Strategic Planning - Start at the Core

Posted by Kevin Jeffery on Mar 18, 2015

Kevin Jeffery- Informal photo-002

For many people, the end of the year is a time to analyze past practices and begin to look at new ideas for the coming year. At Graniterock, we’ve taken several months of 2013 to work on our strategic plan for the future. You may find some of our methods helpful as you look to the future of your business.

We recognize there are many different approaches to the strategic planning process. We’ve chosen to look at a five-year time horizon and also tried to keep our process streamlined and simple by focusing on these three questions:

Who are we?

Where are we going?

How will we get there?  

We believe that asking who we are is an essential first step in developing an effective strategic plan. As a company, you want to be certain you know who you are at your core, and what motivates you and your people.  Then as you make plans to adapt to new market conditions and opportunities, you can stay true to the values that have helped sustain your business over time.

Best-selling business author Jim Collins writes:
“A company's practices and strategies should change continually; its core purpose and core values should not. A core purpose and core values define the timeless character of a company – a consistent identity that transcends product or market cycles, management fads, and individual leaders. They are the glue that holds a company together, even when everything else is in transition or up for grabs. A core purpose and core values are things you discover – by looking inside. It's not something you can invent.”

At Graniterock, we believe our core purpose and core values have been an essential part of our successful 113-year history. As we began to map out our strategic vision for the next several years, we had to make sure we understood the glue that held our Company together. This work required us to take a long, hard look at ourselves and ask some deep questions like, “Why do we exist as a company? What matters to us? What values are we willing to stand up for and defend?”

In doing that work, we discovered, re-affirmed and articulated both our Core Purpose and our Core Values. Here is that Core Purpose.

“Graniterock thrives when our People thrive. We exist to provide a place where inspired People can do their best work – building great projects, producing quality materials, and developing enduring customer relationships.”

And here are our Core Values:

Safety--Before All Else

Dedication to Customers

Building Great Lives

Honesty and Integrity

Make it Better

As we now begin the process of implementing our strategic plan, we are taking care to communicate to Graniterock People that the plan rests on the foundation of this Core Purpose and Core Values. It’s important to emphasize that, no matter how we adjust our current business strategies or modify our management systems, we will not change the timeless character of Graniterock.

Of course, every business has its own core. Every business will articulate its essential purpose and the principles it stands for in a different way. Our recent experience in developing a strategic plan taught us that taking the time to examine, understand, and articulate this core is time well spent. As you plan for the future of your business, and make decisions about what aspects of your company should change, it’s just as important to clearly understand what should not.

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