Get the Power of 10x Thinking in your Business

How big do you think? 

The size of your ambition has a big impact on the size of your success.   When I started running I was barely able to make it a mile without vomiting at the end.  First I set my goal to be able to do 3 miles within 3 months – and that is what I achieved just about.  I’d run sporadically and over time it built up slowly and erratically until I could limp around the course.

Next I notched up my ambition to something I thought was impossible – a marathon within the next 6 months.  This huge challenge forced me to change my behaviour – I wrote a training plan and started running 5 times a week.  I changed my diet and cut back on my drinking.  I made sure to rest properly.  I also did it for charity which gave me accountability to my nearest and dearest (and raised a decent chunk of money).  Next April I’d completed 26 miles with a smile just about on my face.  This was 8 times further than I’d run six months before.

This is an example of 10x thinking.  It is a hugely powerful way of delivering success.  It was devised by the clever people at Google – they figured that if you aim for 10% improvement or growth, you’ll get something that is materially the same as before.  Instead the idea is to aim for something 10 times more ambitious or a totally new way of doing things.  This huge step up changes the game and transforms the way you go about delivering

Google used 10x thinking when they acquired YouTube.  At the time it was achieving less than 100 million hours of streaming per day (still no mean feat).  The 10x target set was for 1 billion hours of streaming.  With all resources focused on this enormous growth, YouTube hit it within 3 years.   

What makes 10x thinking so powerful?  There are a few underlying reasons:

  1. It forces ambition – if you shoot for the stars you are much more likely to get to the moon.  As long as you’re clear that your goals are a huge stretch it allows you to go BIG in your thinking.
  2. It removes self-limitation –  For 3 years in my business I was stuck at around £60k of profit per year.  I think deep-down I’d decided that was the limit of what was possible, and my actions became a self-fulfilling prophecy.  10x thinking blows the lid off these limitations.
  3. It creates huge possibilities – when you are challenged to think huge it creates a different kind of conversation.  You start to play with new and different ways of doing things.  Rather than asking how to make things better you ask how can we do things totally differently.
  4. It changes your approach – as you can see from my running example, it forces you to step up your game.  You’ll need to change your tactics and behaviours significantly to respond to the extra challenge.  This leads to improved performance and better results.

These days I work with leaders and owners of fast growing ambitious organisations. I’m challenging all my clients to use 10x thinking.  We use it as a framework to explore what is truly possible for their companies.  We review their goals and strategy to challenge what is truly possible.  Whether it’s pushing for a larger valuation, raising 10x finance or setting huge targets for growth they are proving to make a huge difference.  We see a big step up in engagement, performance and results.

So why not take the 10x challenge today.  Ask yourself:

  • What are your current business targets / goals?
  • What could you aim for if you thought 10x about them?
  • How will you need to operate differently to hit those new goals?

Aim to push the boundaries and go beyond what you think is possible.  In doing this, you may want to set a new 10x big hairy audacious goal for yourself.  You may adopt a totally new way of getting there.

You may also find it challenging and hit some of your own limitations.  In this case, see if you can identify what mindsets and assumptions are driving the obstacles you perceive.

Please do share your experiences of 10x thinking or any new goals you’ve set below.  And get in touch if you’d like to find out how I can support you to set and deliver 10x goals for your business.

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