Friday, April 16, 2004


Business Times p.B5
Friday, April 16, 2004

By Moje Ramos-Aquino

Ready. In your Journey on Entrepreneurship, you got ready with lots of strategic thin­king and formulating your Vision, Mission and Values (VMV). You also scanned and analyzed your environment to get signs of what was, what is and what might be.

Helen Keller once said: “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision. Jonathan Swift added: Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.”

Aim. Then you took aim with your strategic plans when you identified your Strategic Goals (SG), Key Result Areas (KRA) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Then you start organizing your company to fit resources, people into your KRAs. I say start organizing to emphasize the fact that you can move employees, machines, equipments, supplies, etc., until you determine the proper “fit.” Your organizational chart is just a representation of present “fit” and is not written in stone.

In his book Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan, James R. Sherman, Ph.D., reports that back in the 1950s, a behavioral research team from the Harvard Business School took a random sample of 100 members of the senior class and asked them what they would like to be doing 10 years from graduation.

“All 100 said they would like to be wealthy, successful, and significant forces in the business world. The researchers noted that of the 100 seniors, only 10 had drawn up specific goals and put them in writing.

“Ten years later, the research team paid a follow-up visit to the 100 subjects. They found that the 10 graduates who had written down their goals owned 96% of the total wealth of the 100-student sample.”

Fire!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is time to act, to be decisive. Will Rogers said, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” It is often said that good judgment comes from experience and that experience comes from poor judgment. So move on.

You need to get ready to achieve by writing down what you need to do. There are two kinds of plans of actions you need to undertake. First are your Critical Objectives (CO) or statements that describe the most important continuing results that must be achieved in a key result area if the strategic goal is to be accomplished.

These are determined at your functional or departmental units level such as sales, marketing, manufacturing, accounting, human resources, customer service, research or whatever you call them. The important thing for you to do here is to make sure that COs are aligned and coordinated. Sales can’t just set a CO all by their lonesome self; they must take into consideration the needs and capacities of the manufacturing unit.

Secondly, your Specific Objectives (SO) or statements of specific, measurable, action-oriented, results-oriented, time limited and stretched that must be accomplished to achieve the critical objectives. SOs can be accomplished in a couple of days or weeks or months within one year. These are your short-term operational plans.

Remember that the journey of a million miles starts with the first bold step.

These are set by the individual doing the job. Given your limited resources (Is there ever enough?), you need to determine that there are no gaps and overlaps. That there are no two units/persons doing the same job save for coping with voluminous task. This is where you empower your employees by delegating to them all your doables so that you could devote yourself to life-and-death business decisions. This is how you cascade your VMVSG down to the lowest levels of employees in your organization. This is how you exercise your strategic management to avoid micro management.

Finally to take care of the day-to-day business, lead your employees in preparing their Action Plans or a list of programs steps with accountabilities (persons responsible), schedules and resource (and budget) requirements to achieve the specific objectives. Only after these could you prepare a budget and plan your manpower requirements. If you have not yet come this far in your planning, your budget is only a wish list. You might be buying supplies that you will never need. You might be hiring people that might not be contributing to your efforts or you might be hiring the wrong ones.

Ready…Aim…Fire!!!!!!!!!!! Move it.

Enjoy your Journey and take comfort in Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Come what may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.” And Hamlet: “If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.”

ASTD 2004. Hear it direct from Planning Guru Henry Mintzberg, professor of management at McGill University in Canada, at the 2004 American Society for Training & Development International Conference and Exposition this May 23-27, Washington DC, USA.

For detailed information, please call Grace Victoriano at 715-9332

(Moje Ramos-Aquino, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corporation, facilitates Strategic Thinking and Planning Workshops. Please send feedback to

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