Formal strategic planning is one of the most important things industrial distributor Hisco has ever done, according to its CEO Bob Dill. But the most important piece of that success came from involving Hisco’s front-line employees in the process. As Dill told MDM in the Case Study: Inviting Employees to the Table, corporate may set strategy, but at the end of the day value is created at the branch level.
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In addition to getting input from your employees, involve them in championing initiatives that emerge from the strategic planning process. Hisco had to decide what to leave to its branches –“We must give the branches the ability to respond to the needs of customers,” Dill says – and what to champion from the corporate level to gain operational efficiencies.
As part of the effort to get employee buy-in and participation, Brent Grover, author of The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, says it’s critical to produce a one-page strategic plan for the company that everyone will understand. Ifthe result of a strategic planning process is a thick binder that collects dust on the shelf, it doesn’t help anyone. But a one-page plan is a simple summary that every employee can act on.
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