Posts Tagged ‘steve popell’

Week In Review : Jan 2 – Jan 8, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 9, 2011

ROI for Business Intelligence

by Matthew Carmen, Jan 3, 2011

There are many other direct and indirect efficiencies and benefits that can be realized through the proper planning and implementation of BI tools and systems.  The more end-user groups that participate in the planning of a company’s BI system, the easier it becomes to change the ultimate corporate culture. Once the buy-in from the users is attained, the real savings begin, and a platform to accelerate corporate growth now exists. more…

Project Reality Check #3: Hangman – The Triple Constraint

by Gary Monti, Jan 4, 2011

Project management has a lot in common with the game “Hangman” in that the project manager is expected to figure out what the stakeholder(s) in control want without them telling the PM directly. But project managers also have to ensure sufficient time and money are left to implement the scope. This is the triple constraint. more…

Keys to a successful Strategic Planning Process

by Steve Popell, Jan 5, 2011

Marrying the Vision and Mission statements is essential, because it helps to get across to your employees how truly important each of their jobs is in the grand scheme of things. You want your employees to make the connection between them. If your strategic planning group crafts meaningful Vision and Mission statements, you will create an environment in which this kind of connection will be a small step, not a leap. more…

Flexible Focus #35: Move less, Attract more

by William Reed, Jan 6, 2011

The abundance mentality is a shift in mindset, a broader and more generous view. It is also the realization that you are not stuck with what you start with. Regular practice with the Mandala Chart gives you the ability to take any idea and quickly multiply it by eight to generate new ideas, applications, perspectives, or connections. more…

Leader driven Harmony #6 : Failure is required (Part I)

by Mack McKinney, Jan 7, 2011

It is important that you fail in order to succeed. When learning a new skill, you have to be allowed to fail. If not, you will not be prepared to face situations in real life and you may panic in those situations. more…

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Keys to a successful Strategic Planning Process

by Steve Popell on January 5, 2011

The time-tested strategic planning process includes the following elements.

  • Vision (3-5 years)
  • Mission (3-5 years)
  • Long-Range Goals (3-5 years)
  • Short-Term Objectives (next 12 months)
  • Task Assignments (to accomplish the Short-Term Objectives)
  • Action Items (What do we do Tuesday?)
  • Follow-up (to compare actual performance with plan)

Some give short shrift to the Vision and Mission as “touchy-feely” and somehow remote from daily operations.  This is a mistake.  In fact, developing a clear Vision and Mission, and communicating the same to all employees, can play a critical role in the company’s future success.

The Vision

Any worthwhile strategic planning process must begin with your Vision for the company at some specific date in the future.  What will be your company’s identity?  When customers, suppliers or professionals hear your company’s name, what image do you want them to conjure up?  What overriding quality do you want front of mind?  In other words: Who is this company?  Here are a few examples of vision statements that speak to this identity question.  Note that none of these statements says anything specific about what the company does for a living or about the customer base.

  1. We make the defense of the U.S. homeland stronger and more flexible.
  2. We help our clients’ teams to function more cohesively and effectively.
  3. We improve the quality of health care in America.
  4. We make transit passengers safer.

When your employees fully understand (intellectually and viscerally) your company’s Vision, they will be able to see how optimum performance in their individual jobs will contribute to the fulfillment of that vision.  This connection is critical for long-term job satisfaction, high achievement and career track progress.

When an outsider sees and understands the Vision, the first question that comes to mind is “How do they do that?”  This is where the Mission comes in.

The Mission Statement

The Mission statement describes your company’s function in concrete terms.   Using the same examples, here is a group of Mission statements that address the question “What does this company do, and for whom?”

  1. We train dogs to assist Customs inspectors to locate drugs and explosives.
  2. We deliver workshops to privately held companies on verbal and written communication, listening skills and teamwork.
  3. We make timely delivery of top-quality components to medical instrumentation OEMs.
  4. We manufacture shatter-proof glass for public transit vehicles.

Marrying the Vision and Mission statements is essential, because it helps to get across to your employees how truly important each of their jobs is in the grand scheme of things.  For example, these dog trainers are obviously in support of the drug and explosive interdiction business.  But, interdiction is a means, not an end.  The end is that we are all safer in this country.

In this example, you want your employee to make the connection that “If I do my job really well, I will be saving lives. I may never know the names or, even, the home towns of those I save, but they will be alive because of me/”  If your strategic planning group crafts meaningful Vision and Mission statements, you will create an environment in which this kind of connection will be a small step, not a leap.

