My Capsule Wardrobe and the Amazing After Action Review

By 0 Permalink 0

Welcome back to my blog and my take on how a Capsule Wardrobe is similar to a Capsule Business! As we discussed in my first post on the Capsule Wardrobe, when you come to the last two weeks of wearing your Capsule Wardrobe during a season, you should review what you have, purchase or incorporate what you need, and discard what you don’t for the upcoming season. I consider those two weeks to be clarifying weeks, when I carefully evaluate what I have, what I want, and what I need.

This is SO similar to two critical, intentional times of reflection in business:

  1. The After Action Review which occurs after any meeting, consultation, proposal presentation, or staff/customer interaction.
  2. Scheduled times on a regular basis when, from a big picture stance, you intentionally evaluate your customers, products/services, and market.

First, the After Action Review, or AAR, has been used by the US Army for several decades, and has been promoted for business use by value pricing guru, Ron Baker. (Here’s where he describes why the AAR is the most awesome learning tool ever.)

I believe by practicing the art of the AAR, you can skyrocket your business success! In an AAR, you should ask:

  • What was supposed to happen?
  • What actually happened?
  • What are the positive and negative factors here?
  • What we learned and what should we do better next time?

In my business, AARs are fast becoming the standard right after any client or prospect-facing meeting and even after many staff meetings. Each person who participated inherently knows ways to improve the next time around, and capturing this knowledge is critical for growing and improving. Ron Baker said:

Your firm’s intellectual capital is the most important source of its long-term wealth creating capacity… Capturing the tacit knowledge that exists in the heads of your human capital and making it part of your organization’s structural capital will insure that your firm knows what it knows, and can deploy it quicker and at a greater value than the competition.

I would encourage you to try implementing AARs into your business, whether you are a business owner or an employee! The insights you will gain will propel your business on its way toward more focused operations.

Second, regarding times for broader reflection on the overall direction of the business, these will not be as frequent as AARs. (I recommend quarterly for the frequency.) These are times you set aside from working in the weeds to discover and prune clients, services, products or markets that do not bring you the ROI you thought they would. During these reflecting times, you may find that your services or products don’t bring the joy they once did or that you may want to seize some opportunities you have set to the side. It’s a healthy thing to intentionally create times of focus, planning and pruning in our lives, whether quickly after key interactions or less frequently for deep thought.

As business owners, we can get so buried in the day-to-day operations of our businesses that we find them drifting whatever direction the wind blows with no real mapped plan. We must remove ourselves for a time of review, renewal and refocus so that we can effectively steer the ship we are sailing.

Back to the capsule: if you’re interested in creating your own Capsule Wardrobe, I would encourage you to read the following posts for inspiration and clarity:

What reviews are you doing that are helping your business grow? I would love to hear about them below! Happy Capsuling, Niching, Focusing and Reviewing in Your Business!

Comments are closed.