Basic Business Cents

A Community Performance Improvement Plan for Small Business

The second month of the Community Performance Improvement Plan provides the training for the participants to conduct a unique strategic planning event in their organizations. This copyrighted process has been used by some of the largest and best organizations in the world but is equally applicable to the smaller organizations involved in this community activity.

The participants will again start the session with a self-assessment of the Strategic Planning category of the Baldrige Award. Attendees will score their organizations by addressing a number of questions in the following areas:

  • How do you develop your strategy?
    • Strategy Development Process
    • Strategic Objectives
  • How do you implement your strategy?
    • Action Plan Development and Deployment
    • Performance Projections

The soul searching that goes on in answering the questions in the Baldrige criteria reveals issues to be addressed within each organization, whether they are opportunities or threats. These issues are shared between attendees from each organization but not with attendees from other organizations.

They will be introduced to the Strategy Management process where they will receive the necessary understanding to conduct the process within their own organizations. The Strategy Management process contains four equal parts:


  1. Research
    1. Customization—A generic manual will be presented to each attendee and a slide presentation to be used in presenting the process when initiating the activity in their respective organizations. They may wish to add their organizations name to the process and material and add questions known to be important in their industry.
    2. Introduction and assignments—A kick-off meeting starts the planning activity with an explanation of the process and distribution of the research assignments in 21 areas.
    3. Data collection– Research assignments are to answer questions supplied in the manual (typically requires research to find data) and prepare a 10-minute presentation for the planning event. There is usually a month allowed for the research between the introduction and the event.


  1. Plan
    1. Presentation of research results—It is important that the presentations not be allowed to go no longer than 10 minutes with 5 minutes for clarifying questions so that all 21 categories can be covered in one day. All key people from the organization, including important stakeholders, should be invited to the planning event so they have ownership in the outcome.
    2. Development of strategy to move from present state to the desired state—A unique process is used so all attendees have an equal input.
    3. Development of the Strategy Management Profile—A one-page summary of the strategy with a Vision of the future state of the organization, its Mission, and Values, is developed for distribution to all employees and key stakeholders.


  1. Action
    1. Communication and distribution of the Strategy Management Profile—The Profile suitable for framing is typically accompanied by and oral presentation of the contents.  Acceptance and understanding are improved noticeably by using more than one of the senses to communicate.
    2. Deployment of the strategic actions to the organization—Action plans are deployed throughout the organization so that everyone has action to accomplish to achieve the plan.


  1. Management
    1. Regular review of the progress on the actions—Management’s interest and attention to the progress made on the Action Plans on a regular basis (at least once a month) is required to establish priority and get results.
    2. Visits of the Top Executive to the strategic action workplace—Random visits to talk with employees in their workplace on their progress on their Action Plans is very helpful and enlightening. They may be encountering obstacles that would otherwise go unreported and management can take action to remove the obstacles.


With the training received in Month II of the Community Performance Improvement Plan, the attendees can return to their organizations and conduct the Strategy Management process at their own timetable without outside help. As they go forward they will know they are putting their improvement efforts on the right issues to help them attain their dream of the future of the organization.