6 Step Blueprint To Success

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Blueprint To Success GROWTH Model

The “GROWTH Process” developed in the early 1990s is a 6 step process for continuous improvement.

The process starts with becoming very clear about what you want to achieve and why you want it. You then move on to figuring out how to get there, planning and taking action, and reviewing what works and what doesn’t so that improvements can be made.

It’s a blueprint for continuous improvement towards success.

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The GROWTH Process Blueprint To Success

Introduction To The GROWTH Process aka 6 Step Blueprint To Success

In 1989, on a course for business coaches, Alan Fine a highly respected performance coach introduced the 4-step GROW Coaching Model. During the early 90s, in addition to using the process with individuals as a coach, I also used it with groups, working as a facilitator for planning and change workshops.

The toolset worked well for business challenges, especially when people were finding it difficult to move forward. I also found it useful in various other settings including sports, music, social, and the public sector.

After a couple of years, from customer feedback, I split the 4th Step, into three distinct disciplines thereby adding two steps. The GROW Coaching Model evolved into what has since been known as the GROWTH Process. In the mid-1990s, a customer referred to the GROWTH Process as his “6 step blueprint to success”…

I’ve used the GROWTH Process so much that its use has become a habit for any project that gets near to me! So for me, it has become a GROWTH Habit.

As you already know by now, the GROWTH Process consists of 6 steps:

  • Step 1: GOAL setting – Set SMARTER goals.
  • Step 2: Reality check – Where are you now in relation to your goal?
  • Step 3: Options – Consider, brainstorm, research what options you have.
  • Step 4: Way forward – Decision time. Create a plan.
  • Step 5: Take action – Execute the plan!
  • Step 6: How did it go? – Review progress and feedback for learning.

Step 1: GROWTH Process – Goal Setting

Answer A Few Useful Questions

Setting Goals

The first of the 6 steps to success of the GROWTH Process asks: “What do you want to achieve?”. A simple question that requires a comprehensive answer.

This is where you determine your outcome/s. What are your aspirations? Big or small, it matters not. The bigger the aspirations (or the more complex) the longer this step will take.

Note: I use the words goals, outcomes and aspirations to mean more or less the same things … these three words are largely interchangeable.

The single most important question to get started with anything: “What do you want to achieve?”, is not always easy to answer and is often not answered in enough detail. The more specific and detailed your answer is, the greater is the chance that you will achieve what you want.

This list of questions following might look pedantic … but I can assure you that answering them will give you an enormous advantage!

  • Precisely what outcome/s do you want to achieve?
  • How big or small is it?
  • How much, many, or even few do you want?
  • Who is involved?
  • Is location important, in which case where?
  • Is timing important, in which case when do you want it/them?
  • How will you know that you have achieved your outcome/s?
  • What will you:
    • see?;
    • hear?;
    • feel?;
    • and are there any negative effects? (if there are you might want to make adjustments).
  • What else does it get for you (or anyone else)?
  • Above all why do you want this outcome/s?

Always write the required outcomes down, incorporating answers to the above questions, in as much detail as is appropriate for the people involved.

If you are interested in the power of why!

Go here to learn a sure-fire method to discover your whys!

Also, realise that nothing is set in stone here. There may well be additions, deletions or adjustments to the outcome/s as you progress through the GROWTH Process steps. There is no right or wrong; only what works for you.

Creating SMARTER Goals

Many people are already familiar with the concept of SMART goals or aspirations.

Sometime in the 1980s, I learned of the evolution of SMART into SMARTER:

  • Specific – have you defined specifically, in enough detail, what you want to achieve?
  • Measurable – are you able to know when you have achieved your goal?
  • Achievable – is what you want a realistic aspiration? This is especially worth consideration for short-term goals. Be careful with this one… just because you don`t know how to achieve something yet does not make it unrealistic (Also, see “Risky”, below).
  • Resources – do you have or can you acquire whatever is needed?
  • Timed – are there any time constraints or targets? Are they specified and possible?
  • Environment – as you move towards achieving your goal, who and what else is affected?
  • Risky – by definition, all growth is achieved outside of our comfort zone. If the goal requires a need or desire for growth of some sort, is the necessary stretch clear, understood and believable? As with “Achievable”, do you believe you can learn or acquire whatever is needed to succeed.

The questions asked above will have catered for “Specific”, “Measurable”, any important “Time” factors. and perhaps some of the “Environment” and “Resources” considerations.

This may leave “Achievable” and “Risky” to be clarified later, and there are possibly more “Environment” factors and “Resources” to be considered later in Step 3 of the GROWTH Process.

