Welcome to Eagle Associates. Helping you get Results.

Meet Lois Greisen, Executive Coach and President/Owner of Eagle Associates. Lois is a Certified Business Coach with over 25 years of management experience.

Posts Tagged ‘Evaluating’

13 Jan
Are You Doing These 7 Keys to Success? Key Number 6
Posted by lois on Monday, January 13th, 2014 | permalink | trackback

Fail Forward – If Plan A fails, learn from it and move on to plan B

Focus on your plan.  If you fail, learn from it and adjust your plan and keep going.

Focus on your plan. If you fail, learn from it and adjust your plan and keep going.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, key number one in the seven keys to success, was to know where you are going.  Key number two was to develop a plan to get there.  Key number three was to implement the plan, key number four was to monitor the plan and key number 5 was to stay focused.  Today we will discuss key number 6, which is to fail forward.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all your plans were successful?  Well they won’t be.  When you fail you can do one of three things or variations of them:

1. You can quit. Give up.  Throw in the towel and have a pity party.   That won’t get you to your goal.

2.  Keep on doing what you’re doing and expect different results.  That is       the meaning of insanity.  If you keep on doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep on getting what you have been getting.

3. Evaluate what you have been doing.  Figure out what it is not working and change it or develop a better plan.

Item number three makes the most sense.   The key is to change what isn’t working and continue to do what is working and don’t give up. You only fail when you quit.

You might have noticed that I haven’t blogged since July.  I could do any one of the three items listed.  I could do the first one…quit and shut down my website.  That is not an option for me.  I could do the second item on the list and just continue in my path of not blogging.  That is not an option for me either since people go to my site for tips and information.  I like to give value to people whether or not they work with me so option number three is my choice.  I looked at my schedule and I am time blocking my time.  Today my main focus is scheduling a newsletter and blogs for both of my websites (my other website is www.CoachLoisG.com ).  So I evaluated what I was doing and came up with what I hope is a better plan.  If this plan doesn’t work, I will reevaluate and come up with another.

It is so important to have a strategy for your business and this is a great time to implement the steps I have discussed in earlier blogs.  This is step 6 in my 7 keys to success.  Go back and review the first 5 steps and make the New Year your best year yet.  Are you as successful as you want to be?  Please contact me if you want to learn more or would like some help.

21 Jun
Heartland Trail Strategy: Create a Strategic Plan – Achieve Your Vision
Posted by lois on Friday, June 21st, 2013 | permalink | trackback
Heartland Trail - Future Route

Heartland Trail – Future Route

The Heartland State Trail, which was legislatively authorized in 1974, is one of the oldest rail-trails in Minnesota.  In 2006 the Heartland State Trail Extension was legislatively authorized.  For years I remember the trail running through Park Rapids and I knew it followed an old train track.  Many of my friends would take their bikes and ride the trails.  I didn’t ride with them since I had very small children.  Now, all these years later, I am excited that the trail will eventually go very near to my area.  There are parts of the Heartland Trail that are completed, parts that are being worked on, and parts yet to be started.

The exciting thing is that it all started with an idea.  A group of people spent much time developing a vision and strategy for the Heartland State Trail Extension – Park Rapids to Moorhead Master Plan.  You can read the 115-page pdf document on line at: http://archive.leg.state.mn.us/docs/2011/mandated/110592.pdf.

 

This visionary team knew that this would be a very comprehensive and long project.  They also knew that if they didn’t start it then nothing would happen.  The crazy thing is that time keeps going on whether or not a project is completed.  When I went back to school to get my Masters degree I knew it might take me 10 years.  I also knew 10 years would happen whether or not I got my degree.  

 

It is fun to see some of the future heartland trail system coming together. Last year I did quite a bit of rollerblading in front of the Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes, MN.  I was blading on the Heartland Trail.  To the east of Detroit Lakes we have had road construction for the last 2 to 3 weeks.  They are creating a box tunnel that goes under the highway in which bikes and snowmobiles can go through as they are riding the Heartland Trail.  That portion of the trail will extend from Detroit Lakes to Frazee.  Little by little the Heartland Trail is being pieced together.  Eventually, it will run from Cass Lake all the way to Moorhead, Minnesota.  

