Collector - July 2020 - 18

Questions for
Department Staff
Wondering what input you need from
employees to develop your strategic
plan? Terry Glidden, associate partner
with The Intellitech Group, offered
these sample questions:

IT
*	 Do we need new servers?
*	 What would we gain with
the latest server technology
(premise, hosted, etc.)?
*	 What is the ROI?
*	 How does having new
technology protect us in
the future?
*	 Where are we most vulnerable
for malware attacks and what
are our options for mitigation?

Collections
*	 What consumer contact methods
are available compared to what
we are using?
*	 What technology best fits our
company culture
(texting, emails, AI, etc.)?
*	 What options exist to identify
better-performing consumers?

Marketing
*	 How do we identify prospects?
How many leads are we getting?
*	 Could we perform in a new/
different space?
*	 What value do our most recent
clients bring to us?
*	 Are we strategic in our
marketing approach?

Recruitment
*	 Is there a more efficient way to
identify candidates?
*	 How are candidates managed?
*	 Should we do phone interviews,
purchase recruitment software
or attend training?

during breaks to keep everyone focused on
strategic conversations."
The nine-member leadership team
prepares for the planning session by
meeting with their departments to discuss
ideas, challenges and needs. The leadership
team also relies on information from
frequent employee surveys and employee
suggestion box submissions.
Williams & Fudge has used different exercises
to establish its plan over the years. Most recently,
it included a traditional SWOT (strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis
and a PEST (political, economic, sociological
and technological) analysis.
The planning group also participated in
a game modeled after the television show
"Shark Tank." The group split into pairs and
each group had to develop an invention
that would be good for the company. They
presented their ideas to the full group, which
voted on each idea using Monopoly money.
The teams with the most money won.
Discussions from all these exercises
were then refined into the six goals and
objectives that make up the foundation of
the company's plan.

Incorporating feedback and insight from
employees in every department and at every
level helps ensure the plan is meaningful
and also increases buy-in. When employees
are part of the process and understand how
their ideas and efforts contribute to company
goals, everyone has ownership of the plan.
"Although planning starts at the top with
establishing the financial picture, it should
incorporate every aspect of the business,"
Glidden said. "What does collections look
like in the next year? What do sales look like
and how will that be different? Do we have
IT vulnerabilities that need investment?
Those discussions should hit every
department. Be open and get input from
every level and team member in your agency.
You never know where those valuable
nuggets of feedback will originate."
Including all employees in the actual
planning session would be impractical, so
team leaders usually represent individual
departments, conveying their input.
"When you talk about who is going to
be part of a planning team, you need to
consider what type of input you need," said
Cortney Fleming, chief personnel officer

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