At Castro Roofing, we have our four-year mission, which we call our Everest Mission — to be the world-class leader in the roofing industry, with unmatched talent and 1,000 service agreements by 2020. But a mission without a roadmap is nothing more than a pipe dream. To create our roadmap, we spent two days in strategic planning.
In strategic planning, we plan the entire year of 2017. Before setting our annual goal, we reflected on 2016. Many times, people tend to focus on the negative things that happened the year before and forget about the good things. After reviewing our strengths, we looked at our internal and external weaknesses. Internal weaknesses are mistakes we make and external weaknesses are threats from our competitors and industry.
We used whiteboards to write up opportunities, problems, and strategic questions. A strategic question might be,
“How do we accomplish our goal given a certain roadblock we have?” For example, you could write, “How do we hire qualified and skilled workers in a low labor pool?” Out of these questions came our strategic issues. After that, we take our 15 strategic issues and narrow them down to six to eight. We take these top strategic issues and run them against our company mission. If the strategic issue doesn’t help support our mission, we throw it out. By the end of this process, we have three to four top priorities and those become a part of our 2017 annual goal. On the second day, we took our mission strategies that came out of our strategic issue exercises and completed SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
One of our missions is to develop leaders and people — that’s very vague. How do we do that? Well, for our annual strategy, we want to multiply people. But how do we multiply people in quarter one? Well, we can hire a certain number of people in quarter one. From there, we develop monthly SMART goals. For instance, your goal might be to hire a sales and marketing manager by a specific date in January.
Our monthly SMARTs feed our quarter goals. That way, we know what our January, February, and March targets are. We have a monthly company meeting where we assess our progress month to month. With the way our goals are set up, by the end of each quarter, we should not be surprised by where we are. If we meet our SMARTs, we’ll meet all of our quarterly goals, and our annual goal — no surprises.
We set goals for the same reason that there are rules in football. How much fun would it be if you were playing football and you didn’t know what time was left or if you were winning or losing? All the fun of the game would be lost. Your strategy (or strategic mission) might change depending on whether you are at the beginning of the game or have 10 minutes left on the clock, but your mission stays the same — to win the game.
To be successful in football, every team member has to have the same mission and work together to achieve it. You can’t have one player going in the opposite direction from the rest of the team because the team won’t win. The same is true at Castro Roofing.
I write down goals because I want them to be in HD — so clear that our action steps are obvious. We define what it means to win so we know where we are going. If we hit all of our quarterly and yearly goals, we can call ourselves first-class. Just as every player of a football team knows that winning means getting more touchdowns than the other team by the end of the game, everyone at Castro Roofing knows what we need to do to win our company mission. Football players play football — we’re in the game of roofing.