Learning Provider Profile
Mr Provett is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and he has experience in management, marketing and human resources. He has achieved an MBA in Business and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He has industry experience within the following sectors: Automotive; Electronics; Manufacturing; Technology and Telecommunications. He has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, or more specifically within the following cities: Detroit MI; New York NY; Austin TX; San Francisco CA and Raleigh NC. His personal achievements include: Prepared Next Generation of Leaders; Reorganized Companies For Growth; Transformation Small To Large Mindset; Smooth Transition Of Family Ownership/Governance and Improved Family Intergenerational Relationships. His service skills incorporate: strategic planning; process improvement; succession planning; estate management and operation management.
This workshop is intended to provide an introduction to strategic planning. This will include what strategic planning is, as compared to daily, tactical planning, why we do strategic planning, and the benefits of strategic planning. This workshop is the first step in a journey that when completed, will be transformative in how you make decisions and conduct your business. The process of strategic planning is one that most people have little, if any experience in. It has its own structure and methodologies which must be mastered to be successful.
During this workshop, you will be exposed to all of this and will be able to see where each piece fits. As the process of strategic planning is transformational, before starting on this journey, a firm foundation is essential, and this workshop provides that foundation. We will concentrate on the foundational documents of your organization, beginning with your mission, vision and values statements. Strategic planning requires that you know why you are in business. You are in business to create profits, but that is not all. Your business could be a family legacy and you are in business to provide a continuation of this legacy to future generations. Your business is a major contributor to the general financial health in your community. The larger the business and the smaller the community, the greater is the impact your business has on the people in the community.
Vision is the statement of your future, if you are true to your mission. Your vision of the company’s future can be to expand financially and be one of the top companies in your field. It could be to be the same size, but to be a more technologically one. Your business, building on today’s company, could be in a different field entirely. Your vision is entirely up to you and what you and your company can produce. The last foundational statement is your values statement. Values are the underlying principals upon which you base how your company operates. These company values are normally related to the leadership’s personal values, all though not always. These values are normally equated to moral justification and a company’s values will not be opposed by the personal values of the leadership.
Some value statements include a fairness to employees statement. These can be very wide in expression. Some examples might be only working in non-hazardous workplaces. If your business in mining, steel working, construction or farming, there are some hazard workplace conditions in each. Henry Ford’s view of work equals sweat, went back to his days of working on the farm. Hard work was expected, and he paid well for it. In today’s electronic workplaces, work is measured by output. Here efficiency can be used to generate the most output, or if used as a forceful tool, drive people away. Some companies are market driven and their values will be aimed at market share. Others are aimed at return on investment and they are aimed at higher profits. Neither is better that the other. They are just interested in success defined in different terms. Once the mission, vision and values are elucidated, the firm foundation upon which a strategic plan can be built, has been established.
1. Senior Executives / Ownership, the principals understand the strategic planning process.
2. Principals embrace strategic planning.
3. Principals recognize the resources necessary to properly prepare a strategic plan.
4. Principals recognize the time requirements for strategic planning for themselves and others in the organization and are willing to allocate that time necessary.
5. Determine company goals and policies.
6. Company mission aligned with actual company goals.
7. Company values aligned with actual company policies.
8. Company values reflect reality.
9. Company values aligned with ownership desires.
10. Company vision aligned with actual company goals.
11. Company vision aligned with ownership desires.
12. Principals have a commitment for success.
1. Educate principals on strategic planning, including examples of process and plans.
2. Demonstrate value of strategic planning by sharing examples of results with others.
3. Educate principals in resources required by viewing examples from others.
4. Educate principals in resource utilization required by viewing examples from others.
5. Ownership to verify goals and policies.
6. Team members present mission statement and their relationship to company goals.
7. Team members present values and their relationship to company policies.
8. Team members compare examples of actual values to value statement.
9. Ownership compares their values to company values and values observed.
10. Analyze vision statement to determine its actual end result vs. company goals.
11. Compare owner’s desires for vision vs reality.
12. Elicit from executives / ownership their commitment.
1. Prepare explanatory material expanding strategic planning, including life cycle chart, proposed schedule showing key milestones, and key elements of project. These materials to be presented to principals and all of their questions resolved.
