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> So, I pose these questions:
> 1. Where do we need to start?
> 2. How do we go about making the change happen?
> 3. What should each member of the management team be expected to accomplish?
> 4. What is the people's role in all of this?
I'd say your biggest challenge is overcoming the current management
prejudices. And the best way I know of to do that is to bring in a
respected outsider, someone who specializes in facilitating discussions
like these. There are probably a number of them in NE, but the problem
is going to be getting one your management can respect.
We hired someone to run a two-day planning session for us precisely
because of the need for an outside viewpoint. It worked, primarily
because it wasn't seen as someone else talking the company line. We
approached it as a problem-solving situation, with the first day devoted
to company, industry, and market background for all the participants,
and the second day devoted to various kinds of structured brainstorming.
We identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
(standard biz school analysis framework) for the company and our
markets, and then picked some target areas and decided on goals.
We now know what to go after, and what we should leave to others, where
there are opportunities, who is our competition, and the process of sale
through implementation through delivery. Because we wanted to make sure
that we could deliver what we sold, we've been working within a fairly
tight market definition until we're sure we have the process down cold,
then we'll expand.
The situation you describe is a common one in most businesses, and one
of the things you might get from a session like the one I described is
some skill in helping other companies go through the same process.
Which, of course, you can sell as more 'management consulting.' The
point of the exercise is really to define your market, define your
services, define your sales process, and define your goals. The rest is