Good luck!


PhotoPopell This article has been contributed by Steven D. Popell. Steve has been a general management consultant since 1970. Steve is a Certified Management Consultant, business valuation expert, and inventor of ExiTrak®– a process designed to assist the privately-held company owner/manager to build an attractive strategic acquisition candidate

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Week In Review : Nov 28 – Dec 4, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on December 5, 2010

Social Media and Tribes #22: Pink and Grow Rich – My thanksgiving gift!

by Deepika Bajaj, Nov 29, 2010

Deepika has released her e-book “PINK and Grow RICH“. If you believe you have to characteristics of a leader or you see yourself as a person who has one reason for not being who you could be, this is a must read for you. more…

Chaos and Complexity #12: Terrorism

by Gary Monti, Nov 30, 2010

Terrorism thumbs its nose at best-practice, top-down approaches. And terrorists are good at it. They create large force multipliers extending beyond the battlefield. They are always looking for tipping points.Terrorists work to make things chaotic (if not random) and committed security team members work to build the bonds needed to trap the terrorist and keep things safe. That is complex behavior. At times the best that security teams can do is reduce the chaos to complexity. This means trade-offs are inevitable. more…

Getting off on the right foot with a neutral business valuation specialist

by Steve Popell, Dec 2, 2010

Collaborative divorce is a splendid out-of-court process that can assist the spouses to communicate more effectively and to negotiate more productively.  If the parties make the necessary commitment to the process, they have a much better chance to maintain human decency, protect their children, and to help the entire family to get on the other side of the divorce decree in one piece. more…

Flexible Focus #30: The 8 frames of life: Home

by William Reed, Dec 2, 2010

Home is the 4th in the 8 Frames of Life of the Mandala Chart. Yet, broken homes, dysfunctional families, domestic violence, and broken hearts are pandemic in our society, an outward reflection of an inner conflict. The Mandala Chart is a comprehensive compass for life, and provides helpful perspectives on themes surrounding our Home. more…

Leader driven harmony #1: Communication by Handshake

by Mack McKinney, Dec 3, 2010

This Series is about life and business and the first topic should be of interest to anyone doing business anywhere –the business handshake. A predictable, firm handshake is an important tool in business, in fact, in life, in general.  A handshake is over in a few seconds yet it helps us reach a number of conclusions about the other person. more…

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Neutral business valuation is typically part of any Collaborative divorce, and has a number of important advantages over each spouse hiring his or her own expert, including:

  1. Much less costly.
  2. Assuming the manager-spouse provides the necessary data on time, much faster.
  3. In a Collaborative divorce, the objective is to deliver an opinion on which the spouses can agree, understand, and believe is fair. Therefore, there is no need to “defend” the firm’s opinion from withering cross-examination.
  4. Instead of the ill feelings that inevitably flow from an adversarial valuation process, a neutral process can provide the basis for a more collaborative atmosphere for the resolution of other financial and, even, non-financial issues.  After all, if the couple can come to an agreement on a nettlesome problem like the value of the business, they should have a good shot at successfully negotiating other matters.

Effective Referrals

Relative unfamiliarity with the specific business in question, and with financial matters in general, will typically cause the non-manager spouse to fear that s/he is severely disadvantaged.  The manager-spouse, on the other hand, often believes that the non-manager spouse views the business as some kind of money tree.  “On the contrary,” s/he thinks, “without me, the business is worth nothing.”  It is critical that a competent and trusted business valuation professional keeps the burner under this volatile emotional stew on Low.

The referring professional, such as an attorney, should ensure that the individual s/he selects has the following qualities.

  1. A reputation for honesty, integrity and impartiality, including in court, where the line between expert and advocate is so easily crossed.
  2. Experience in neutral business and professional firm valuation, especially in the context of family law.
  3. A keen understanding of, and feel for, the human relations aspects of divorce in general, and business value negotiation in particular.
  4. A commitment to the Collaborative divorce process, as evidenced by training, group membership and active participation in fostering the growth of Collaborative Practice in his or her community.

First Meeting

The first meeting can include respective counsel and/or the neutral Financial Specialist, but there is a cost associated with enlarging the meeting, and that is generally not necessary.  For both spouses to embark on a calm and productive valuation process, certain key elements must be established from the outset.