 

Now, let me ask you what your plans are for your future?  What would you like to accomplish?  What do you want to achieve?  Where would you like to travel?  Create your vision and then start developing your strategic plan by breaking the overwhelming task into manageable pieces. Decide what needs to happen this year and next year and so on. Eventually you can achieve anything you want by staying focused on your plan and doing something, even if it is very small, daily.  If you need help, please let me know.  Time keeps marching on; don’t wait any longer to create the future you want.  Get in touch with me now.  Also post your comments below and if you liked this post, please share it with a friend.

 

13 Jun
Strategic Plan – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Many companies don’t have a written strategic plan or theyOrganizational Alignment have an outdated plan.  They just have a general idea of where they want to go.  They are headed in the right direction and probably make progress every year.  So why have a plan if things are going in a positive direction?  I have shared a couple of reasons and here is a fourth.

A fourth reason to develop a strategic plan is that the highest-ranking businesses have a strategic plan and the ones that fail often do not have a strategy.  Is that true across the board?  No, but it is typically true and wouldn’t you want the odds on your side?  I know I would. 

 

In order for your business to be successful, it needs a roadmap to take it where it wants to go.  You need to know where you are now and what results you want for your business in the future (vision).  If I wanted to go to San Antonio, California, I would need to map my plan from Frazee, Minnesota (since that is where I live)…not from New York City. 

 

As you develop your strategic plan you will assess your current strengths and weaknesses internally and look for opportunities and threats externally.  In other words, your SWOT analysis.  That is your starting point.

 

Now you can determine the things you want to achieve in the next year or so that will start to take you to your vision.  Then you can develop the strategy on how to get there.  Now you have a roadmap to success.  You need to be sure your people know about your plan and that they are working toward it and you need to be sure your operations or processes are moving in the same direction as well.  Developing a strategic plan is one thing, implementing and executing the plan must happen or your planning is fruitless.

 

 

 

Make strategic planning a priority in your business.  If you need help, please let me know.  Your return on investment could be the success of your business.

 

 

 

Please post your experiences with strategic planning that you and your company have seen so that others may benefit.  Also, if you liked this post, please share it with a friend and if you have not signed up for my newsletter, please do so.  Take action now.

 

11 Jun
Strategic Plan – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Many companies don’t have a written strategic plan or they Execution Value Gaphave an outdated plan.  They just have a general idea of where they want to go.  They are headed in the right direction and probably make progress every year.  So why have a plan if things are going in a positive direction?  I have shared a couple of reasons and here is a third.

A third reason to develop a strategic plan is that it can help the organization benchmark its results.  Not only can the company benchmark results against itself, but it can also compare itself to other businesses in similar or like industries.  This can be beneficial if a sale of the business is planned.  Prospective buyers can utilize the information when making a decision whether to buy or not.  The seller can utilize the information when valuing the business for sale.  Benchmarking is also helpful when reporting to investors. 

In addition, knowing that progress is being made on the goals being worked on is very rewarding and motivational.  Employees see that they are making a difference and are more motivated to do better and committed and loyal to the company.  Teamwork improves and a positive work culture is generated.  Most people enjoy a challenge and goals set by both the team and the individual are motivational.  As staffs work toward the initiatives of the plan, work is more exciting and enjoyable.  A positive work culture will help the organization attract the best people and pay a competitive wage rather than a premium.    Employees will know where they are headed.

 

A strategic plan is beneficial both financially and emotionally.  It can help improve the profits of the organization and motivate and challenge the employees resulting in a win-win position.

 

 

 

Make strategic planning a priority in your business.  If you need help, please let me know.  Your return on investment will be worth it. Please post other reasons to develop a strategic plan that you and your company have seen so that others may benefit from your experience.  Also, if you liked this post, please share it with a friend.  Take action now.

 

 

05 Jun
Strategic Planning – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Strategic planning can save the organization resources.  The second reason to

"When you say 'I will' with conviction, magic begins to happen." Wally Amos

“When you say ‘I will’ with conviction, magic begins to happen.” Wally Amos

develop a strategic plan is to save the organization resources including time, labor and money (time and labor translate into money).  Saving resources directly impacts the bottom line and isn’t that why companies are in business?  Even non-profits can do more good if they have more money to work with.  When an organization knows where it is going, resources such as time, labor and money etc. will not be directed at projects that are not taking the organization where it needs to go.  It will eliminate the “that didn’t work, let’s try this” mentality where one idea after another is tried until maybe something works or until all the capital is used up and the organization folds.  Even in the organization that something eventually works, a lot of the resources are wasted in the process.  Throwing money into a project and hoping something works is never a good idea.  Strategic planning only makes sense (cents).

