Tag Archive: strategic planning


As I have mentioned, I subscribe to Predictable Success blog written by Les McKeown. His blog post: 3 Steps to Writing Your Strategic Plan This Weekend peaked my interest. In fact, I shared the link with the team and we each made a commitment to listen to the 40 minute audio recording and workbook.  I personally downloaded to iTunes and on my ride back and forth to work Les accompanied me. I will admit that at first I was mesmerized by his accent but quickly realized he was sharing very good processes related to strategic planning.

One of our first steps in planning was to outline our KK and KDK. Les explained that the KK is what you “know you know.” The operational activities you do everyday. The KDK is what you “know you don’t know.” For example, customer satisfaction has declined. You know it has declined but you don’t know why.

Each week we worked on the 2011 strategic plan as a team. We implemented many of the suggestions Les outlined and used his worksheets for planning.

In our last newsletter to the franchisees of the year we outlined four major expectations. Each expectation outlined our strategic thinking, tactics and actionable steps.

  • Building and Growing the Brand
  • Fostering Relationships
  • Becoming Stronger and Smarter
  • Staying Innovative

In my letter to the franchisees I said, “trying to grow with the speed of technology is a daunting task, but with the support and enthusiasm of the system I know we will exceed even our own expectations in the coming year.”

In our visit to Blinds.Com Complex, Jay Steinfeld taught us to “experiment without fear.” Watch out 2011! COMPUTER EXPLORERS team is ready to start experimenting.

Experimenting Without Fear

What are your 2011 expectations? Did you work as a team to create them? Have you shared them with your franchise/organization?

Don’t Blink!

I love the video that represents a year with COMPUTER EXPLORERS. In less than 35 seconds it documents a sampling of our year of meetings, conferences, events and classes.

Colin Powell said, “None of us can change our yesterdays, but ALL of us can change our tomorrows!”

As 2010 was coming to an end the COMPUTER EXPLORERS corporate team  spent time looking at the year. We reviewed our accomplishments and yes our challenges. We read Les McKeown’s blog post “Three Steps To Writing Your Strategic Plan This Weekend.”  Each of us downloaded and listened to his 40 minute teleclass. Click here to his blog post.

We know we can’t change yesterday but we are working hard to make improvements and changes to 2011.

We are still working on our 2011 plan and will publish our goals to the system before we close for the holiday. In the usual COMPUTER EXPLORERS fashion it will accompany a holiday video message.

Using “10 Predictable Success Strategic Year-end Questions” we:

  1. Changed our weekly staff meetings from Monday to Thursday. (May seem like a minor change but it has improved our productivity in our meetings tremendously!)
  2. Review what the worse thing we did last week/month/year and work to fix it.
  3. Ask ourselves weekly to measure our success individually and as a team. We hold each other accountable!

Plotting our vision and goals is not a simple task. In my opinion it is a task that is ongoing and ever-changing.

With a blink of the eye 2011 will pass us by if we are not careful in our planning!

Strategic planning is never easy. Brutal facts need to be addressed and it takes a team of individuals that work together constructively and honestly to have a successful planning session. Jim Collins author Good to Great insists that you must have the right people on the bus when developing a team. Fortunately, we did!

Nov 13 2009

COMPUTER EXPLORERS Strategic Planning Group

The team photographed in the front row: David Rhodes (NJ Franchisee), me, Cyndee Perkins (Curriculum & Program Development Director, Collette Howell (CA Franchisee) and Kathy Muller (Director, Sales Training & Development). In the back row: Vicki Ziesemer (WI Franchisee), Robin Scott (NC Franchisee) and Lorri Wyndham (Operations Manager). Not photographed: Steve Hammerstein, President, I.C.E.D.

As I worked on my notes from the session my horoscope arrived on Twitter. It’s a great little feature and most times right on target. Today it said:  “You often take the path of least resistance and choose stability over innovation. Now, however, you are being given new ways of responding to a familiar situation that has become a bit of a rut for you. Rather than repeating history, you are on the verge of breaking out of an old habit. Taking a risk isn’t always advisable, but this time it should work in your favor.”

Chose stability over innovation? I would like to say that is far from the truth. But I can’t! I don’t want to repeat history and I’m ready to put an action plan together that involves risks! Based on our session yesterday my first priority is building brand image. As one of the team members said “it’s time to set clear and strong directives and set restrictions”.

There is a lot that needs to be done but I have a bus load of the right people to make it happen. As Bob the Builder, a software character in our COMPUTER EXPLORERS pre-school programs asks “Can we build it?  The reply is always “yes we can”!