Without a defined plan, you stretch your resources so thin that when an important issue does come up, you have a hard time fitting it in - making you less flexible.
A well-defined strategic plan is like a road map. When planning a trip somewhere you have never been, you begin with the end in mind. This determines where you want to go. Then, you map out your route to get there. Along the way, you check off the mile markers of success as you get closer to your destination.
Occasionally, you may hit a detour that requires you to be flexible and modify the existing plan. But, you always know where you are going and how to get back to the original route because you have a well-defined plan.
The same is true for your business. To be sure it is successful, this plan needs to be communicated clearly to your employees. If you don't, you will be dealing with the proverbial "are we there yet?"
One of my favorite quotes is from Stephen Covey, author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Covey said, "I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a 'transformer' in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader."
I encourage you to be a transforming leader for your company. Lay out the road map for your organization, and see how flexible you can become.
This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/thursdays.