The Opinion Page
News and comments about the issues facing today's SCM and Inventory Management professionals.
This is a follow up to my article "High Impact Strategic Planning" also published in the Durham Business Times, February 2011 edition. Ten Toxins emphasizes certain issues that work to impair the development of a high quality Strategic Plan:
Do not confuse short-term tactics with strategic objectives. While less spectacular than tactical victories, a long-term view is necessary to win the war.
Core values must be lived every day by everyone. A leader who ignores core values will develop employees who view ethics as mere distractions. Truly believe your Mission.
The Silver Bullet:
Strategy should not be designed around the notion of having, or finding one magical solution that will resolve all the firm’s problems. Solutions are multidimensional.
We live in a world of change, innovation and fleeting fashion. Ensure that your products and services are not designed to meet obsolete demand. Strategy looks forward. Stay current. Remain aware of your products’ life cycles.
All jobs must relate to the strategic plan. Keep constrained resources, including the work force, focused on the plan. By tying performance metrics to strategic objectives, management keeps attention directed at the appropriate goals.
A culture of fear in an organization will prohibit the free flow of information. Encourage employees to provide constructive feedback, without the potential for recrimination.
Beware of exhausting all of your resources fighting tactical battles. Be realistically aware of constraints that face your enterprise. Ensure that you are able to obtain sufficient resources to achieve your strategic goals. If not, modify the objectives.
Not Working the Plan:
A plan will not inspire while gathering dust on the shelf. Communicate it, live it, revisit it, and revise it. Put your work front and centre in your firm.
Complex strategies are difficult to communicate and dilute intent. Employees will be reluctant to embrace them. Craft three to five strategic objectives. Elegant simplicity is the key.
Use straightforward, impactful language. Ensure that the intent of each word or phrase is clear. Remember the SMART acronym.
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John Skelton is the Principal Consultant and founder of Strategic Inventory Management.