2. Demonstrate value of strategic planning through sharing examples of actual results. Preparing these results and presenting the actual data.
3. Present a resource plan based on an actual strategic plan experience.
4. Present actual data on resource requirements and have principals verify their acceptance of the needed resources and time by their commitment to allow the resources involved in strategic planning adequate time to complete their tasks.
5. The principals will present the companies goals, near and long term, and policies that reflect the company vision and values.
6. Team members to present company mission statement and compare it to the company goals. Non-alignment will require further work.
7. Team members will present the company values statement and relate them to the actual company policies, both formal an informal. Non-alignment will require further work.
8. Team members will compare the values statement to actuality in daily actions. Non-alignment will require further work.
9. Principals will compare the company vision statement to determine its actual end result vs. the company goals.
10. Principals compare their values to the company values statement, and the values observed.
11. Principals compare the ownership’s desires for vision, vs. company goals as stated.
12. Elicit from principals and ownership their commitments by preparing a commitment document for all to sign.
We are starting on a long journey, from today’s guess of what the future has in store, to a more certain plan for the future. We are going to develop a plan that reflects our desires for the future, our abilities to do what is necessary to attain that future state. The future state is our long-term view for our future, perhaps twenty or twenty-five years into the future. The plan will also develop interim goals that will help to ensure that the future is what we wish. The process we will use is most likely unfamiliar, and even though you are skilled at your position, this will be new to you, and you may feel uncertain. That is not unusual as is all change. This will be a large change and will be uncomfortable. This may make you feel stressed and that is to be avoided. Being properly prepared is an antidote to stress and is paramount in our being successful.
So, how can you prepare for this workshop? First, we need to be comfortable with our study area. We need to have the time allocated so that we are not interrupted in our studies. We need to have a comfortable setting, so that we can study efficiently. You must think of all the things that could negatively impact your studying through distance-learning, especially if you have not ever used distance-learning in the past. It is far better to plan and feel in control, than to have to react to unanticipated intrusions. For time and place, I recommend you chose a place where you will be uninterrupted. A place which you can control and one in which you cannot be supplanted. You should also consider the time for your studies. You know what type of person you are. You know how you study, and which factors affect your study and retention most. Some people are morning people and are at their best before noon. Others find the mornings to be their least productive time. For the former, mornings are the best to schedule, for the latter, afternoon times make the most sense. Some people find a pastoral scene as stimulating, while others find them too restful and sleep inducing. Some study best in the quiet, while others need background noise or music to be truly able to study. You know your type best and should seek times and places that are most likely to ensure your particular success. You want to ensure success with your distance-learning, and the necessary follow up and preparation for it. You should schedule the distance-learning chapters and log them into your personal calendar and to any shared calendars, so that you and the rest of the organization know that your time is blocked out and cannot be changed.
In preparation for this first module, you need to examine potential study areas that would be suitable for the actual distance-learning sessions, as well as any pre-module and post-module work. Prepare a list of potential areas listing their positive and negative attributes. Be sure to include any others who routinely utilize these spaces. It is better to understand any potential conflicts prior to needing the space and working them out, than to be faced with no suitable unconflicted space when it is needed. Next, examine your calendar. Note where blocks of time are available for the distance-learning section of the module, as well as any other interactions related to the module. It is preferable to ensure that other responsibilities do not intrude on your study time, and only you, with proper planning can accomplish this. With data to use to determine time and place, you should now turn to the areas that are the first module’s focus.
In this first module we will be undertaking an analysis of your company‘s foundational beliefs and documents. In so doing, we discover the stated company objectives and how it sees itself operating in the marketplace. You will need to determine if your company has published a company mission, company vision, and company values. Most companies have developed them over time, and they can be useful, or are out of date. Values may not be so stated, but the company’s values are imbedded in the policies and procedures that are used. You should determine if your company has published such statements, or if they have not. Has your company established and published manuals for procedures, policies, or practices? Do you know where they are, and can you get access to them? We will need them in this module.
