Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Strategic Planning


"If you don't know where you are going any road will get you there." CS Lewis

Strategic Planning is the one process that enables significant stakeholders to focus on the vision of the company, challenge assumptions that might have inhibited their success and galvanize the significant drivers to collaborate in creating or recreating the company's history.

With the right culture and facilitation strategic planning will not only enable the articulation of vision and goals, but it will also enable the key players to address the assumptions, organizational dynamics and roadblocks that impinge upon success and join together in a shared vision that creates passion and collaboration. The results are both tangible and intangible.

"Strategic planning embodies the heart, soul and hope of the company।" ~
Bonni DiMatteo, President of Atlantic Consultants


A clear strategic plan is the rudder for every company's journey to success.
Without a solid strategic plan, companies will not attain previously set goals.


The Three Stages of a Strategic Planning Retreat
Prior to the Strategic Planning Retreat:

Create a focused agenda designed for maximum productivity and efficiency
Work with board to clarify vision, mission, values and goals for the future
Identify Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
Assign each member homework for upcoming retreat
Set clear expectations for each member attending the retreat
During the Strategic Planning Retreat:
Keep participants focused and productive
Insure productive collaboration by facilitating team- building exercises
Insure open communication by facilitating exercises
Mitigate resistance to growth and change amongst participants
Allow everyone to focus on their assigned roles & goals
Keep track of time and progress
Create alignment
Post Retreat:
Follow up action plan
Implementation of action plan
Coach key leaders to achieve individual and departmental goals
Schedule planned meetings to insure that goals are being met \
A successful retreat results in:
A clear vision, mission and values
An understanding of the SWOT Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
A plan to mitigate the weaknesses and threats and optimize the strengths and opportunities
Unbridled communication among the stakeholders to address concerns and hopes; silos and cross function collaboration
SMART Goals
Strategies for each goal
Implementation Plan
Contingency Plan
Action Plan What How Who when
Quarterly Check -in Schedules
Team commitment with clear roles and responsibilities
Improved Communication and collaboration



Strategic Planning Tips


Establish SMART goals that are aligned with your values, vision and mission:
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Timed
Timeline:Use the horizon of 2-5 years when developing your strategic plan. This will give you a broad opportunity for choosing direction and creating a plan to get the job done.
Size of Retreat:Identify the key people to participate in a strategic planning retreat. Choose a group with balanced perspectives and strengths. The ideal size is 8-12 people.
Time of Retreat:
Retreats should be 2-3 days
The retreat should be selected 6 weeks prior to give participants enough time
Homework:
Should focus on both research and future vision
Assignments should be focused and targeted
Assignments should also focus on the individual's future vision and how that complements the company's future vision
This may include personal development, succession or exit strategy

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Teambuilding Articles

Lessons from the Sidelines: Effective Leadership and Teamwork Spell Victory
Learning Team Building Lesson From Soup Kitchen
Coaches Can Help Executive Teams Customize Their Selection Process, January 2004 Success Strategies

Communication Articles

Below are links to articles about communication:

Communication as Tools for Survival: Lessons Learned from the Tsunami
Lapse in Communication, July 2004 – Success Strategies
Communicating Your Vision and Inspiring Passion Creates Pathways to Financial and Corporate Success, January 2004 – Success Strategies
Communication and Accountability – Key Ingredients to a Successful Company, November 2003 – Success Strategies

Organization Corner: Implementing the Strategic Plan

From Success Strategies:

http://www.atlanticconsultants.com/success-strategies/03-february.htm

Strategic planning, when done correctly, embodies the heart, soul, and hope of the company. Input from all corners of the company coalesce into the mission, vision, values, goals, and strategic focus of the company. Contributors sacrifice time and energy to set future direction. Now the work begins.


In order to transform a strategic plan from a dormant document to a living instrument, the energy has to be constantly galvanized at this point. How can leaders create a sense of urgency, excitement, and commitment throughout the company? Below are suggestions for keeping staff focused on the plan

Tell them the plan
Show them the plan
Work the plan
Inspire a call for action
Align corporate and department values, vision, mission, and goals
Align individual performance goals around department and company goals
Develop a matrix that rewards individual and team/department goal achievement depending on your values
Train and coach your managers to motivate and coach their staff toward the shared vision/mission
Anticipate resistance
Identify WIFM (What's In It For Me) to engage them in the completion of the plan
Develop ways to create buy-in
Motivate them to make a difference in the plan achievement
Create visuals that reinforce your goals, milestones, and steps in achieving the plan
Measure success and re-tweak quarterly
Identify quick wins
Celebrate successes
Reassess and redevelop new strategic plans
Communicate, communicate, communicate

Succession in Family Firms: Opportunities and Challenges

by Bonni Carson DiMatteo, CMC

In the United States, 92% of all firms are family firms. In the next five years, it is estimated that 47% will change their top leadership. At this point, 45% have not chosen a successor and lack a succession plan, while 65% do not have a strategic plan. As the transition of ownership is evolving, it is interesting to consider that 35% are considering co-CEOs, 34% are considering a woman as the next CEO, and 20% do not have an estate plan, thereby “gifting” Uncle Sam with 55% of company value.

It may be safe to voice some concerns. What would happen if today’s leader were hit by a car? Could the next layer of leadership carve the road to success in the family business?

Let’s begin with a working definition of succession:Succession – The act or process of one person taking the place of another in the enjoyment of or liability for his (her) rights or duties or both. (Webster). Our definition of Succession is a process of transferring leadership from one generation to the next after focused grooming and leadership development.. Note that Success is the root word of succession. What creates success? What evokes failure?

