|Strategic Planning Information|
Strategic Planning and Total Quality Management
No matter what product or service you provide you will have to face this issue of quality and systems. Whether it is distribution of services or streamlining of processes in manufacturing your product; you will need to address the issues of total quality management. Yes, you can call it whatever you like; change the name, but no matter what you must consider these issues or you are doomed to failure. I therefore recommend the book;
"Total Quality Management-Strategic Planning" by Stephen George.
It is a great book and great to see that Deming and Fredrick Winslow Taylor attitude of modern business of the World have been studied and re-invented processes to manage and improve the manufacturing techniques, which keeps the corporations of this country rolling. It is a good book to read this now in America as everyone has fallen on an easy life and unwilling to do what it takes to increase productivity at work. Now recently in an economic downturn of the few prior years we saw that many people were waiting around doing nothing and expecting something to change rather than focusing on their core businesses and looking for ways to cut costs and become more efficient. Even though the book's title itself is the buzz-word of the 80's it still provides clues to what is wrong with modern day fundamental management and processes of the Large Corporation, no wonder they are so easy to beat up on. They cannot compete because they waste and are drown in their own inactive methodology and attitudes, this of course while trying to deal with the unending Tsunami of over regulation which changes like the political wind.
I think it is good to re-read such books of their day and not dismiss them. This is one, which is a keeper, because our large corporations keep repeating the same scenario over and over again. How can we keep teaching the leaders of tomorrow, when we negate the past and methods that got us here and adapt some new unproven method without understanding the original problem? Thus compounding the original problem with a new problem from the result of the test methods? It is good to every once in a while have break though methods, but until you are able to prove them, you should simultaneously have incremental improvements on known quantities. And just because everyone else has fallen for pie in the sky new techniques does not mean they work. Things only work when they actually work, not because someone says they do.
Deming proved his methods to the World, and then they were accepted but modified, and modifications upon modifications ensued, eventually every job in a corporation was done with TQM in mind. Including bathroom placement of toiletries. Yet as soon as everything was in place they found out it was all wrong and everything was modified, yet it was modified as a copy, not from the original. It is like following the letter of the law instead of the intent. How can someone negate the past results, ones which actually worked and now teach something else that does not work based on theory of what could be? They say America's secret weapon is its Management Techniques? How can that be when all the workers are providing zero productivity? Obviously someone forgot to tell the organization that from the top to the bottom it is not working at all. Apparently the stock market is backwards, because when profits are up even if short term the organization is falling apart and then it regroups and when everything is getting fixed profits are down, so to keep profits up, simply keep destroying the inner workings of the company until it ends or goes to zero market capitalization like Enron. Yes, well of course things are not that bad, but it sure made for an interesting quote? The fact is no matter what buzz word you use, every company should address Total Quality Management and therefore every executive, supplier, large customer or employee ought to understand the process and read the book. Everyone who is in management of any business should read at least one of these type books per week from any era from Amsterdam to the present then you will understand what is said in this book review.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
Vision Getting Dim?
A recent conversation started with a typical question, "How's business?" The reply was equally typical and prefaced by a sigh, "You know (another sigh), same old / same old."
Business Disaster? Wont Happen to Me
As fast as you can say business disaster, your business can go up in smoke. That's what happened a while back to Castle Carpet One. Gone were thousands of dollars worth of equipment and carpet, plus two smaller businesses that were housed in the same building. Luckily the owners, Larry and Diane Cox, had plenty of business insurance to cover their physical losses. But they lost their most important business asset - customer records - because of failed back up systems. Rebuilding their customer base will be tough and the long-term revenue impact is hard to measure.
How to Grow Your Business by Clearing the Way to Growth
Is your business growing as fast and effectively as it could, or is it stuck at the same level it has been at for years? Research (Larry Greiner, 1972) has discovered 5 specific stages of business growth. Most business never grow beyond the second level. At this level, the business is characterised by a small group of owners (if not a sole owner), supported by a small team of people at an operational level. This describes the 90 plus percent of businesses, which have 10 or fewer staff.
How to Develop a Successful Board of Advisors (...and Why You Should!)
