September 1, 2020
Dave WrightAs I write this message, I am away from the office, on a summer vacation with my family.  I can’t say that I am not working, because I am spending a few hours every day answering email, finishing quotes that I didn’t get finished last week, and working on designs that I feel like I never have time to finish. Time management is tough when we are busy putting out fires. Having a great team reduces the need for firefighting and allows you to spend more productive time on being proactive.

Last week, my management team spent the day in a meeting room at a local conference centre, reviewing our last two quarters and looking forward to the next one. We didn’t get a chance to plan for Q2 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rush of work that followed, so we were long overdue. There is no excuse for not planning ahead, but sometimes you just have to put your head down and plow through it.

There is a lot to plan for now. There are a lot of unknowns on the horizon. Will there be a second wave after the kids go back to school? How are insurance rates going to affect the winter season? What will the weather be like this winter? Will we be able to get the materials needed this fall to finish off the projects in progress? Whoever thought there would be so much work that suppliers would run out of inventory? Pavers, plants, lumber, and pool kits are all in short supply. What is next spring going to look like? Will we be further into a global recession? Will there still be a demand for our services? Having a solid plan will allow you to weather the storm of uncertainty.

Not everyone is wired to be a strategic planner. If this sounds like you, then there are many resources out there that can help you to work through a strategic plan. I have worked with several consultants over the years, all of which have helped me to get to where I am today. I started by meeting with the consultants on my own and working through the plan with them. This became a top down approach that was hard to get buy-in from the rest of the team. When I built a management team and invited them to join the strategic planning process, I noticed there was almost immediate buy-in. There was a positive energy that was created during the process that made everything that much easier. My management team now meets quarterly to review our plan and build onto it for the next three months. We also meet with the entire team during the winter to share the numbers from the previous year and talk about the budget moving forward. Sharing the information with the entire team allows everyone to feel they have a part in the success of the company and themselves.

Before I hop in the boat for a run to our favourite fishing spot, I challenge you to build a plan with your team that will help you lead to success in the latter half of this year.
Dave Wright
LO President