What are some of the roadblocks to succession? The roadblocks from both generations usually cluster around beliefs, perceptions, assumptions, and values.

For the founder that may include assumptions like:
They’ll never be able to handle this.They’re not ready.I have to see them prove themselves first.They know nothing.No customer will treat them seriously.I could lose everything.I’m too young to retire.They’re too young for this responsibility.I’ll deal with this next year.
For the next generation, the founder’s holding on seems like an impenetrable wall to her success. The entrepreneurial fever of the twenties and thirties is often thwarted as transitions keep being put into the unforeseeable future. The successors begin to wonder, “Is this what I want. Will this ever be mine to lead?”

Next generation assumptions begin to ferment and might include assumptions like:
He’ll never let go.He doesn’t trust me.He won’t teach me what I need to know.I know everything.I could make this a dynasty.I could be better off on my own.I can’t ask him to make a plan because he’ll be insulted.I'll deal with this next year.

To every change, there is resistance. For the founder, the resistance often percolates around issues of control, identity, and purpose. “What will I do with my life if I am not leading this company? It has been like a child.” The transition to new leadership is compounded by:

The founder often owns the idea, the charisma, and the culture.
The founder owns the power and knowledge.
Transfer of knowledge decreases perceived power.
Succession is the ultimate delegation.
Trust must be achieved, but often few opportunities are offered.
Letting go means finding a new identity and a new pursuit.
What’s next is uncertain.

How can you help the family owned business not become a fatality of the often quoted statistics
that only one-third makes it to the second generation and ten percent make it to the third generation?

Facts and numbers make very little impact. The key to successful successions is working through the seven tough psychological stages which include:

Stage 1 Breaking through assumptions, perceptions, beliefs, psychological barriers of succession
Stage 2 Creating Dialogue – Managing the psychological tasks of succession
Stage 3 Strategic Planning – Creating the future
Stage 4 Aligning Strategic Planning with succession planning
Stage 5 Tactical – Training, coaching, mentoring, estate panning
Stage 6 Succession Transition
Stage 7 Managing Change

It is important to remember as you develop a succession plan that it is not just the top echelon of leaders on whom we focus. Succession planning and leadership development go hand and hand in the journey of sustaining the legacy of the family business, as do strategic planning and succession planning. You have to know where you want to go to choose who will lead, and then you have to teach them how to succeed at leadership and the founder to succeed at developing a new vision of his purpose beyond the business.

Copyright © 2004 Atlantic Consultants. All rights reserved.


http://www.atlanticconsultants.com/articles/succession-in-family-business.htm

10 Steps to Choosing a Successor

1 Have a Strategic Planning Retreat that includes your Senior Management Team and potential candidates.
2 Once you have identified the vision, mission, values, and strategic focus of the company, make sure that at least one of the goals includes professional development and succession planning.
3 Identify the ideal timeline for the succession plan.
4 Identify the qualifications candidates must possess to best lead the company through the next generation.
5 Identify the professional development process and the steps for grooming the candidate including training, coaching, and mentoring.
6 Identify other key positions that will be available.
7 Consider other entrepreneurial initiatives that may be part of the strategic plan and look for leaders in those lines of business.
8 Dedicate part of the strategic planning process to relationship management that is concomitant with this process.
9 Choose an advisory board that is a resource to the enterprise and can advise on succession and other important business issues.
10 Keep the doors of communication open. Hold regular family business meetings at which everyone can provide input on the necessary capabilities, passion, and commitment of the successor.

http://www.atlanticconsultants.com/services/succession-planning.htm

Staging Strategic Planning Retreats

Consulting Today (2003) Article: Staging Strategic Planning Retreats - By Bonni DiMatteo

Link to Article in PDF Format:
http://www.atlanticconsultants.com/articles/strategic-planning.pdf

Benefits of a Strategic Planning Facilitator


Prior to the Strategic Planning Retreat:
Create a focused agenda designed for maximum productivity and efficiency
Work with board to clarify vision, mission, values and goals for the future
Assign each member homework for upcoming retreat
Identify Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

During the Strategic Planning Retreat:
Keep participants focused and productive
Insure productive collaboration by facilitating team-building exercises
Insure open communication by facilitating exercises
Mitigate resistance to growth and change amongst participants
Allow everyone to focus on their assigned roles & goals
Keep track of time and progress
Create alignment

Post Retreat:
Follow up action plan
Implementation of action plan
Coach key leaders to achieve individual and departmental goals
Schedule planned meetings to insure that goals are being met

Benefits:
Develop a clear, focused strategic plan
Clarify vision, mission, values and goals of the company
Identify Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
Create and implement a follow-up action plan to insure success

How Strategic Planning Facilitation Helps Your Company


Develop a clear and focused strategic plan
Motivate workers to achieve measurable results
Clarify your company’s vision, mission, values and goals
Identify your company’s strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
Build a feasible action plan for each department and individual leader
Create and implement a follow-up action plan to insure success
Strength the communication and commitment of the strategic planning team

Strategic Planning Tips


Content From
104 Tips on How to Ignite and OptimizeYour Business and its Leaders

1.) Organize a 2-3 day retreat for Strategic Planning
Create an agenda
Assign homework
Set expectations

2.) Research the company’s (and each department’s) SWOT
Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Threats

3.) Define the Company’s
Mission
Vision
Values
Strategic Goals


4.) Establish SMART goals that are aligned with your values, vision and mission:
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Timed