  1. The expert’s credentials (experience, expertise, publications, etc.) impart a sense of confidence in this individual’s technical competence.
  2. The manager-spouse must feel that “reality” will be front and center in this process – especially, that value will constitute what it is worth to the manager-spouse to own the community’s entire interest in the business (rather than his or her community property half) and not what it is worth to some hypothetical outside buyer.
  3. The non-manager spouse must believe that the valuation expert will control the flow of information and analysis.
  4. The expert is, in truth, totally impartial.  Making it clear from the outset that the expert will not be available to perform consulting assignments for the company down the line will go far to cement this critical impression.
  5. The process will be transparent and approachable to all concerned, including both spouses and all advisors.  If, at any time, either spouse wants the expert to look at an issue, talk to an individual and/or review a document, the expert should do so, irrespective of whether such an investigation promises to be productive.
  6. The parties must receive a firm fee quote, rather than a request to sign up for some open-ended hourly commitment.  Divorce is stressful enough without having to worry about how much the next coffee break is going to cost.
  7. Finally, the expert must confirm the impression that s/he has no ego in the game.  The best way to accomplish this is to have the report be “Preliminary” in nature.  If any party to the process can make a convincing case that revisiting any aspect of the valuation process could have a significant impact on the expert’s opinion, s/he should do so without objection or delay and, then, furnish a Final Report in due course.

Conclusion

Collaborative divorce is a splendid out-of-court process that can assist the spouses to communicate more effectively and to negotiate more productively.  If the parties make the necessary commitment to the process, they have a much better chance to maintain human decency, protect their children, and to help the entire family to get on the other side of the divorce decree in one piece.

It is well worth the effort.


This article has been contributed by Steven D. Popell CMC (Certified Management Consultant.) Steve has been qualified as a business valuation expert since 1974, and has published extensively on this topic. CMC, a certification mark awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants USA, represents evidence of the highest standards of consulting and adherence to the ethical canons of the profession. Steve was a 2007 winner Collaborative Practice California Eureka Award for contributions to Collaborative Practice in this state and is a Senior Partner in Popell & Forney, with offices in Los Altos Hills and Pleasant Hill, California.

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The most recent post discussed the structure of a Stock Appreciation Rights Program as part of your ongoing effort to retain and motivate key employees, and as alternative to issuing equity.  The principal advantages of the SAR program are:

  1. It provides a clear connection between financial reward and the success of the company.
  2. It encourages cooperation among individuals and groups, because everyone will benefit financially if the company prospers.
  3. The vesting schedule encourages and directly rewards longevity.
  4. The company repurchases non-vested shares for zero dollars.
  5. When the company repurchases vested shares, 100% of the repurchase price is tax deductible.

As we indicated in the last post, an SAR program provides little in the way of immediate reward.  For some individuals, such as “hunter” salespeople, the lack of short-term feedback can be a demotivator.  This shortcoming can be remedied by an effective cash bonus program.

There is one cardinal rule for designing any cash compensation program; namely, reward the employee for success in areas in which s/he has a significant amount of control or, at least, considerable influence.  Financial accountability is critical, and that means the capacity to carve out in numbers the results of your employee’s efforts.

Let’s say, for example, that your company manufactures a number of products which carry a wide range of Gross Margin as a percent of sales.  Among those product lines that generate comparable unit volume, your sales force should emphasize sales of the high Gross Margin products, and you should reward those who are successful in this effort.  Specifically, the bonus plan must reward both Gross Margin dollars and Gross Margin percentages.

We have designed a number of sales compensation programs over the past 40 years, with particular emphasis on this very principle.  The beauty of this idea is that, if the salesperson increases the proportion of high Gross Margin business, while maintaining constant sales volume, s/he will benefit twice. First, Gross Margin dollars will increase because the Gross Margin percentage is higher on constant sales.  Second, s/he will get a bigger slice of those Gross Margin dollars.   So, the salesperson will get a bigger slice of a bigger pie.  Now, that’s motivation!

Stock Appreciation Rights programs and cash bonus programs are not mutually exclusive.  Quite the contrary, they can be companions that address the need to motivate the employee in the short run and encourage both strategic thinking and longevity.

Good luck!


