By Heyden Enochson
Farming A Plan From The Ground Up

In an industry landscape that calls for proactivity rather than reactivity, strategic planning can help organizations design and implement systems that create action to prevent organizational stagnation.

Being under the watchful eye of the FDA, the Quality Assurance and Compliance division of The Dairy Farmers of America knew they needed a strategic plan to address organizational issues before they became larger challenges.

What was unique about their approach?

In most cases, strategic planning cascades down from higher organizational leadership rather than from a specific division.

But, seeing the value and need of a strategic plan, the leadership of the Quality Assurance and Compliance division decided they were going to create a plan from the ground-up. Doing so, they:

  • Focused their attention at the unit level to influence organizational change.
  • We able to drive collaboration and consensus-building.
  • Defined unit strategies with a broader organizational impact.

It’s not a traditional approach, but it’s working for Dairy Farmers of America.

During their strategic planning process the Quality Assurance and Compliance Division created a vision and plan that quantified the value of their work, while identifying specific areas and objectives to work on which would benefit the greater organization.

Business isn’t always linear

Like math, business often follows a linear path to success; 1+3=4. Sure, following a linear path in strategic planning can yield a good plan that will help your organization. However, sometimes taking a different path can yield a deeper understanding of your problem, resulting in a much better vision for your business; 4=(2+1)+1.

Dairy Farmer’s approach made the division have a more insightful understanding of how the division operates, the changes they needed to make, and how they affect the larger organization as a whole. Though they may not follow the traditional path, Dairy Farmer’s commitment to strategic planning best practices will allow them to see continued success as they move forward.