In today's rapidly changing and highly competitive markets, many privately held companies are creating outside advisory boards to give owners and CEOs fresh, knowledgeable advice. Even for small businesses, setting up an advisory board can give you a significant advantage over competitors that are relying solely on internal talent. An experienced and well-connected board of advisors can help your business grow and prosper in ways you've never imagined. What is a Board of Advisors? An advisory board is an outside group that is informally organized to provide business owners and corporate leaders with support, advice and assistance. While formal boards of directors have legally defined responsibilities and fiduciary duties, advisory boards have no formal power or binding legal authority. They serve at the pleasure of the business owner or CEO. Benefits of an Advisory Board There are several advantages that companies with advisory boards have over their competition. A board offers your business: An unbiased outside perspective. Increased corporate accountability and discipline. Enhanced CEO and management effectiveness. Greater credibility with investors, vendors and customers. Help in avoiding costly mistakes. Rounding out skills and expertise lacking in current management team. A sounding board for evaluating new business ideas and opportunities. Enhanced community and public relations. Improved marketing results and effectiveness. Strategic planning assistance and input. Centers of influence for networking introductions. Crisis and transition leadership in the event of the death or resignation of the CEO. Help anticipating market changes and trends. Steps to Creating an Effective Board of Advisors: Analyze the strength and weaknesses of your current management team. Look for critical areas of expertise and knowledge that your company could use help with such as marketing, legal, finance, eCommerce, and research and development or information technology. If your company is planning on going public within the next few years, seek out advisors who have successfully taken companies down that path. Set clear, written goals and objectives for your board of advisors. Getting maximum value from a board of advisors begins with clear objectives and goals. Board members must know why they have been asked to serve and what is expected of them. Before establishing the board, the CEO and senior managers should sit down and ask some of the following questions: 1. What are the main areas we need advice and guidance in? 2. What specifically do we need the board members to do for us? 3. Who are a few potential candidates for board membership? 4. How do we avoid giving away too much control to outsiders? 5. What will be the powers and limitations of the board? 6. What will setting up the board cost initially? Annually? Will it be worth the cost? Determine the size and structure of your board. Advisory boards range in size from two members to over thirty. The right size depends on many factors, such as your company's size, complexity, stage of development and individual skills needed. My experience and research has found that for most small to mid-sized, growing companies or start-ups, a 5 to 7 member advisory board is an ideal size. Smaller firms can start with just one or two members and add new members as they grow. Recruiting Candidates Determining whom you invite to join your board is one of the most critical decisions in setting up a board of advisors. Often a business owner's first instinct is to ask friends, family members or professional advisors to sit on their board. This is usually a mistake. Unless your friend or family member is a recognized authority in an area of expertise lacking by your management team or a highly successful entrepreneur, they are probably not the wisest choice. Another reason to avoid asking family or friends to join your board is lack of objectivity. Often advice from a friend, family member or management insider is sugar coated to protect relationships. An outside advisor can give you a much more objective and honest assessment of the situation. Using professional advisors such as your lawyer, banker or accountant as board members has it's own pitfalls. These advisors are already working for you and may not be as objective as you need, due to having an interest in generating future business from your company. Some critical action steps for recruiting a dynamite board of advisors are: Develop a candidate profile. After you have determined the areas of expertise your company is in need of, create a profile of candidates that successfully fit these needs. Take care to address knowledge and skills that your company will need to meet projected growth and future challenges. Seek out experts. Search online and offline for experts and proven leaders that meet your candidate profiles. Contact them and begin discussions about possible board membership. Ask for recommendations. Solicit recommendations from the experts you speak with that cannot serve on your board, of collogues of theirs that they feel would be a good fit for your needs. Begin networking with your attorney, accountant and other professional advisors. Once you have successfully recruited an advisor, he or she can often lead you to another good candidate. Find your candidates motivation. Most of your candidates are not going to be motivated by money alone. In fact, if money is their primary reason for joining your board, they may not be what you are looking for. The most effective board members are motivated by the challenge and intellectual stimulation of building successful companies. They serve because they are already high achievers and enjoy the challenge. Have variety in your board. Try to include experts and