If you need help with your strategic plan, please contact me.  Also, if you enjoyed this article, please share it with a friend and “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/eagleassociates?ref=hl.  Take action now. 

 

22 May
Three Rules of Strategic Planning – Rule Number 3
Posted by lois on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 | permalink | trackback

Rule number 3 – Know your environment and your competition.  If you were the coach of a football team you might send scouts out to observe other teams to get an idea of how you could optimize your team in future games.  The same thing applies in your strategic planning process.  In your external assessment you are looking for opportunities and threats.  When looking externally at opportunities, you might learn of a new product need for future development.  Maybe there is a regulation change that makes your product even more called for or with minor changes, one of your current products will fulfill the requirements of the new regulation.  Another example might be that you have a local business providing a product or service for an aging population and you learn that a huge private gated community for the 60 plus age group is being built in your area.

When looking at external threats, you might learn of a new competitor moving in next door.  Other external areas to analyze include your client’s environment (is your product or service a current trend starting to disappear?), the political environment (will future leaders impact new regulations that might affect your business?), technological environment (will your current technology mesh with your stakeholder’s environment?), and your customer segments (maybe your best customers are retiring and moving away).

Remember rule number 3 – “Know your environment and your competition” in your strategic planning process.

15 May
Three Rules of Strategic Planning – Rule Number 2
Posted by lois on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

Rule number 2 – Know where you are now.  If you are planning a trip to Dallas, Texas and you are currently in Fargo, North Dakota, you would not start planning from Seattle, Washington.  When developing your strategic plan, you need assess your company to determine what your strengths are so that you can capitalize on them in the future.  What are you really good at?  Are you utilizing your strengths to their maximum potential or is there more you can do?  Also keep in mind that what you are good at might be coming to the end of its life cycle.  Be aware of that and be ready to transition at the right time if that is the case.  An example is Kodak transitioning from film to the digital age.  They were slow in incorporating the new technology and filed for bankruptcy in January 2012.  They were not the first company to falter due to changing technology.  Don’t let it happen to you.  Plan your continued success.

Knowing where you are now also means knowing what your weaknesses are so that you can minimize them.  Do you have untrained staffs?  How is the internal culture?  Does your management team need development?  Are you structured properly?  Is your technology getting outdated?  Are you outgrowing your space?  Are you marketing to your best advantage?  These are just some of the questions you should be asking.  In this part of the planning process you want to uncover anything that might jump out at you in the future as you are implementing your plan that might block your way.  You won’t be able to eliminate all obstacles, but you can plan through many.  Remember rule number two – Know where you are now.

11 Oct
Evaluating the Strategic Process
Posted by lois on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 | permalink | trackback

When we implement our strategic plan and  begin monitoring its execution, we need to evaluate our results.  In the evaluating phase, we are reviewing our processes, goals and objectives to evaluate what is working and what needs to be changed.  This goes beyond monitoring.  As we evaluate, we can utilize reports that we generate either manually or with an automated system.  As I mentioned before, I am a certified Keyne Method Consultant.  The Keyne Method makes execution management of the strategic plan a competency within the organization and it is supported by software.  KeyneLink’s web based execution management system allows for many different reports that can be used to evaluate progress with organizational goals.  These reports can be utilized by the senior executive to share results with his or her board of directors, management team, or staffs.  Whether you are using a web based system or a manual system, the sharing of reports is a great time to evaluate our progress with our processes, systems, goals and initiatives.  What is working and what needs to be changed or added.  Reporting to the board is incisive.  Great discussion can arise and team synergy developed at management and staff meetings.  Individuals feel they are “in” on things and see how the big picture ties to what they do on a day-to-day basis.  Evaluating should be happening several times a year and as we move toward the end of the performance period an annual goals review can be done to start the review and assessing for the next performance period.

 

If you’d like to learn more about help with making execution management a competency within your organization, please contact me.