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The Importance of Planning and Having a Road Map

One of my favorite sayings came from a TV show in the ‘80s. I know I am dating myself, but I am sure most of you have heard of the show “The A Team.” It was a corny show but my favorite part came at the end. After the good guys had narrowly defeated the bad guys, the hero would always take out a cigar, light it and say the famous line, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

When I use this line in my personal life it usually means, “Wow, I lucked out. Despite having a plan, something good happened to me.” But I have been in the business world long enough to know that it is very rare that good things happen to a business without a good plan in place. Having a road map is crucial for the success of any company.

Fall is an important time for the planning process at Wright Service Corp. Our fiscal year begins October 1, so it is during that time that the management of all our companies gather for our annual planning meeting. We first look back at the previous year and evaluate how we did compared to our plan. We then establish our priorities for the new year and arrive at a plan to achieve those priorities. It is an involved process, but at the end of the week, each company has a very clear strategy for the upcoming year and a path to success. At that point, it is a matter of execution.

As important as the planning process is at the corporate level, it is equally important for each of our employees. We have tools in place for our employees to plan out their daily work. The idea behind this is that having a blueprint for your daily work will help assure that the work will be completed safely and provide maximum value to our customers. That is not to say that plans can’t change. Flexibility and adaptability are valuable qualities that come with experience, but starting with a clear goal in mind is always the best way to achieve that goal.

There is another saying that goes, “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?” Rest assured that the management team has charted a successful future for Wright Service Corp. I challenge all employees to share in that success by using the planning process in the performance of their job. It should be a goal for each of us to look back on our day, our year, or even our career and honestly say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”


By Terry McGonegle, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

This article was published in “Executive Excerpts,” a section of the Wright Service Corp. biannual newsletter, The Wright Perspective.