Moving Past Success . . . .to Signficance – the 40/20/40 rule to Business Success

Half the fun is the devious plotting.

I think back on the “proms” for my six kids.  Both sons and daughters had long, elaborate planning for romantic ways to ask out that special someone, what to wear, where to go, who to “double” with, and a hundred other items.

Like Christmas, weddings, vacations, birth of a child, pending retirement, and proms, each carries with it a potential for something big.  For something significant.  Half the fun is in this planning and looking forward.  THIS ESPECIALLY APPLIES TO BUSINESS.  Your business.

Or does it?

Robert O. Brinkerhoff, in researching the impact of training deduced that only 20% of the impact of said education occurred while the learner was in the moment.  Only 20% of the impact of the speaker occurs while they are in front of the crowd.  But taking Brinkerhoff’s deductions a step further helps us understand how the rest of his research applies.

“40% of the impact occurs before the event and 40% after.”

Just like the pre-prom planning, it is the homework done BEFORE (the “pre” 40%) the class that prepares the mind for education.  It is the research of the coming workshop by looking at the presenter’s website that gives a foundation for what to expect, and what are their qualifications.  You don’t plan a massive trip without researching, buying maps, provisions, and the appropriate gear.  It is the daily run the prepares the marathoner.

AFTER the event the “post” (40%) effect kicks in.  This is the world of practice, of follow up and accountability.  This is where the piano teacher, the executive coach, the quarterly planning sessions spring to life.  It is not the new found information that makes us significant.  It is the falling down, mistakes, failures, and setbacks that acted upon builds new muscles, improved skills, and places foot steps up the mountain to the next success.  Doctors practice.  Lawyers practice.  World class performers practice.  Do you?  Do your customers?  Do you plan on the falling-down-and-getting-back-up process with your customers and partners as they act and react to your connection?

  • What are you doing to prepare for your next big engagement?  Or do you show up and hope for the best?
  • What are you asking the other party to do to make that connection more impactful?
  • Are you using your best persuasion and fascination skills to get their full attention and involvement?
  • What are you reading about them, and what are they reading about you . . . in preparation?  Did you provide testimonials?  Case studies?  Magazine articles?
  • What follow up strategies are in place to drive the education deep within their behavior?
  • Do you have a scheduled date to follow up?  Why not?  Why don’t you set it up BEFORE your next engagement?  Or are you not serious about bringing change to their world, and by default, to yours?
  • After your engagement do they have a “list” of improvements/changes they are going to take action on?
  • After your connection do they have things that they are going to STOP doing?  Don’t they believe they can make a change?   Do they not realize the limited resources (especially time and focus) they have?  Should you make that part of your pre-event 40%?

Stop making your business and life about the 20% events that occur.  Make life rich and meaningful by looking realistically at the 40%/40% that is wrapped about these events, connections, customer interactions, employee engagements, dates, children, marriages. . .  and business.

Move past success and into SIGNIFICANCE.

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