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2. Assess your current organization

  • Assess your current organization against the target for the future. Identify the gaps between what you have and what is needed.
  • Compare your team to some key competitors. This will help to further identify the strengths and weaknesses of your organization.

Quite often, what you determine as the future needs in a role may be substantially different from the capabilities of the person currently in the role. For example, here are the current capabilities of an operations leader, compared to the future needs of that position:

Current capabilities

  • Strong technical knowledge and high level of industry experience
  • Hands on
  • Slow to introduce needed changes
  • Could be more flexible in responding to customer needs

Future needs

  • Ability to lead aggressive transformation to higher productivity and quality
  • Passionate about safety, quality, and continuous improvement
  • Excellent communication and motivation skills

3. Create the action plan

Create an action plan to fill the gaps and develop a winning team. For example:

  • Identify those with the potential to grow and a plan to develop their skills
  • Determine where changes or upgrading may be needed
  • Assess where new talent is required and set out to find these people
Is a plan needed?

There are a handful of signs that your company needs an organization plan. For example, is your business vulnerable to key people leaving (retirements, other opportunities) because successors are not in place?

Are important business goals not being met? Are some departments not performing to expected levels? Are business acumen, leadership, and otherskills in short supply? Is there a slow pace of change? Are your employees not keeping up? Is there a lack of innovation? Is there no sense of urgency?

If you answered yes to these questions, your company would benefit from an organization plan, which has many benefits.

A proactive approach to building the organization results in a much higher rate of success. Thinking more deeply about "high performance" and clear goals will challenge your people to develop needed attributes. You will be able to identify and deal more quickly with organization weaknesses. Anorganization plan will allow you to build bench strength for your company'sfuture.

Building a strong team doesn't happen overnight or by chance. Taking the time to develop the plan to create a winning group capable of meeting future challenges is a good investment for concrete producers. That way, missing capabilities are identified far enough in advance to provide the lead time needed to improve.

The author is president of MJS Management Services, a management consulting firm that assists concrete producers in achieving higher performance and profitability. Visit www.mjsmanagement.net, telephone 206-388-5209, or e-mailinfo@mjsmanagement.net