PhotoPopell This article has been contributed by Steven D. Popell. Steve has been a general management consultant since 1970. Steve is a Certified Management Consultant, business valuation expert, and inventor of ExiTrak®– a process designed to assist the privately-held company owner/manager to build an attractive strategic acquisition candidate

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Retaining key employees is extremely important for ongoing operations, and in building value for a potential sale of the company.  Stock options have historically played a key role in providing incentives for these individuals to stay.

In a previous post, we discussed the fact that IPOs and, with them, the attractiveness of stock options have taken a considerable hit in the past few years.  Not to worry.  A Stock Appreciation Rights (SAR) program can achieve many of the same purposes with few, if any, of the drawbacks of a stock option plan.  Here is what you need to know in order to have an intelligent and productive conversation with a professional who can help you to draft the implementing document for an SAR program.

The SAR Grant sets aside a specific number of SAR shares to be awarded to a named employee, including the timing and size of each award – both matters of management discretion.  Since SAR shares are awarded, rather than purchased, the employee does not tender any cash or incur any financial obligation to the company.

The Base Share Value (the value of the SAR shares at the time of the award) is also specified by management.  The key in determining the basis for this value is management’s definition of success.  Pretax profit as of the end of the most recent calendar or fiscal year would be a good example.  If earnings increase over time, all employees holding SAR shares will benefit as the value of those shares increases.

While there are advantages in having the same basis for valuing the SAR shares of all employees (such as increasing the chances of cooperation among potentially competing individuals or departments) other factors may have greater weight.  For example, if one group of employees has considerable influence over Gross Profit, while another has its principal impact in control of overhead, separate bases for valuing SAR shares may be more effective in fostering the kinds of behavior that management seeks.

Along with the SAR share award schedule, there is usually a vesting schedule.  These two elements combine to prolong the period in which all SAR shares are fully vested and, therefore, receive full value at sale.  If, for example, 25% of the shares are awarded each year for four years, and there is a four-year vesting schedule, it will take seven years for all shares to be fully vested.

When the employee leaves the company, his or her shares are purchased by the company at the then value (or the value at the end of the most recent calendar or fiscal year.)  The calculation is a simple one:

Cash to the employee = the Current Share Value minus the Base Share Value X the number of fully vested shares owned by that employee.

Non-vested shares have no value, and are purchased for zero dollars.  If the company is sold, all SAR shares will typically vest immediately.

The principal disadvantage of an SAR program is that it provides little in the way of immediate reward.  That shortcoming can be remedied by an effective bonus program.  The next post will discuss this important topic.

Good luck!


PhotoPopell This article has been contributed by Steven D. Popell. Steve has been a general management consultant since 1970. Steve is a Certified Management Consultant, business valuation expert, and inventor of ExiTrak®– a process designed to assist the privately-held company owner/manager to build an attractive strategic acquisition candidate

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Week In Review – Aug 22 – Aug 28, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 29, 2010

4 steps to effective Disaster Recovery planning

by Marc Watley, Aug 23, 2010

IT executives today are, in fact, increasingly faced with the threat of disasters – whether natural or man-made. As organizations – and their customers – increasingly rely on database, server, and IP-connected applications and data sources, the importance and responsibility of maintaining continuity of the business infrastructure and limiting costly downtime in the event of a disaster, is paramount. Read this article to get a high-level, best-practices overview of the DR planning process. more…

Character and Personality #8: Competency

by Gary Monti, Aug 24, 2010

A good leader is also a good politician, one who finds a way to thread through a situation to reveal a path that, when followed, benefits the common good. Competence pulls technology and sophistication together so that one person can meet another person’s needs, i.e., a connection comprising the humanity of the stakeholders who need and commit to finding a solution that works. more…

Social Media and Tribes #9: The fear factor

by Deepika Bajaj, Aug 25, 2010

Even professionals who have gone through many technological innovations in the past don’t find the idea of being transparent and authentic over social media too appealing. They were worried about identity theft, making a wrong impression on a potential employer and above all were overwhelmed by the friend requests on Facebook. These are valid concerns, but not an excuse to avoid social media.  more…

Flexible Focus #16: The decision trap

by William Reed, Aug 26, 2010

Ambiguity causes anxiety in those who are inflexible, and creates possibilities in the minds of the people who have flexible focus. Tolerance for ambiguity drops when you have to make a decision. Urgency adds pressure, and when the decision affects the core areas of your life, you can feel as if you are lost in a labyrinth of choices. Your decision sets the wheels in motion, whereas with indecision the wheel turns without you. Read about the Six Criteria for Decision Making to stay in motion and steer the wheel. more…

