By Ryan Snyder, Plant Manager
For many businesses the concept of strategic planning raises concern over how it might limit flexibility. I would argue that having a well-defined strategic plan can actually make a company more flexible.
Without a defined plan, your resources can be stretched in so many directions that when a truly important issue comes up, you have a hard time understanding where to fit it in, making you less flexible.
A well-defined strategic plan is like a road map. When planning a trip to somewhere you have never been, you begin with the end in mind, determining where you want to go. Then you map out your route to get there. Along the way, you will be clipping off the mile markers of success as you march toward your destination.
Occasionally, you may hit a detour that requires you to be flexible and modify the existing plan. But you always know where you are going and how to get back to the original route.
The same is true for your business. And this plan needs to be communicated clearly to your employees. If you don't, you will be dealing with the proverbial "are we there yet?"
One of my favorite quotes is from Stephen Covey, author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Covey said, "I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a 'transformer' in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader."
Be a transforming leader for your company. Lay out the road map for your organization, and see how flexible you can become.