Jump Start the 2nd Half of 2019!

Company Mid-Year Planning Process CMI’S Process For Strategic Planning Strategic Planning For Today’s Challenging Business Environment These worksheets are designed to allow you to complete the past year and open up the possibility of the next year. It directs your attention and thinking to critical areas. It is not a guarantee. However, it is an opportunity to think through and focus your activity. Take as much space as you need. Do not be limited by the space we gave you. Achievements/successes for the past 6 months 1.   2.   3.   4.   Disappointments for the past 6 months 1.   2.   3.   4.   What did we learn as a company in the past 6 months? 1.   2.   3.   4.    What critical issues face us over the next 6 months? 1.   2.   3.   4.   5.   What are we going to start doing? 1.   2.   3.   4.   5.   What are we going to stop doing? 1.   2.   3.   4.   5.   What will we keep doing? 1.   2.   3.   4.   5.   In the next 6 months, what threats face the company and underline the ones that need to be dealt with. 1.   2.   3.   4.   5.   In the next 6 months, what opportunities face the company and underline the ones that you are acting on. 1.   2.   3.   What unresolved issues face the company – How will we resolve them? 1.   2.   3....

Sharpening the saw

To illuminate the point of these posts, let’s take the classic Steven Covey tale. We have a woodchopper who is from the southern part of Lithuania. (This made-up tidbit is totally irrelevant). In the story, the lumberjack is sawing away and noticing that he is accomplishing less than he used to. So, like the good Lithuanian Lumberjack that he is, he saws harder. However, the harder he saws, the more he dulls the blade. But he is blind to what is happening. This well-intentioned, but rather dull lumberjack just keeps sawing harder and accomplishing less. It was a truly dullicious situation. (That was a pun.) Does this situation sound familiar? For business people, working harder and producing less is a common pitfall. What’s missing for the lumberjack is the realization that his saw needs to be sharpened in order to keep up his level of productivity. Yet, given how he thinks, there would be no time for sharpening because he is so driven to produce. So he continues to saw, even though he might find himself getting board in the process. (Sorry, another pun.) I find that when my own saw gets dull, getting away — really getting away — has been a way to sharpen and refocus. New ideas and vistas open up in the process of truly leaving my routine behind. New perspectives appear that bless me with fresh creativity and vigor. This sounds spiritual and metaphysical, and while I would love to go there because it would make me look like a guru or Gandhi or something (and I love the turban and loincloth look, especially...

Planning: The 4th Cornerstone of Performance Oriented Cultures

Strategic planning creates the platform for a healthy company. Strategic planning is a critical part of growing a successful business. A high performance work culture needs a system that makes sure that employee goals are aligned and everyone is focused on the right stuff. The fact is that many small-to-midsize companies do not have a structured process from which to conduct strategic planning. This is like many adults who do not exercise, despite knowing it’s good for them. Perfect health isn’t guaranteed by regular exercise, but the likelihood of attaining good health is dramatically increased. Strategic breakthrough business guessing/planning works for businesses in much the same way as exercise works for the individual. The process should take place over two to three months and take three to four days. It is predicated on White Papers and dialogue. Listening and understanding are critical. Better research ensures better debate and thinking. “What is a White Paper?” you ask hysterically. A White Paper is a three-to- five page paper that addresses the critical issue. The paper should deal directly with the issues. It is, with research and analysis, the “answer” submitted by the smaller group to the entire planning team. Once you have created the plan, you need to make sure it is acted upon. Monthly meetings of one to three hours and spending time on objectives and action plans will ensure focus. Then, once a quarter, the planning team should meet offsite, preferably with a coaching resource like yours truly (bonus points if the coach is bald-headed; it makes the coach smarter and buffer…really!) At the session, the group will look at...