Planning and Tools Solve Problems

Many difficult problems have solutions.

Not always easy or obvious ones. Some require new ways of thinking or even new tools.

Take the Leadenhall Building in London

People know how to build large buildings so why is this one difficult?

The building is nearly 750 feet tall and encloses more than 900,000 square feet of space. Not spectacular.

What is spectacular is that was built within demanding limits. Construction could not disrupt the district’s heavy traffic, and it could not block sight  lines to St Paul’s Cathedral. The land it sits on is tiny. Barely over 32,000 square feet.

How do you build a skyscraper on a small site with busy streets around it?

You invent processes and tools.

Material delivery was timed to the minute and ran like a military invasion. The building does not use a concrete core like most tall buildings. Hard to deliver and pour concrete under these conditions. It has a steel mega frame. The tallest of its kind in the world.

It looks like a cheese grater to protect the sight lines.

What can we learn from this? 

  1. The building was designed and built to suit its site and its purpose.
  2. It had to work economically.
  3. The contractor implemented processes that met the limits.
  4. The designer used tools that met the needs.

You build financial plans the same way

  1. Start with what you have and what you need from it.
  2. Build a process that recognizes limits and can work in the time frame permitted.
  3. Use the tools available and adapt them to your purpose.

You don’t begin with an array of tools and then find a use for them. 

All plans should be sensitive to their context. All plans should be efficient solutions to a clear strategic opportunity. Then you just do it.

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

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