How to know when your plan isn’t working.

When working together with Founders, we take a look at historical and current information.

Through analysis, we identify the Contributing Factors that have led to the things we need to fix.

In around 80% of client engagements there is a Contributing Factor that really sticks out.

But it has not had the attention it needs.

My suspicion is typically that the founder is aware it’s having a detrimental effect on moving the business forward.

But they are unable or unwilling, for their own reasons, to address the situation.

And regardless of the detail, what I often hear from the founder is “well we’ve always done it that way”, or “Jim (or whomever) has been here a while and is part of the furniture”.

Here’s where Plan Continuation bias appears.

The theory of Plan Continuation bias is one tool to help us understand why this is happening.

It’s a cognitive bias that is best explained as…

“sticking to the original plan even when conditions are changing unfavourably around us.”

Plan Continuation bias has been shown to be a major contributor to failure in lots of areas of life and business.

The aviation industry in particular is extremely rigorous in understanding why accidents happen.

In some studies, Plan Continuation bias and the related decisions made have been shown to be a significant factor in various aviation accidents.

Why we carry on regardless

Its causes are typically :-

  1. being too optimistic about the outcome of a situation
  2. the ability for the individual to admit they were wrong

Both can be tough for a Founder to work through.

In your own situation, you may not have the right support around you.

Because I work exclusively with Founders and I’m familiar with your type of challenges.

I’ve found that we are able to have confidential conversations and talk openly about sensitive Contributing Factors and possible fixes.

My independence from the business acts as a fresh pair of eyes and helps identify where change may be a good thing.

Knowing what to change and what to keep is a key output of the Deciding To Grow framework.

Get in touch for more help.



Let me know if can help. Being a founder can be a lonely place, I know because I’ve been there myself, and it’s something that would be worth fixing.