Before moving on to Step 2 … ask:
Just how compelling is/are your outcome/s?
Do you truly know why you want it/them?
Have you written it all down?

Always realise that nothing is set in stone here. The outcomes reflect your or your team`s inspirations alone. There may well be additions, deletions or adjustments to the outcome/s as you progress through the GROWTH Process. There is no right or wrong; only what works for you.

Step 2: GROWTH Process – Reality Check

Welcome To Reality

In Step 2, we examine “What is our current reality?”.

Workshop participants have sometimes asked why this is not the first step.

The thing is that focusing on current reality first serves to limit our thinking in relation to our aspirations.

There are some situations, usually informal and with individuals, where it is best to go with the flow of whatever they want to explore first. On rare occasions, we go through step 2 before step 1.

However, achievement of growth or change requires expanding or breaking through our comfort zone.

More often than not, focusing on current reality first leads to creativity being limited to within the bounds of our current comfort zone.

So whenever possible, going through Step 1 first leads to minimal interference from our experience of the current reality, and tends to lead to more creativity.

By first focusing on aspirations in Step 1, the more likely we are to develop compelling, and motivational outcomes that lead to a breakthrough.

Reality Check

So, the question is, concerning our goals/aspirations, where am I? or where are we? right now.

Most importantly, this includes, what resources are currently available?

Resources are not just money. They include attitudes (mindsets), knowledge, skills, strengths and weaknesses (areas for improvement and learning).

Write it all down … then …

Highlight The Differences

At this point, comparing your goals against current reality will clarify the distance or differences between these two points in time.

Now you can define what specific areas need to change and by how much.

If you’ve conscientiously followed the first 2 steps you’re now very clear about what you want to achieve and why, and you should have a good understanding of the size of any challenges.

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4 thoughts on “6 Step Blueprint To Success”

  1. Hello Richard, Thank you so much for this interesting article. It has helped me a lot to go back to basic and start over again. I have studied your six steps to success and will work on this. I am more clearer now. I have Set up a list where I have put all my, our goals and found out that I am still on the right track. I just was a bit confused. We have set up so many different things over the last years.
    We have made seven sculptures.
    Seven songs, three are released. The other four will be released this year.
    Gerhard is producing a classic piece called Challenging Beethoven, which will be released, after making the video clip. And last but not least, I started a website in 2020, where I try to help other women to dare to dream big and get slender and healthy at the same time. As you can read, we have made all the resources. The main thing is the time issue. To promote all of this costs a lot of time. What stressed and gets me under pressure the most is time. Do you know how I can set up a proper time management, so that I can be more focused?
    Thank you again Richard for your great help.

    • Hi Monique
      Thank you for reaching out and discussing your situation. I am very pleased that the Human GROWTH Habit (as I call it) is useful to you. I can give you some clues about time management (an expression that you will find I don’t use myself) … here is an article I wrote recently on this: https://aspireactadapt.com/illusion-of-time-management
      I hope it helps. Just get back to me with any follow up questions.
      Best wishes

  2. This is something I absolutely must do. I can see that it takes time to make this blueprint, but it is important to achieve all my goals. I have several goals, and I may not have expressed them all very clearly in my mind to start or continue the process of achieving them. As you mentioned in this post, we should be clear about what we want to achieve.
    I love the arrows in the pics, they clearly show how it can go and they make me feel less bad about straying from the path sometimes. We’re only human, right? The wonderful thing is, though, that all straying arrows get back to the main arrow and eventually reach the goal, which means that persistance and hard work pays off.
    I’ll do this blueprint. How much time do you think I should set aside to create this blueprint for my goals?

    • Hi Christine. Thank you for reading about the Human GROWTH Process and telling me what you think. I’m glad you found it interesting and hope. more importantly, that you apply it and find it useful. To me, it’s become a habit over the years. Whenever I, or anyone else I am with, has a challenge I automatically run through the process, asking appropriate questions to help myself or the other person/people to be clear at each step.

      You ask how much time to allow. There are two points to make.
      1. the first few times you use it, it will take more time than later. With familiarity, you can get through faster. If you go through the process on your own I would encourage you to ‘practice’ the process with something that you consider to be simple, the first time around. Perhaps a mundane everyday ‘project’ like going to the shops.
      2. If I was coaching someone face to face I would normally schedule a 2-hour slot (not for planning to go to the shops!). How long it actually takes would depend on the complexity of the required outcome and the necessary steps to achieve it. With an individual, with guidance, it usually takes between one and four hours.

      Please let me know how it goes. Thank you… Richard


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