Volume 19 Number 9 - September 7, 2021

My mission is simple. I am devoted to enabling people working in manufacturing to recognize and achieve their potential; through that each of you contributes to an improved quality of life for all you touch. Mission matters. That of your business, and yours personally.

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Exit Plans are Deceiving

When founders of a new business begin to look for funds, one of the first questions they are asked is “what’s your exit plan?” That reflects a built-in assumption of intention to soon leave that nascent operation for money. Building the business to endure isn’t even a consideration; it’s built to be sold. Whatever happens next is someone else’s concern.

My new book, Manufacturing Mastery: The Path to Building Successful and Enduring Manufacturing Businesses, was released September 1, 2021. The content will help business owners who have a mission beyond private wealth build the business that can accomplish that goal. Exit plans are replaced with focus on preparation to pass the baton.

No manufacturer can endure without the active support of all five of its constituent groups:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Investors
  • The Community at large, which includes the future

If the mission of your business does not appeal to each and all those constituencies, why would you expect them to give their very best to your success? Mission matters. Most mission statements are meaningless. “To be the best…” conveys little. Have you ever read a mission statement that stakes out “to be the second best” or “to be mediocre?” There is no indication of how anyone will be better off because of active support for “the best.”

A heartfelt mission, committed progress toward that mission, and mutually designed partnerships with all five constituencies are a start. But endurance requires more than that. Ceaseless development of employees and relationships, a business operating system that provides context for behaviors and decisions, and design extraordinaire of every single aspect of the business and its ecosystem are attributes that enduring businesses share. But again, still more is required.

The work of building an enduring manufacturing business is no more difficult than that of building a cash machine, but it is significantly more interesting and fun. And of course it generates enough cash to continue investing in progress toward the mission. Focus on strategic profits is integral.

I write about those and other differentiating elements of enduring manufacturers in the book. Like riding a bike, endurance requires more than reading. Exposure to new ideas, examples, thinking challenges, guiding advice, and assessments are included to support your progress.

If you only care about maximizing personal wealth, I wish you well. Your business will not endure, but then that goal is not yours anyway.

Email me at [email protected] to request a copy of the Quick-Reference Guide for this book, and go to www.mfgmastery.com to download the assessments. Those will prod your thinking.

Design your business for profitability, which then allows you to design it for endurance. And that positions your efforts to accomplish a mission that matters. Time’s a ‘wasting.

The Starting Pistol

Virginia Satir:
"We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us"

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"Nor our own."

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