Red reset button isolated on white background, three-dimensional rendering, 3D illustration

YOUR business deals with risk. My wife shared an article with me regarding a 2008 Airbus A320 plane that had its computers experience ten things going wrong at the same time, taking inappropriate control of the plane, injuring passengers, and forcing the pilot to use every ounce of military aircraft training to bring it down safely. You can read the article online at She shared it because I often weigh in on vehicle CASE issues (Connected, Autonomous, Shared/Safe, Electric). I’ve dealt with triple redundant systems for missiles and nuclear submarine controls as well as the simpler, more cost effective and high reliability requirements of trucks. [Yes, the trucks are more reliable.] This all falls into the category of risk management of systems. ISO-9001 is a quality or risk management standard, one of many, that companies must meet to compete in aerospace, industrial, automotive, medical, food, information technology, and defense industries.

Regardless of what is or has been happening in the world, this is the time of year to hit the RESET button, take stock of where the world is, take stock of where you are and where you are going. It’s time to look back to both celebrate wins and assess lessons learned from failures. It’s time to forecast the financials for the full year and project the next year or more. In short, it’s that time of year when companies are in full swing for their strategic plans. Some will have started back in April, just after they finalized year end for last year and held their stockholder meetings to report the results. Small and Mid-Sized companies, privately-held and family-held would do well to mimic the timing of the Big and public companies in this respect.

Obviously, a small or mid-sized company cannot deploy the same resources as the large public companies. On the other hand, getting the message out and aligning people is much easier when you have 10-200 employees than when you have tens of thousands spread all around the world. Regardless of size, the process is much the same. Reaffirm values, mission, and vision. Check what has changed around your company and inside your company.

My book, “Accelerating Start to Finish” has specific questions and actions at the end of each section and chapter to help you assess the areas of global trends and
Sales & Marketing Channels
Supply Chain and Outsourcing
Market Constraints and Government
Risks of Disruption
Internal People, Products, and Processes.
You can scale the breadth and depth to what is appropriate for your size of company. The book is available in paperback and electronic format on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Mount Hood  at Lost Lake in the afternoon

Ideally, this strategic plan becomes your new B.O.S.S.™ for Business Operating System Strategy. Your B.O.S.S.™ does’t tell you what to do, it tells you what you decided and agreed to do. An immensely important step is to document the strategic plan in a way that will emphasize and track its implementation. A plan that is a book or binder sitting on a shelf, or a file stored on a computer memory is, quite literally, useless. I’m fortunate to now live in the Portland, Oregon area, close to the Cascade Mountain range that lies between the Rocky Mountain range and the Coastal Mountain range. Cascade is a beautiful way to think about the strategic plan and your B.O.S.S.™. Each of the items in the strategy, goals, and objectives areas in particular, need to be owned by someone with SMARTs (Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Results Oriented-Timed). You should not need a physical boss to hold you accountable. You and your peers should be able to hold yourselves accountable to your aligned and agreed strategies, goals, objectives, actions, mission, vision, and values.

Cascade is an excellent software package for documenting and tracking your company’s progress as it climbs the mountains of growth in enterprise value. You can use it from the very start of the process to make it easier to develop your B.O.S.S.™. Like many systems, it is available through a free trial. Depending on your company size and the speed with which you can work, the free trial may be enough for now. If you’d like to consider it and give it a try hit this button.