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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#29 - Plans for growth – Part 1

That title calls to mind words like goal, plan, purpose, projection, target, etc. Yes, we know, it’s important to have short range and long range goals. But when talking about future growth, sometimes it’s tempting to zone out and turn instead to the task of just getting through the day. After all, the next couple of years are, well, a couple of years away.

We tend to shy away from long-range ideas when the short-range tasks feel too numerous or too onerous to manage. I am starting to learn that long-range thinking isn’t as pointless as it sometimes sounds. Patience seems to be the key. That and having some intelligent long-range ideas. It also helps to implement some way of managing the short-term more effectively.

On our conference room wall, we used to have a strange-looking map loaded with yellow sticky notes, arrows, and branches. Most visitors who sat down to talk with us about something, inevitably asked about the wall. It was actually an elaborate map of our sales process. Each action or event in the process was briefly spelled out on a sticky note. Various if/then branches appeared at decision points, which in turn lead to additional arrows and sticky notes. At each point, opportunities for improvement were discussed and briefly jotted down on pink sticky notes.

It became quickly evident that there were numerous opportunities to improve the process. Who would implement the pink sticky notes? It was decided that Nova would have to hire someone. After much lying and bribery, that someone ended up being me. They showed me the wall and I now had my road-map. I would return to the wall every once in a while for reminders. After a couple years, most of the pink sticky notes were done.

Mind you, not all of the pink notes were implemented. That’s because some of the ideas weren’t that great. That’s one of the risks of having ideas and goals – they won’t all be brilliant. But it is even less brilliant not to have any goals at all.

All these words and diagrams and I still haven’t actually talked about what plans for growth we have. That will have to be saved for a future post – it’s home time now.

We’re Nova. We make gas analyzers for oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen, and other gases.

Give Mike or Dave at Nova a call, or send us an e-mail.
sales at nova-gas dot com
websales at nova-gas dot com
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