successful entrepreneurs from several different disciplines. Often board members who are successful marketers, CEOs and business owners from different industries can bring a fresh perspective to your business. These individuals can often help you incorporate best practices from other industries, into your own industry, creating revolutionary changes and opportunities. Look for a proven track record. Find the leaders in their field. The best board candidates are successful CEOs, business owners, professionals, university professors and consultants who have achieved success in their own businesses and careers. Clearly communicate your goals and objectives. Invest time in talking to and meeting with potential members. Communicate to them what your goals and objectives are. Let them know that you are not looking for "yes men" and that you want advisors who will challenge you and hold you accountable for your businesses growth. Board Compensation Board members expect and deserve to be compensated for their time, efforts and advice. Typical advisory board compensation includes a stipend from $5,000 to $25,000 per member, per year. Some companies pay their board members per meeting, with payment ranging from $500 to $3,000 per meeting, with a monthly retainer of $500 to $2,500. Companies should also cover transportation, meals and lodging for members when attending meetings. Most successful boards also give or require members to buy stock or some form of equity in the company. This gives the board members equity participation and a vested interest in the growth of the company. Pitfalls to Avoid Some potential problem areas to avoid when setting up or working with your advisory board are: Members missing meetings. Because board members are usually running successful businesses of their own, they may not always be available for every meeting. However, board members should be made aware that attendance of board meetings is important and expected. If a member is chronically absent, the value of their membership on the board should be reviewed. Insecurity of senior managers. Some company insiders may feel intimidated or threatened by the involvement of outsiders. The CEO or owner must make every effort to communicate to his staff the benefits and importance of having a board of advisors. Incompatible personalities. This is a challenging situation, because most members of your board will be strong willed, achiever types, who have gotten where they are by taking charge. Many will have strong convictions about their opinions and may find it hard to defer the leadership of the meetings to the CEO. You must determine when a member's personality is "too strong" and becoming disruptive. Excessive number of board members. Because of their strong personalities, if you have too many members on your board, the more assertive members often dominate the debates, depriving you of the contributions the quieter members may have made. Lack of CEO communication. Withholding company information or not regularly communicating with the members of your board of advisors destroys trust and effectiveness. Regular communication between meetings is essential to maintaining an effective board. Inadequate compensation. As I mentioned, you do not want compensation to be the determining factor in a candidates membership on your advisory board, however successful individuals of the caliber you seek expect to be fairly compensated for their time and knowledge. Keys to Board Effectiveness If you build it, use it. Owners and CEOs who invest the time and money in creating a board should be committed to soliciting and using its advice on important issues and decisions. Value their input, even when they disagree with what you want to do. Sometimes a board is at it's most valuable when it recommends against a course of action the CEO wants to take. If you recruit a good board, often they have already been down the path you are on, and their experience (and past failures) can help you to avoid costly mistakes. Communicate with your advisors. Keep the members of your board informed about what is happening in your company and industry. Counsel with individual members on the phone at least monthly and send them information well in advance of your meetings, to help them prepare and keep the meetings productive. Hold regular meetings. Most boards meet once per quarter. However, boards should meet more often during times of rapid growth or if company needs merit additional oversight and guidance. Have an objective for each meeting. Your board members are busy people and their time is valuable. Make the most out of your meetings with them, by having a clear agenda and objectives for each meeting. Make sure to cover the most important items of business first, in case the discussions take longer than planned or some members have to leave early. Annual assessment of board performance. Periodically assessing the board's effectiveness is a critical factor in ensuring a good return on investment. Each year the board should set performance goals and define their criteria for success. At the end of the year the CEO and the board should assess it's performance, compared to its goals and criteria for success. Over 80 percent of all private companies are operating without a board of advisors or board of directors. Odds are your competitors do not have one. Because of this, developing a board of advisors can give your company a distinct advantage over your competition. This is particularly true for start-ups and family run businesses. There is tremendous value in receiving objective, knowledgeable advice from a board of advisors who share in the financial and equity growth of your business. I encourage you to begin recruiting your advisory board today!
