Never done any serious planning before? Neither had Mishi Apparel, whichlaunched a strategic planning process back in 1997 in connection with a proposed move to a new facility in Pentaluma, Calif. To get the ball rolling, CEO Hamish Hafter set up teams to focus on sales growth, financial planning, computer systems, andseveral other tasks, with more to come. But a key first step, he says, was distribution of a strategicplanning questionnaire to each of the company' s 40-plus employees. Among the 14 questions:

  • What is working wellin this team or department?
  • What could be working better?
  • Is there anything about Mishi you feel can beimproved?
  • What happens when conflict arises?
  • Once the responses were collated, summarized, anddistributed, says Hafter, " the planning teams had the same foundation of information to start from. As aresult, their work has gone much more smoothly than we expected."

    Copyright 1998 Open-Book Management, Inc.