There is other data necessary for this module. We will use company financial data to ascertain the company’s present positions and to draw some inferences as to the future. The data we will use is that which has not been adjusted by the company’s accountants for tax or reporting purposes but is the data that shows operations and balance sheet information. We will use both income statements and balance sheets, as well as any other information required to reveal the financial picture of the company. If your company uses a board of directors, we will also want to study the reports made to the board at their regular board meetings. These will normally be in power point or the like format. If the company has done any forward planning, we need to examine the documentation of the plans. They may be titled business plans, financial plans, operating plans, or strategic plans. Title is not important. The plans are important in that they will show the company’s view of their probably future.
As a large part of strategic planning involves others, we normally construct a team, the strategic planning team, to provide input into the planning process. The team members are important to the ultimate success of the project, so selection of potential members is important. You should compile a list of candidates that you feel would be positive additions to the process. With the identification of the documentation needed in our study, and the ability to gain access to them defined, we ensure ourselves of good data. With your definition of space and time for most profitable study, you ensure you will gain the most for the distance-learning method.
With the data that you have identified as available, it is now time to firm up your plans. As you journey to a more planful future, you will need to be able to concentrate on your distance-learning studies.
The list of items that could have a negative impact on your ability to get the most out of your distance-learning experience needs to be thought through and plans made to overcome them. To this end, prepare a list of all that might interfere with your studies. The list should be fairly comprehensive. It is better to anticipate every eventuality and prepare a plan to offset it, than to wait for its occurrence and have to deal with it in real time. For each item, prepare plans to eliminate or mitigate its occurrence, or to prevent its happening. With plans prepared, you should be more comfortable when they appear.
Similarly, you should re-examine the places you have identified as potential study locations and eliminate all but the one most suited to you and your preferences. Prepare a list of all the attributes, both positive and negative, of each of the potential study locations. Compare them to your personal needs for you to be successful. You should be able to rank them in order of fulfilling your needs.
You now need to narrow your choices on time. Consider that you need to schedule three blocks of time for each module. One block will be to allocate the time necessary to perform any preparation efforts for the upcoming session. Another is the actual distance-learning presentation of the current module. The last is to prepare any follow up work from the current module. You will have to consider your personal calendar, but those others that affect you. Some of these are the general company calendars that may obligate you to attend meetings or conduct other business activities. You may attend board of directors meetings or other outside meetings. Customer meetings are important, and some can be scheduled while others cannot. You need to determine, as well as you can, when these calendar events will occur, and then set your calendar up so as to avoid possible conflicts. Regularity is an important attribute of success in any study program. So, I suggest that you set up your calendar on a rolling twelve months basis. Once this calendar is set, I would review it quarterly to ensure there are no changes that can’t be managed. Pick the times when you study most efficiently and set them as study times.
We need to ascertain the suitability of the company information that we will be using in our study. Now is the time to gather this data. The foundational documents, mission, vision, and values come first. You have earlier identified these three and now is the time to examine this data. The mission should be a statement of the company’s intent; and why it is in business. Some will be expanded to include corollary intentions.
A simple mission statement will include what the company does, either manufacture, sell, or provide a service; what it will provide to various stakeholders, employees, towns folk, industries; and a high-level statement of the company values, trusting business relations, providing superior customer experience. You need to test your mission to see if it truly defines why you are in business, and not just to make a profit, although that is a tacit understanding, and the impact the company makes on others beside ownership.
Your company vision may not be spelled out. Or it may not be long enough in term to have any meaning to junior members. A vision for three to five years is insufficient to anyone planning to be employed by the company for the next fifteen to twenty years. It may be sufficient for the more senior members, especially if they are planning to retire or sell in the near term. Examine the vision, if there is one spelled out, and see if it is long termed. If there is no vision visible, do not ask for one to be built. We will accomplish that later in the workshop.
Your policies say a lot about the company’s values. Read the absentee, vacation, travel and other policies relating to the interface between employees and the company. You will usually discovery that there is a theme running through the policies. In may be that the policies are writt