Strategic Planning for 2022

January 24, 2022

Our January 2022 Round Table topic was, “Strategic Planning for 2022.”  Important discussions focused on the basics of strategic planning, cash flow, employee retention and innovation in 2022. 

One member of our All Time Zones Round Table noted, “As a leader I often feel isolated and have a sense that I am alone on an island.  Being a part of a Round Table helps me understand that I am not alone, and we are all in this together.”  See our website for information on an in-person or virtual Round Table that may work for your schedule.

Make strategic planning simple. 

  1. Start with your personal purpose, which should coincide with your business purpose.  Focus on:     
    • Customer expectations
    • Employee expectations
    • Investor or community expectations
  2. Focus on your strengths and spiritual connections to move forward.

For strategic planning 2022, start fresh with a blank piece of paper.  Do not just update your strategic plan from 2021.  Adopt best industry practices today.  Give your company a chance to survive into 2024.

Strategic planning is not the basic projection of “it’s going to happen anyway.” A strategic plan must go beyond the normal growth pattern.

From our Grand Rapids Round Table:  Consider creating a key relationship with a mentor who helps keep you accountable for implementing your strategic plan.

The pandemic has made strategic planning even more critical, otherwise you may become reactionary rather than reaching for the goals you have set. 

Foundational to strategic planning:

  1. Make sure you are aligned with your values
  2. Communicate your company structure so employees are clear on who to go to for issues, challenges. 
  3. Ensure employees have the tools they need to do their job.
  4. Make a plan for continued growth.

Think of strategic planning like building a house.  Understand and see the final product, but the plan starts with the architect, then people with specific skills are needed to complete the house, for example plumbers, electricians, etc.  Be realistic with your plan.  Focus on each brick that is being laid.  Focus on the tasks that can and need to be made today.

Cash flow advice from our Global Round Table.  There will be little relief from cash flow disruptions in 2022.  It is imperative to make certain that the resources you invest are converted into cash as quickly as possible. 

It is important to:

  1. Know your vendors
  2. Understand their capabilities
  3. Understand the risk involved in dealing with them.  You must have a good relationship with your vendors to get honest information from them.  Make decisions as to continue or move on to other vendors in order to avoid possible harm to your business.

For those industries that work with billable rates, consider a 20% increase in 2022.  This may cause you to lose customers, but they may not be your customer.  However, you must be very good at what you do to justify your 20% increase. 

An observant leader from our Global Round Table noted:  Employees are living lives completely different than before.  Many employees spent time during their holiday vacations evaluating whether their job or position is a good fit for who they are now and what they want from life.  Employees, in a way, are like customers.  2022 will be a critical year to keep employees engaged.

One leader in our All Time Zones Round Table predicts that 2022 will be the year of the coach, whether the coach is internal or external.  Employees are weary and in need of assistance.

In an effort to retain employees, have management strive to have personal relationships with employees at every level.  For sales, focus on relationships instead of KPI’s.

“Don’t leave God at home when you go to work.”   Try to establish prayer as a resource and not an inconvenience when you are busy.

A leader at our Kalamazoo Round Table believes there is reason to be optimistic.  Believe and understand this is all part of the plan.  God has a plan for you and your business.

As a business leader be open with sharing how your business and faith go hand in hand. 

Understand the power of Christian values demonstrated.  Hire employees that share your values and display those values to your employees and customers.  Those that do not want to adopt to those values will be uncomfortable and will leave.

If you and your employees live out Christian values in the workplace, the Spirit will be active in your business, and it will be contagious.  Your customers see and feel the Spirit, they will want to become a part of it.

The R2A2 for Leadership –Make sure employees understand their role and their responsibilities, and make sure they have the authority to do their job and they are held accountable to do so.

Advice from our Kalamazoo Round Table.  How to rally employees to help solve a problem or a challenge:

  1. Let them know you need their help.
  2. Schedule a time for a meeting and communicate an expectation that they are part of the solution.  By setting the date in the future, the employee can begin to think of solutions.
  3. Allow employees to take ownership for the solution.

Employers must develop a personnel management system to attract the highest performing employees who LOVE to work for you.  Look at every aspect of personnel management used in 2021 and realize that business must change.

Mental health will be a huge topic in 2022.  What can we do for those who work for us?  If we are not concerned about employee mental health, we will either lose them to other employers or lose performance by those who are struggling.

From our Global Round Table:  Innovation in this country is coming faster than most recognize.  Business is focused on people, but we need to understand innovation.  We must adapt or be left behind.  Artificial intelligence (AI) will have the greatest impact on our businesses.  Many jobs will be lost.  Quantum computing will have a significant impact on society as well. 

The question was asked at our Global Round Table.  Will AI rule us?  How do we interject our Christian values over AI?    We must have clarity and commitment to our mission, and we must have human monitors over the systems. 

Upcoming Leadership Events:

Richard DeWitt, President and CEO of Marketplace Chaplains will speak at our Leadership Breakfast Event on Friday, February 18, at 7:00 am at the University Club in Grand Rapids.

CBRT’s Annual Summit is Friday, March 18 at 7:00-11:30 am at the Kalamazoo Country Club.

On Friday, April 22, join us at the Birmingham Country Club for a Leadership Breakfast Event.  Guest speaker Robert A. Bryant of Giamarco, Mullins & Horton will be speaking on Restorative Leadership.

If you are unable to attend our events, subscribe to CBRT’s YouTube channel where you can review all past event presentations.