June 7, 2018
This is my Tornado Method Manifesto (manifesto: a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer). With this manifesto, I want to explain what the Tornado Method is, why I created it, declare my intentions and hopes for where I would like it to go and state the conditions under which it can be used and shared.
Why the Tornado Method?
As the world evolves we are increasingly reliant on ourselves to secure our livelihoods and our future. The days when you could join an organisation who would take care of you for the rest of your life are over. Today, we can expect to not only work for multiple employers over the course of our working lives – chances are that we will have multiple careers, skill sets and be trained in different disciplines.
In 1980 over 90% of the working population worked for an employer. Today, less than 40 years later, fully a third of us are independent, contractors or in some non-permanent position with an organisation. According to a 2014 study commissioned by the Freelancers Union, 53 million Americans are independent workers, about 34 percent of the total workforce. This number is expected to balloon to 50 percent by 2020, and trends in other countries indicate a similar shift.
Very few of us have had formal business training. We have to learn the hard way how to create a brand, define our products and services, market them and sell them to potential clients. There are some tools that can help us design businesses; the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas are two of the more well-known tools for design thinking and lean business design. Startups get a lot of attention, but the vast majority of them are not fortunate enough to get the support of accelerators, funding or mentors.
These tools are not enough – on their own – to help us build, grow and run a business. They do not address issues like brand, marketing, designing our products or services or – the most common reason independents and small businesses struggle – personal effectiveness. As a result, most freelancers, independents and small business owners have to learn how to design and build a business the hard way. And in the process, they become overworked, over-stressed and sometimes burn out.
That is why – and how – the Tornado Method was born.
What is the Tornado Method?
(You can find a 3:30 video explaining the Tornado Method and the Beginner’s Guide to the Tornado Method on the Britewrx website here.)
The Tornado Method is a framework for designing, building and growing a business. It consists of 11 elements in three layers; together these elements cover all of the things you need to successfully build a grow a small business.
This is what it looks like:
The Revenue Engine is where a business makes money and where business owners spend most of their time. The Revenue Engine is built on the Building Blocks layer, which consists of three elements – Business Model, Brand and Product Ladder – supported by the business strategy and structure. And supporting all of this is the Getting Stuff Done layer, where personal effectiveness eventually determines whether you can have a business – and a life.
One of the key principles of the Tornado Method is that you can determine how well each element is performing by answering a single question (which also serves to define the purpose of each element). This is shown in the same diagram as follows:
The Tornado Method is supported by a number of worksheets and methodologies. The most important worksheet is the Revenue Engine Worksheet, which takes an in-depth look at the Revenue Engine to determine what’s working, what’s being tested, ideas for stuff to do in future and a place to list stuff that didn’t work. Here’s an example:
One of the first exercises I do with business owners is to fill in their Revenue Engine worksheet – which immediately shows how much stuff they are trying to handle but how little is actually effective (especially in Marketing). This is one of the quickest ways to deal with overwhelm; stop doing more stuff until you’ve tested and verified that the current stuff is working.
Other commonly used worksheets include the Top-Level Scoresheet, the Domino Sequence worksheet and the Product Ladder. A series of free and paid DIY guides are under development to address specific elements or common problems, workshops teach business owners how to deal with overwhelm and manage their businesses using the Tornado Method, and I am working with trusted business consultants to become the first certified Tornado Method practitioners.
My hopes for the Tornado Method
The Tornado Method was born out of my own frustrations as a small business owner. I needed information to help me do things like marketing; the hype and hard sell on the Internet is not only offensive, but very little of it is actually of any value. I was overwhelmed and had very few tools to deal with it; again there was little to help me. Tools like the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup were useful in designing a business model, but did not help with the practicalities of what I needed to do for marketing or sales or designing my offerings to the market.
The Tornado Method was born out of this frustration. I first introduced it to a small group of friends in a similar situation, and their immediate adoption and encouragement helped me develop it further. It has now been accepted as the central framework at a business accelerator, been adopted by business consultants to support their own work with their clients and forms the framework around which I am developing a range of DIY guides and consulting services.
I have two hopes for the Tornado Method:
- My first hope is that the Tornado Method will help more freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners be successful – and still have a life. This is why it was created in the first place, where I see it have the most impact and how I hope to make a difference in the world.
- My next hope is for the Tornado Method to help more people all around the world. I hope to make it as widely known, used and accepted as tools like the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas. I hope to make it a reference tool for startups, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners, whether you’re starting out, growing or happy where you are.
I can already see that my first hope is being realised. If I can realise my second hope I will have been successful in what I set out to do, and know that I made the world just a little better place.
Creative Commons License
To achieve these goals I am making the Tornado Method available for public use under a Creative Commons license:
The Tornado Method by Neville Chamberlain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://britewrx.com/tornado-method.
This means that you can download and share the Tornado Method and the accompanying worksheets as long as you credit me, don’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
If you have any questions about this please drop me a note.
What you can do
If you would like to learn more about the Tornado Method, you can find a 3:30 video explaining the Tornado Method and the Beginner’s Guide to the Tornado Method on the Britewrx website here.
If the Tornado Method has helped you, please spread the word. Point people at https://britewrx.com/tornado-method/ where they can learn more.
And if you have questions, please let me know. I am continuously updating the Tornado Method based on what I learn from people like you – and this helps other people solve problems – and have a life.