30 years after Janet and Rick moved into their cozy historic little home, they made the discovery of a lifetime. One afternoon, as Rick cleared the attic, he discovered that the floor was made out of antique railroad signs. The entire attic was covered in priceless relics—worth over $30,000! Can you imagine what that feels like? It’s your home; you work, eat, sleep, and (hopefully) spend time with loved ones there. Suddenly, your home goes from personal sanctuary to jackpot and national story.
Similarly, during strategic planning, managers and business leaders often fail to recognize the valuable treasure that’s been a part of their business for years—their employees! The real experts in any organization aren’t the guys in fancy suits charging $100,000 and taking three months to assess issues and make “recommendations.” Instead, the real expert is sitting the next cube over, standing on the loading dock, or busy laboring on the factory floor.
Make an effort to discover the valuable resources already in your organization and incorporate them in your strategic planning process. Use a tool if necessary. As workforces become more distributed and virtual, using tools to gather unfiltered insight, uncover hidden expertise, and facilitate communication becomes mission critical.