Canright Communications believes that purpose and vision should drive any sales and marketing plan and project. During the Discover phase of our Canright Project Methodology, we make sure that we understand a company’s purpose, vision, and goals and how a marketing project will support them.
The primary tool at use at this initial state is the Ideal State Action Planning (ISAP) process. The ISAP process gives a concise framework and method to define the ideal and present states of a problem while suggesting pathways to make that ideal state a reality.
The ISAP process is derived from neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and communication modeling techniques pioneered by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Dr. Robert Wright, CEO of the Wright Leadership Institute, created the ISAP process from ideas in Grinder’s book Precision: A New Approach to Communication. In addition to NLP and communications modeling techniques, Dr. Wright added his own focus on purpose as a way to ensure that an ideal state flowed from a larger mission, as discussed in his book Business with Purpose.
In practice, an ISAP is a simple process. All of the major stakeholders and members of the Canright team meet to define the vision or ideal state that a project is to achieve. Three flip charts with note takers are set up on the front of the room–one on the left labeled Present, the one in the middle labeled Pathway, and the one on the right labeled Ideal. Sometimes we use a laptop projected on the wall with a Word document divided in three columns.
We ask questions to determine where the organization wants to go as a business and with the project. We also ask questions about where things stand at present. As questions are answered, answers and observations, the note takers write on the appropriate charts.
The conversation progresses, and the present and ideal states become increasingly clear. Pathways tend to emerge, almost as if by magic.
The process takes an hour or two and results in a concrete definitions of the present state, the ideal state, and the pathways required to achieve the ideal state. The information on the flip charts, along with a transcript, serve as the basis for recommendations, proposals, and reports.
Canright conducts kick-off ISAPs for all its major projects and in initial sales meetings as a way to quickly define and determine client needs.