Organizations vary considerably in how they measure organizational performance and the performance metrics they value. Pandemic-related events have adversely affected financial metrics—such as revenue and cash flow—and there is now more attention given to safety metrics. Quality metrics are also now critical as organizations attempt to attract customers by providing high quality products and services. Top Management Teams (TMTs) commonly review an organizational performance dashboard during a monthly review meeting and these have been somber events lately for some organizations. TMTs can improve organizational performance—including quality performance—by conducting strategic planning activities. Strategic planning is defined here as “a pattern of formal and informal long-term decision-making activities which result in a strategic plan that is implemented, periodically reviewed, and adjusted with the aim of improving organizational performance.” This is an organizational performance-based perspective of strategic planning in that some TMTs intentionally use strategic planning as a mechanism to improve organizational performance. However, existing strategic plans are now highly questionable because of pandemic-related events and many TMTs are planning a strategy reboot to re-evaluate, re-prioritize, re-focus, and re-allocate. Now is the time for TMTs to establish the new aspiration level of the organization including the quality aspiration. Three questions are relevant: (1) How good do we want our organization to become?, (2) How committed are we in achieving that level of goodness?, and (3) What must we do in order to achieve those levels? Dr. W. Edwards Deming suggested three basic questions: “Where do you hope to be five years from now?” and “How may you reach this goal? By what method?” The implementation of strategic planning best practices from a quality perspective can help TMTs think more deeply about their customers and position their organizations for future success.
Charles Liedtke, PhD Dr. Charles A. Liedtke is the President of Strategic Improvement Systems, LLC, a management consultancy that assists senior executives in improving organizational performance from a strategic perspective. Charles specializes in integrating Strategy, Quality, Analytics, Improvement, and Innovation. He has worked with organizations worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, privately held companies, non-profits, health care organizations, and government entities. Charles earned a Ph.D. in Business – Operations & Information Management, an MBA, and a Ph.D. minor in Statistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; an M.S. degree in Statistics from Iowa State University; and a B.S. degree in Economics from South Dakota State University. His most recent research publications were Quality, Analytics, and Big Data (2016); Big Data in Hoshin Kanri (2017); Information-Based Customer Value Creation (2018); and Advances in Strategic Planning (2019). Charles is a Senior Member of ASQ.