Strategy and Planning: Divest to Invest
As organizations embark on planning for the coming year, business leaders focus on ways to improve and grow. So far, so good. But a comprehensive review of the organization’s current state may be the most important part of the planning process.
In her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” author Marie Kondo offers a method for gaining clarity, confidence, and a sense of well-being by eliminating the distraction of unnecessary clutter. Businesses large and small may benefit by applying these principles company-wide.
“Clean Up or Clean Out” is a process that guides business leaders through a comprehensive review of the “three P’s”: people, processes, and products. Let’s take a closer look.
Organizations have long held that expanding the number of products and services they offer customers is a sound business practice. It’s hard to argue that responding to the changing needs of the market doesn’t make sense. But adding to your portfolio of offerings without simultaneously looking to prune the products and services that contribute to busyness but not to business can, over time, lead to needless complexity and confusion.
Effective strategy formulation and planning also includes a review of your internal processes. Is the operation as smooth and painless as possible? Where are the bottlenecks and how might they be reduced or eliminated completely? Are there steps that are redundant or may have been necessary at one time but no longer are? A structured way of looking at this often brings significant and surprising results.
A review of our people, both internally (team members), and externally (customers and suppliers) can yield similar breakthroughs. Are our people organized and deployed in a way that plays to their strengths and positions them to maximize their contribution? Have we identified our “up and comers” and will we provide the tools and training to realize their potential?
Do our key customers and prospects meet our requirements for volume, contribution, and growth?
Is our relationship with our suppliers all it could and should be? Have we met with their representatives and explained how our business works and what they can do to forge an effective partnership with us?
Planning techniques like the “Clean Up or Clean Out” method can be effective planning tools and the robust discussion, dialogue, and debate it engenders between and among your planning team can yield surprising outcomes.
For more information on methods and techniques to move your strategy and planning process forward, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.