Investment Value

by Steve Popell, Aug 27, 2010

In a previous post, Business Valuation in Divorce is Different, Steve discussed why Investment Value is more appropriate in the context of family law.  But, this method is not just for divorcing couples.  In any situation in which the party acquiring an interest (or a greater interest) in a company will become (or continue to be) part of the management team, Investment Value is often the most appropriate method.  Read this article to find out why. more…

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Investment Value

by Steve Popell on August 27, 2010

In a previous post, Business Valuation in Divorce is Different, we discussed why Investment Value is more appropriate in the context of family law.  But, this method is not just for divorcing couples.  In any situation in which the party acquiring an interest (or a greater interest) in a company will become (or continue to be) part of the management team, Investment Value is often the most appropriate method.  Here’s why.

In a Fair Market valuation, the objective is to determine what a hypothetical “willing buyer” would pay a hypothetical “willing seller” in a hypothetical “free market” etc.  But, that is not what is going on in a divorce or in a variety of other private company business situations.  An abbreviated list would include the following.

  • Sale of shares in a corporation to a new hire.
  • Repurchase of shares in a corporation from a retiring, or otherwise terminating, employee.
  • Sale of a partnership interest in a professional firm to a new partner.
  • Repurchase of a partnership interest in a professional firm from a retiring, or otherwise terminating, partner.
  • Implementing a stock option plan.
  • Implementing a Stock Appreciation Rights program.
  • Establishing a value, or value formula, for a buy-sell agreement.

In each of these examples, the buyer is a current (or soon-to-be) partner and/or a member of the management team and, as such, intends to benefit (or benefit to a greater extent) financially from future operations.  This is strictly an insider transaction, with no hypothetical “willing buyer” in sight.

In a small professional firm, for example, a prospective outside acquirer would typically find value primarily in the people who operate it.  S/he would be “buying the people” rather than the firm itself.  The resulting dependence on 1-3 key individuals creates risk which, in turn, depresses value from the perspective of an outsider.  For an insider, not so much.

A key insider owner should certainly be cognizant of the importance of a management structure that has breadth and depth.  That’s just prudent management.  But, more importantly, s/he need not fear that the currently thin management structure will suddenly evaporate by virtue of a loss of motivation.  In addition, there are many important financial benefits to being an inside owner, including control or influence regarding:

  • Salaries
  • Bonuses
  • Retirement plans
  • Common executive perks (such as automobile or expense allowance)
  • Uncommon executive perks (such as an apartment or extensive foreign travel)

In some cases, the value to an insider may be considerably higher than to an outsider.  Conversely, if the company or professional firm is in financial difficulty, the value of the inside investment could be well below Fair Market Value, because the financial risk will be borne entirely by the current owner/manager team.  The common thread here is the value of stock or partnership interest to an inside investor. That is why Investment Value in such cases is the valuation method of choice.


This article has been contributed by Steven D. Popell CMC (Certified Management Consultant.) Steve has been qualified as a business valuation expert since 1974, and has published extensively on this topic. CMC, a certification mark awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants USA, represents evidence of the highest standards of consulting and adherence to the ethical canons of the profession. Steve was a 2007 winner Collaborative Practice California Eureka Award for contributions to Collaborative Practice in this state and is a Senior Partner in Popell & Forney, with offices in Los Altos Hills and Pleasant Hill, California.

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Increase the value of your company

by Steve Popell on August 9, 2010

This post is about the Role of Stock Appreciation Rights in retaining key employees; which goes a long way in increasing the value of your company. One of the least understood, but most valuable, strategic assets of any privately held company planning to sell is the quality of management, including its breadth and depth.

Put yourself in the position of the buyer.  Would you pay a lot for a company the executive corps of which consists of the founder/CEO and a cast of minor characters?  Of course you wouldn’t, and for one very sound reason.  If something were to happen to that individual (illness, injury, death or, simply, loss of motivation) your return on investment would be in serious jeopardy.  So, you would reduce your risk by reducing the price.

Therefore, it is critically important that ownership find effective ways to retain key employees.

