisory at businessDEPOT, Jacob continues to work one-on-one with SME businesses and directors, while also leading the development of our Strategic Advisory services across Workshops, Group Programs, and Online business guidance.

Jacob's alumni clients and those who have attended his presentations describe him as the smart and quirky business guy who makes genuine change happen. He brings business experience that impacts both profit and valuation, plus a unique energy borne from the belief that business is best when it's fun.

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