Have you had a chance to sit back and think about how the pandemic has changed your long term business goals? Although we are still not out of the woods yet, now may be a good time to think about revising your strategic plan to account for the recent disruption.
There are few businesses that have gone unscathed due to the events of the past several months. Some businesses benefited and many were harmed due to the economic changes and the health and safety affects due to the pandemic. Whether or not you have a formal, written plan or maybe it resides within the chief executive’s head, or maybe you really haven’t thought about it, you do have a strategic plan. In a nutshell a strategic plan is how you use all your resources to accomplish your goals.
Even in “normal” times you should constantly re-evaluate your strategic plan. Things around your business are constantly changing so regardless of the pandemic you should regularly ask yourself the following questions:
- Has there been a change in the competition or the competitive environment?
- Has there been a change in the company’s financial situation?
- Has there been a change in the marketplace – consolidation of opportunities or an unexpected new opportunity?
- Has there been a significant change in the company’s organization?
- Have there been any major technology changes?
- Have there been any significant changes to the economy?
- Have there been any significant policy or regulatory changes?
- Has there been a major unexpected event?
If the answers to any or all of these are YES, then it is time to re-examine your plans and determine which strategies need to be altered. For most of you, I imagine you answered yes to more than one of these questions. Some of you may believe there is no need to change any of your strategies because the pandemic is out of your control – there is nothing you can do about it so you just need to ride it out – Wrong!
Although there is nothing you can do about the pandemic, there is a lot you can do to manage your resources – and that is what your plan is all about. In addition, a strategic plan is about aligning everyone in your organization to have the same idea about how to use the resources as you do. Without that coordinated effort across the entire organization, people will do what they believe to be the best for the organization and may inadvertently pull in different directions. When this happens, your resources will be strained, and you probably won’t meet your goals.
Take time today to consider the questions I’ve posed. Meet with your leadership team and have some hard discussions around how to proactively handle the pandemic cards you have been dealt. Don’t wait and have the pandemic manage you.
IMEC is ready to assist you during these unprecendented time. Contact the Illinois Manufacturing Helpline for quick help with your strategic plan, or other related concerns.