Fewer Practical Options (Pun Intended)

Financial incentives have always played a key role.  However, because IPOs are much harder to come by in today’s market, one of the traditional favorites (stock options) has lost much of its appeal.  Not to worry.  Riding to the rescue is a great alternative: Stock Appreciation Rights or SARs.  This vehicle conveys no equity ownership.  Instead, the employee shares in the financial success of the company through what amounts to cumulative deferred income, with a vesting schedule that can take nine years or longer to play out.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are several distinct advantages of SARs over traditional stock options, including:

  1. The value of the SAR shares is directly related to critical measures of company success, such as Pretax or After-Tax Profit, or Net Worth.
  2. The bases for the (hopefully increasing) value of the SAR shares are strictly a matter of management discretion.
  3. There are none of the nettlesome issues associated with employee equity ownership, such as membership on the Board of Directors.
  4. All SAR shareholders have a common goal, which encourages cooperation among sometimes competitive individuals and/or departments.
  5. The vesting schedule provides a powerful incentive to stay with the company – the whole point.
  6. When the company repurchases vested shares, these payments are fully deductible.

The principal disadvantage is common to stock options; namely, inadequate short-term incentives.  This problem can be very effectively addressed with cash bonuses.

The next post will discuss the logistics of setting up and managing an effective SAR program, as well as how to structure a cash bonus program that it actually benefits the company, and not just the employees.

Make it a great month!

PhotoPopell This article has been contributed by Steven D. Popell. Steve has been a general management consultant since 1970. Steve is a Certified Management Consultant, business valuation expert, and inventor of ExiTrak®– a process designed to assist the privately-held company owner/manager to build an attractive strategic acquisition candidate

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There are two very different reasons why effective long-range planning is critical for getting top dollar when you sell your company.  First, top-notch planning helps you to manage your company better and involve your employees at a higher and more productive level.  Second, and much less obvious, success in this area is very impressive to prospective buyers.  Why?

Because successful long-range planning (defined as developing a plan, implementing it and achieving most or all of the long-range goals) is indicative of solid and sophisticated management – a highly valuable strategic asset for most acquiring companies.  Here are 10 elements to developing a long-range plan that increases the likelihood of success manifolds:

  1. Involve your key people.  For one thing, they will have ideas that are worth considering.  Beyond that, it is axiomatic that the best way to overcome resistance to change is to ensure that those who will be implementing the changes help to determine what those changes will be.  An effective planning group can comprise as few as three people, or as many as 15.  The important thing is that no one who can have a major impact on how the plan is implemented is left out.
  2. Make sure that there is a solid consensus around the vision for the company; i.e. what will be the company’s identity in years to come.
  3. Develop a clear and easily communicated mission statement that expresses what the company does and for whom.
  4. Conduct a SWOT analysis; i.e. identify the company’s principal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
  5. Develop long-range goals that are challenging, achievable and in line with the company’s vision, mission and values.  These goals should be specifically designed to take advantage of strengths and opportunities, while addressing (or, at least, minimizing the negative effect of weaknesses and threats.  In addition, ensure that each member of the planning group (and the rest of the staff, as well) can relate the achievement of the company’s vision and mission to a high level of performance in their specific area(s) of responsibility.
  6. Identify outside factors over which you have no control and little, if any, influence.
  7. Short term objectives. Determine what you need to achieve within one year in order to give yourself a leg up in achieving your long-range goals.  But, be cautious with your scheduling.  The biggest mistake most owner-managers make is front loading implementation far too much.  If you are going to make a mistake, especially if this your first planning experience, make it on the low side of delivery.  You can always add short-term objectives later, but if you fail to achieve your objectives, it can severely damage morale.
  8. Attach task assignments, with individual responsibilities and deadlines, to each short-term objective.
  9. Attach action items to each task assignment.
  10. Organize follow-up sessions no more often than monthly and no less often than quarterly.  This step is, in reality, as important as all the rest, because it is all that stands between you and a dusty planning document that fails to impact the future of your company.  Make sure that you are utterly ruthless in comparing actual performance with plan.  There is no reason to be unpleasant.  Most long-range plans fall behind in the early stages, usually because of excessive front loading.  The critical element is that everyone agrees on the relationship between plan and actual performance, and how to get back on track and timeline with any projects that are lagging

Oh, and one final thing… Good luck!


PhotoPopell This article has been contributed by Steven D. Popell. Steve has been a general management consultant since 1970. Steve is a Certified Management Consultant, business valuation expert, and inventor of ExiTrak®– a process designed to assist the privately-held company owner/manager to build an attractive strategic acquisition candidate

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