OpEx Solutions, Inc.

'There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently
that which should not be done at all'.

—Peter F. Drucker.





Making 2018 a Great Year

by Martin Nazareth, OpEx Solutions



The economy is expected to bounce back strongly in 2018 — are we ready?

There are two important statistics that should alert you to not waste any time: 

•  80% of the organizations do not accomplish even 20% of their strategic plan

•  80% of organizational effort and resources are not directly
connected to the organizational goal

The number of organizations doing some sort of an annual strategic plan has increased significantly. However, most of them don’t even achieve 20% of their strategic plan — why? The top three reasons based on over five years of leader sessions conducted by the CenTex OpEx Consortium are:

  1. Strategic plan was not realistic for the resources
  2. Strategic plan was finalized too late
  3. Execution started too late

We repeatedly see execution starting too late because the strategic plan was not finalized on time or because the organization was lacking the right resources from the beginning. When a plan is of strategic importance to an organization, it is vital to verify the right resources are available to carry out the strategy. Tweaking, experimenting, and tampering with the system due to inadequate expertise only makes things worse. Leadership needs to be able to identify early on when the plan is not on track. OpEx Solutions often gets called in late Q3 or even in Q4 to play catch up. Sometimes, OpEx Solutions is expected to magically achieve in two to three months, what the organization has not been able to achieve in nine months, and, in many cases, what they have not been able to achieve for a year and nine months!

As an example, one of our clients finalized their strategic plan toward the end of April of the current year and hardly had enough time to execute it. Summer months are traditionally vacation time with fewer employees. After summer employees start planning for the next year, so this is not the most productive time.

In another organization, the strategic plan was completed on time, but, no one knew their targets and life was going on as usual. Employees had no way to tell whether they were on track, the strategic planning was just a leadership exercise with no reality check and no one took it seriously. 

Another organization, had so many mega-initiatives, that there was no way they could achieve anything in one year. The organization structure changed before they could achieve any of those initiatives even though early on that was where most of the efforts were focused.

If the targets and initiatives are truly of strategic importance for the growth or survival of the organization, they need to be taken seriously. The plan cannot be ignored. There are some steps that can be taken to help ensure execution: 

  • Verify that the targets are feasible, and, if not, adjust the resources or the targets
  • Develop a cascaded action plan to accomplish the initiatives and hit the targets
  • Develop a visual management system to ensure you are on track to execute your plan and achieve your goals

These three actions should be carried out very quickly in order to accomplish most of the strategic plan. In most of the small to midsized organizations, there is no dedicated staff to perform these three tasks; nevertheless, the organizations attempt to do it themselves and the time slips by and another year is gone.

So, what are the early indicators that reveal whether to back out or ask for help — 

  • Have you agreed on a strategic plan by mid-January?
  • Do you have a cascaded plan by end of January?
  • Are you on track with your plan at the end of February?

 If the answer to any of these is “NO”, you have to make some adjustments. Typically, it is more expensive if you avoid expert help when needed.

 Following this very pragmatic approach should set you on the path to making 2018 a great year!


 Training for Success


Establishing a management system that fits your organization's specific needs is fundamental in planning and setting goals that are linked to the organization's mission and vision.

Fifteen leaders from seven organizations attended Leader Training Week, the OpEx Solutions flagship training for management leaders held in Austin, Texas October 16-18, 2017. The three days of training: Integrated Management System for Leaders, Enterprise Transformation for Leaders, and Strategic Metrics for Leaders, encapsulate determining the current system an organization is using, identifying gaps, developing the strategy for transformation, and establishing meaningful metrics for positive impact. 


Planning for Success 

A strong, well-thought out strategic plan sets the stage for a successful year. Although this is widely accepted, many organizations go about their strategic planning in a rather haphazard way without a formal planning process.

The CenTex OpEx Consortium brought together management leaders in the September Leader Strategy Session focusing on Strategic Planning for 2018 to share their experience and ideas on how to better execute the process for their 2018 strategic planning.


Some of the key takeaways of the group included aligning resources, setting firm project priorities, and identifying potential gaps that can lead to failing to execute the strategic plan.



OpEx Solutions is an organization that helps identify strategic areas for improvement and provides effective high-value, low-cost solutions, training, and project management to drive significant productivity improvement through the use of operational excellence tools and systems in most manufacturing and service industries.

With a variety of offerings to choose from, we're confident of working with your organization to find and define your own way through:

  • Executive Coaching
  • World-class Training
  • Dedicated Workshops
  • Knowledge Network
  • Project Management

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

Find out more About Us, then look at our Stategy to make your possibilities a reality.


Ask the Expert!

For free email business advice, send your questions, comments or ideas to mnazareth@opexsolutions.org. For issues that are of particular interest to the the community, we may publish (with your permission) your questions along with our answers on this web site.

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