As I was writing my recent book Success with Goals, I referenced the concept of the Corridor Principle which was introduced by Dr Robert Ronstadt. Dr Ronstadt shared in his paper he wrote in 1988 the theory of The Corridor Principle, you can see an article that introduces the Corridor Principle as well as another concept here: www.academia.edu/4003646/The_Corridor_Principle.
To sum up the Corridor Principle, it is the idea that opportunities are presented to us as we progress down a path, however, we must take action to begin down that path to be able to see these opportunities. In Dr Ronstadt’s initial work he was studying why nearly 1/3 of all entrepreneurs started a second and even 3rd venture within just a few years after starting their 1st business. Most of these new ventures typically were extensions of the original business, although not always but most assuredly many entrepreneurs were starting that second business.
Dr Ronstadt goes on to suggest that the Principle implies that even more conventional wisdom might suggest today that the better business plan may very well be get into business rather quickly, capitalizing on timing and momentum, get the venture to cash flow positive and then as you improve your operating systems and learn about customers, vendors, and key employees, you may find another venture that is either a stronger opportunity or an ideal extension of the first business.
As I first was introduced to this concept, I did not realize that Dr Ronstadt was basing this theory on entrepreneurism, however, the application seems spot on. As I began to really dig into my goal setting work, I recognized some similar applications. For instance, often when setting big goals, we often suggest chunking them down into actionable tasks. At the same time, we should coach that the larger the goal, the less realistic that plan may be to attain that goal.
For instance, the goal of starting a business from home while you continue with your day job, can be a rather large and challenging goal, that will often require some growth and development. You’ll most likely need to learn some new skills and develop strategies to build your business in your spare time. As you begin to build your business you may not know everything you need to know, learn, or be capable of, and as such, this could deter, stall, or even end your pursuit of this goal.
The Corridor Principle introduces the idea that as you progress down your corridor to achieve your goal, you may find other paths that lead to your goal that you did not plan for, or maybe you find a different version of what you intended getting you to that goal. Solutions that you would not have thought of nor considered until you had begun down that path. We don’t know, what we don’t know, and this is key to remember when we make these strategic plans to achieve our goals. In the end, it’s more important to know your intended outcome that to know the exact plan.
As a matter of fact, when spending time goal setting, we must remember that often even the goal is not the real intent of achieving the goal. For instance, I don’t want to lose 30 pounds, I want to look better in certain outfits, or I want to improve my health, etc. How you achieve your goal is less important that your intended outcome and what you hope to gain from achieving that goal.
So, you see, the most important step to take in setting and achieving goals, is to take action, for it is once we begin to take action and progress down that corridor towards our goals that alternative or additional steps or opportunities will present themselves during the process. However, we would nothave ever known what those things might be without having begun to take action and start down that path.