White Paper: Strategic Planning

Download our latest White Paper Keys to Competitiveness using Strategy. In this paper you will learn the tools to begin to developing an organization strategy plan and use it as a foundation for setting your organization up for success. Here is an excerpt:

How important do you feel planning is to remain competitive? Do companies routinely take time to plan? Typically…no. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!) It is far more exciting to be reactive – to be the hero that solves the problem at the time of crisis. Whatever adrenaline rush you get from this, it is a poor way to run a business. Many of your competitors ARE planning. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage. However there are some companies are not planning. So applying this discipline gives you the competitive advantage over others.

It all starts with strong leadership.

Great leaders inspire others to greatness. They get more energy and creativity from their staff than complacent managers. They help create vision, urgency, discipline, and accountability – many keys to successful strategic planning. Leadership is needed for strategic plan development, strategic plan implementation, and strategic plan systematization.

You need to ask yourself this one question… Are you a strong leader that is ready for the strategic planning processes? 

To read the entire White Paper: Keys to Competitiveness Using Strategy you can download it here.

Happy 9th Birthday CMSi

February 1st, 2012 marks our 9th year

It was this day precisely NINE (9) years ago today that Concentric Management Systems, Inc. (CMSi) was born. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the many failures and many more successes we have had over the years. Thanks to our tenacity, belief in our core values, and most importantly, our valued customers, we are able to be proud of "being in our 10th year of business".

CMSi is effectively “re‐launching” bigger and better than ever in 2012 following the successful completion of a major project (42 months) with a key client that required nearly all of my time. This re-­emergency allows us many opportunities to grow where we can grow best - near the beach! We couldn't be more pleased to call Charleston our new home.

Very special thanks is in order to my wonderful staff, our team of amazing consultants and the customers that allow us to grow bigger and better every day! I truly appreciate the trust, hard work and partnerships we have formed in this anything-but-traditional organization.

Here's to another 9 years!


Jim Thompson - President
Concentric Management Systems, Inc.

Mission Statement - February 1st, 2012

We support the world’s leading organizations in their pursuit of excellence through the provision of training, consulting and auditing services. We are dedicated to providing services that exceed the expectations of our customers by being deliberate about delivering the highest level of customized service possible. We believe in steady growth with integrity.

We also strive to be the first choice for representing independent subject matter experts by developing and managing mutually beneficial, long-­‐term business relationships. By facilitating customer relationships, we bring tremendous value to our network of consultants -­‐ allowing more time to focus on exercising core competencies and less time on administrative burden.

Goal Converter

The best managers, coaches and teachers of the world have a common technique that helps to make their teams successful - the ability to convert a high-level organizational vision into tactical micro-level steps that utilizes the individual contributions of each teammate.

I'm pretty sure the goal of each NFL team at the beginning of the season is to win the Superbowl.  If the management of a NFL football team has only one goal for the team - "win the Superbowl" - what are the chances of actually realizing this goal?  Very slim.

The best managers, coaches and teachers of the world have a common technique that helps to make their teams successful - the ability to convert a high-level organizational vision into tactical micro-level steps that utilizes the individual contributions of each teammate.  A leader that is good at converting goals into actionable steps is a good leader.  It is not good enough to simply want to get to the top of the mountain.  Dozens, if not hundreds, of hours must be put into planning and preparation.  Any one of these preparation steps can make or break the mission.

Let's say that your organization has the following objectives in order to call the upcoming or current year successful:

  1. 90+% Customer Satisfaction Rating
  2. 90+% Employee Retention Rating
  3. 15+% Profit Margin

A simple tool, such as a Goal Conversion table, can break down the 15% profit margin goal into functional expectations for each key process within the organization.  Think Macro > Micro > Single Actions.  By using this table, along with a red/yellow/green indicator, the status of several different key processes are apparent.  Pat, the Process Owner for the Purchasing process, wants his box to be green.  It's currently yellow indicating an unfinished task or high risk action.

Let's imagine the current performance is around 12%.  How do you know?  That's right... because you have a simple measurement tool in order to track monthly profit margin.  This data is tracked by your accountant and provided to the Operations Manager by the end of the first week each new month.  Here is the long-term performance for the current year as well as notes recording significant events and their associated actions.

Charts and graphs are great.  But you need to be able to track which variables in the process have changed in order to control and improve process performance.  Use the table under the graph to help explain why your data has changed from one data point (monthly) to the next data point.  Action can also be recorded and linked back to the Goal Conversion Table (see Illustration #1 above).

There are few things in life more rewarding than doing a good job and visually seeing the fruits of your labor.  Screaming "Let's Win the Superbowl" louder while spitting in the face of your team members is not going to work (sorry Bobby Knight).  Clearly defining expectations - at relevant levels and functions to each player - and making performance monitoring simple works.

Interested in this concept?  Click here to open or download our Goal Converter tool.  It's free and simple to use.  Feel free to modify this as you see fit and give us your feedback on how this has helped your team realize it's goals.