Volume 13 Number 2 - February 3, 2015


The 5-year strategic planning process practiced by large corporations 20 years ago was replaced by the 3-year plan, which is now replaced by the 1-year strategic plan. The theory is that the world is changing too quickly for us to believe a strategy in excess of one year is relevant.

The world is changing. A decade ago we managed to live without Kickstarter, Etsy, and Groupon. Wikipedia, the internet's largest and most popular reference source, launched in 2001. Netflix, founded in 1997, has completely altered the entertainment landscape. No industry is untouched by the pace of change.

So why would anyone in their right mind consider a 25-year Strategic Plan? Take away the word "plan" and consider "strategy" similar to "guidance" and a 25-year outlook makes much more sense.

Toyota has focused on the "accident-free vehicle" for decades. They and other automotive companies are shifting their 25-year view to "safe environmentally-sound mobility." Google started as an internet company, but is clearly much more than that now. Their mission statement was revamped in 2013 to: "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." The long views of Wikipedia, auto companies and Google are starting to blend together.

Ignore the word "plan." Provide a 25-year window into the world you are committed to creating. Without that clear understanding, your 25 one-year plans are pinball, not business, and that noise you hear is the last ball slipping between the flippers into the drain.

The Starting Pistol

John Galsworthy::
"A man of action, forced into a state of thought, is unhappy until he can get out of it”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"Action without thought makes everyone unhappy."

February 18-19, 2015: Ft Lauderdale FL: Lean Frontiers is presenting its first Kata Summit, providing information and networking on both the Improvement Kata and the Coaching Kata. If you are not familiar with Kata methodology, this provides a great opportunity to learn how it can help your company.

March 4-5, 2015: Salt Lake City UT: OC Tanner, one of the best Lean manufacturers in the United States, is hosting the 2-day AME event "A Lean Transformation That Never Stops Improving." O. C. Tanner has created a Lean Enterprise grounded in one-piece flow for over 90 percent of all orders, with concurrent improvements in quality, cost and delivery. The O. C. Tanner executive team will discuss aspects of improvement from warehousing to reverse logistics to pay systems to Gemba assessments. Don't miss this opportunity.

March 5-6, 2015: Austin TX: The 11th Annual APICS 6 Packed Conference is featuring Becky Morgan, speaking on "Why Lean Doesn't Stick" and on "Big Data and Operations." The two day conference includes 5 tracks, keynotes, and networking opportunities.

March 11-13, 2015: Atlanta, GA: Dr. Alan Weiss will be joined by Dr. Martin Seligman and 9 expert others in this 2.5 day highly interactive Million Dollar Consulting Convention. If you want to learn from the best, this is a great opportunity to improve your consulting skills. If you're not working continually on self-development, how can you expect companies to trust you for expert advice?

April 8-10, 2015: Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence (COE) is presenting the Leading Through Excellence Summit. Workshops, tours, and interactive breakout sessions. Early-bird discounts are available.

April 19 - 23, 2015: Jacksonville, FL: The Additive Manufacturers Users Group (AMUG) conference includes presentations, hands-on learning, and vendors addressing 12 different additive technologies, ranging from 3D Printing to Fused Deposition Modeling to Selective Laser Melting. You know these technologies will impact your business. Consider learning a lot all in one place.

May 18-21, 2015: Long Beach, CA: If April doesn't work for you, check out the SME RAPID conference in May to learn about additive manufacturing processes. Both AMUG and RAPID conferences have been delivered for many years. Compare the two conference offerings and select the one that best fits your current interests and experience.

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