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When You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

by Lynn Tilsonlynn

Does your organization have a strategic plan that is aligned with your organization’s vision and mission?

Is the strategic plan for your company tied to a road map that outlines how your company executes that strategy?

Does every employee clearly understand your company’s strategic and business goals for this fiscal year?

Do all of your employees have a clear, concise focus on the direction that the company is moving in to reach your strategic goals?

Is your company’s position in the marketplace solidified and error proof?

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, please read on.  Simply put, strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its direction and allotting resources to pursue that direction.  It has also been termed a road map that describes how your company executes on a chosen strategy that flows from the company’s vision, mission, and values.

Hoshin Planning is strategy planning for all types of organizations.  It is a strategic planning process with built-in reviews, improvements, and learning activities that are all focused on the organization’s vision, mission, and values.  Hoshin Planning has its roots from the work of three Americans (W. Edward Deming, Walter Shewhart, and Joseph Juran) who were instrumental in the Japanese efforts to rebuild its infrastructure, economy, and businesses after World War II.

There are several benefits to utilizing the Hoshin Planning process for strategic planning.  First of all, the planning process provides focus and direction to move from information on paper to concrete actions. Secondly, the finances and resources of the company are prioritized to meet the strategic plan.   Lastly, it aligns everyone in the company toward a few, high-impact objectives. Thus, the Hoshin Planning process helps build your competitive advantage throughout the entire organization.

NMC’s Training Services has successfully assisted companies in northern Michigan with their strategic planning through a comprehensive engagement that includes the initial planning, coaching during the year, facilitation of the quarterly reviews, and an annual review.  Training Services will assist your organization in the seven-step planning process that produces:

  • Year 1 Hoshin Plan
  • Aligned Departmental or Team Plans
  • Standard Work for Quarterly Review Meetings
  • A Year-end Review of Year 1 Hoshin Plan
  • Development of Year 2 Hoshin Plan

With the assistance of Training Service’s experienced facilitators, your organization will develop a strategic plan that will be more actionable and visible to staff than traditional strategic plans.  The key elements are:

  • Clear and Visible Targets
  • Regular Review
  • Shortened time to Corrective Actions


Ben Franklin had it right when he frequently stated in the mid-1700s, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  As an inventor, writer, publisher, philosopher, scientist, patriot, and founding father of the United States, Franklin knew the utmost importance of strategic planning.  As a business leader, would you like to follow in Franklin’s footsteps? 


For more information, please contact Lynn Tilson at NMC Training Services or 231 995-2015

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