Corporate Venturing For Emerging Growth Companies
The boom of the dot-com era in 1999 brought the emergence of corporate venture capital as a major source of funding to the private equity markets. Corporate venture investments peaked in the third quarter of 2000 with 608 deals totaling a combined $4.9 billion. A few of the top corporate venture capital investors of 2000 included Nokia Corporate ($500 million), Oracle Corporation ($400 million), Intel Corporation ($300 million), Sun Microsystems, Inc. ($300 million) and Daimler Chrysler ($100 million).
If You Dont Focus, Innovate and Evolve, You Die
After 128 years of business, a household word, Montgomery Wards, Inc., closed their doors forever and filed bankruptcy.
Top Reasons To Form A Strategic Business Alliance
A strategic alliance is when two or more businesses join together for a set period of time. The businesses, usually, are not in direct competition, but have similar products or services that are directed toward the same target audience. Below are ten reasons to create a strategic alliance.
Alice In Wonderland - A Parable for A Business Plan
Remember reading "Alice in Wonderland?"
Menu Driven Business Planning
A menu is the foundation of any restaurant; Guests will support or avoid a restaurant for its food. Starting with a preliminary menu is a simple and basic approach to restaurant development. Begin with a menu, and you are light years ahead in the restaurant development process. A menu will tell you and your Guest what you are trying to be as a business, and greatly enhance your chances for success.
Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan
The format of a Business Plan is something that has been developed and refined over the years and is something that should not be changed. Like a good recipe, a business plan needs to include certain ingredients to make it work.
Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Pharmaceutical Corporation Specifics ? overview
Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains serves mid-size and large clients in horizontal and vertical markets. Historically Great Plains Software was encouraging ISV partner to write third party modules and later on ? Great Plains Software had a chance to select the product for incorporation into their core set of modules: Manufacturing, Project Accounting, Purchase Order Processing, Collection Management, etc. Today we'll consider Microsoft Great Plains implementation specifics for large pharmaceutical corporation.
How To Prepare A Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits
It is always said "If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail"
19 Questions to Supercharge Your Business Plan
Whether you are seeking capital for your company or are optimizing your business strategy, the most important element - particularly for outside investors - may be your written business plan. You can tune-up and supercharge your plan using this 19-step checklist. When your written plan firmly answers yes to each of these 19 questions, your market/product strategy is in terrific shape plus you increase the odds of attracting investment capital.
Scheduling of Additional Auto Detailing or Mobile Car Wash Units
If you own a mobile car wash business or auto detailing business then you realize that when you are parked working you are making money and when you are stuck in traffic you are losing money. Sure you can say when you are in traffic people see you and write down the phone number, but you are not making money, that is potential future income, which is work you still must do in the future. Many auto detailers do not schedule properly and therefore get into trouble in that they attempt to expand before they have maximized their schedules.
Laying It Out On Paper
You might be thinking to yourself, "Why should I waste my time writing a business plan? I know what (web designers, freelance writers, professional organizers) do!" Knowing intellectually what your industry is all about and pinpointing exactly where you want your business to go are two entirely different propositions.
The 7 Critical Steps to Formulating Your Annual Strategic Business Plan
Businesses tend to avoid doing their annual business plan thinking that it is an arduous task that does not accomplish much. Formulating your annual plan is, however, critical to your business success and if done correctly should be quick, easy and generate bottom line results.
Restaurant Startup - Part 1: Market Research ? What are Potential Competitors Doing?
The first step in starting a restaurant is proper planning. One must lay out a plan complete with goals, priorities, and the tasks that he will need to complete in order to achieve these goals. The biggest mistake first time restaurant owners make is improper planning. Ambition, while absolutely required, is simply not enough to succeed in the highly competitive food service industry.
How To Kick Start Your Business And Double Your Profits
This will make some people angry as hell, but it's time to debunk the myth of 'Time Management' while sharing the real secret of the super successful.
Strategic Planning Consulting
Strategic planning and consulting is the strategy roadmap to manage business very effectively. To improve the performance in each business level, business strategic planning & consulting is essential. We should draw a clear strategic planning model to dilute the business complexity. If the strategic planning models are clearly set it is easy to find the business solution.
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