Plant System Part 2 – Apply it

Plant System Applied

The Plant System for Business Planning - Part 2: Applying the system thinking model

Quick Summary

  • 3 min read
  • This is part 2 of 3, an introduction to applying the Plant System as a system thinking model that we use as a framework for strategic planning.
  • Use the form to go through questions you can use to see how your idea could align with this model.
  • Use the form to collect your data for Part 3: Leverage the system. (There is no need to submit your data on the form)

How can we apply the Plant System to business?

Here we are going to use our Plant System and explore how we can apply the system thinking model to business. Like a plant, we can grow from small beginnings; we really shouldn’t need a lot of resources to get at least something going. The dreams are big, but it could all start with someone writing an idea on the back of a beer mat, then sharing that idea and with continuous action, great things are possible.

However, we still need the right conditions even if they are very modest.
Like the plant needs soil, water and sunlight, we will need people, knowledge and capital. However, that can be: You, access to the internet and little savings to invest in putting yourself out there online.
With just a few hours a week to spare that is pretty much how I started.

So let’s map the Plant System model to something that makes a bit more business sense, and I’m not going to change the structure of the model one bit.

Here is an image of the Plant Model again for you to refer to:


The Mappings

Soil = Capital

The soil represents our technical resources, our capital. Something to get you up off the ground.

Water = People

The water represents you or people in your business. After all, we are about 70% water. ☻

Sunlight = Knowledge

The sunlight represents knowledge, our daily dose of inspiration, always open-minded to learn something new, seeing the light.

These 3 factors combined create the fundamental conditions for us to progress.

Plant Seed = Actioning an Idea

The seed represents the thoughts that come into our heads and at least the first action of writing them down as ideas to plant into the heads of others.

Nurture = Invest

Look after your ideas, invest in them. If you don't, they will die before they've even had a chance. Investing your time will be the most valuable.

Branch = Diversify

Be open-minded with your idea, let it diversify and branch out. Diversification will also improve the robustness of your idea and minimise risk.

Leaves = Opportunities

Leaves open themselves up to opportunities. Start attracting an audience, who is going to bite. Listen to what they want, what they need and absorb more knowledge.

Flower = Deliver

The flower represents what we deliver. We work hard to produce something that is beautiful and full of quality.

Fruit = Sales

The fruit represents the sale, the fruits of our labour.

Animals and Insects = Expenses

They represent those blood-sucking expenses that are all part of the game. However, remember that your expenses are another person's sale. You are helping them while others help you.

Nature's Gifts = Pleasure

These are the gifts you give yourself for your pleasure, joy and goodwill. Enjoy spending money and try to make good memories. Make this part of your journey. Do not think that this should come much later if you do; it may never happen.

The key is always to balance the flow to what works.

So with that, here is the model applied to business.

Take a minute to watch the flow.



Time for a task: Data Collection

Let's create some data for this model. This data collection exercise prepares us for Part 3: Leverage. However, by just writing responses to the questions in this form can prove very insightful.
Its focus is to see how your ideas map to the sustainable system thinking model of our Plant System.
To help you see your idea is an unbiased, fair, sustainable viewpoint that could work for you.

Let's assume you have the right conditions i.e. Capital (Piggy bank), People (You) and Knowledge (Google).

Now think of any idea that you could act on to improve your business and run it through the form below to see if that idea is sustainable like a plant.


Join the conversation and get creative!

We don’t always get it right so we welcome constructive feedback. Please get involved and leave your updates on the Facebook post and start a conversation with other Systempreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners on how you think it could be improved.

Or even make changes yourself using the following link: Play and remix the model yourself on Nicky Case's website and post your system thinking samples.

What's Next

Next, we are going to show you how we can leverage this information and how incredibly useful that can be to you.
  • Part 3: We show you how we can leverage the data behind the model to help tweak the planning to find out what works.


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About The Author

Glenn Renwick

Hi guys! I'm Glenn, the business development director here at Analyse That®. I would describe myself as a life-long learner with a passion for finding efficient and productive ways of working. You will see me tinkering away, writing, designing and developing systems that drive our business forward and hopefully yours too. Want to know more? See my journey that led to this blog

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