The Strategic Roadmap - A Guide to Help Your Organization Reach its Goals

March 19, 2018

In the inaugural podcast of “Generations in Family Business: Past, Present and Future”, Matt Kerzner and Tim Schuster discuss what the Center of Family Business Excellence is and the tools that we can use to help with the needs of a family business; our Strategic Roadmap Process.


TIM SCHUSTER:Welcome to our inaugural podcast for Generations in Family Business: Past, Present and Future. Our hosts are myself, Tim Schuster, a Manager in the Center for Family Business Excellence. And our other host is…

Matt Kerzner: Hi, I’m Matt Kerzner, and I’m the Senior Manager for the Center for Family Business Excellence.

The goal of this podcast is to bring you the tools that we use to help with the needs of a family business. Another goal today is to discuss a major philosophy of the center which is our strategic roadmap. We’ll delve into in this in more detail in future podcasts. Maps are important when driving, and they’re just as important when deciding the best strategy for the business. Matt, let’s start with our mission. Why do we as a business exist? How often does a business think about this?
MK:Great question, Tim. The mission is really a statement, a brief description of the company’s fundamental purpose, and it answers the question: “Why does the business exist?” It should be developed by the senior leadership team. It should also be a living process that is reviewed at every formal meeting (monthly, quarterly, some other) with the senior leadership team so that everybody understands the organization’s true mission.
TS: As deemed necessary.
TS: Next: core values. What do we believe in, and are we currently in line with our core values?
MK:It’s developing a partnership both internally and externally with the customers. And some examples of core values are being a good steward, believing in the family, integrity, customer service – these are the things that we, as a company, believe in.
TS: Absolutely.
MK:So it’s critical when you put those values together that it is going to really help the mindset of all the employees to say “this is how I should act.”
TS: Vision. What do we want to be? How do we get there?
MK:A vision statement is the organization’s declaration of the mid-term and long-term goals? Where do we want to be in a year, three years, five years? The whole purpose of a strategic roadmap is thinking about the future. The vision statement is the big picture – what we want to be when we grow up.
TS: Makes sense. I call them G&Os, but goals and objectives – what do we want to accomplish?
MK:Yes. An organization should really think about what are the five major goals that they want to accomplish in the year. In order to get to those goals you might have to do a SWOT analysis. This is what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that the organization faces. And when you go through that exercise, you use the SMART model, which stands for specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and timely. The organization can put the goals together that they want to accomplish so that all employees and all departments understand where the company wants to go.
TS: Strategies and measures: What is our game plan?
MK:Yep. Once the organization understands what the goals are, how do you measure them? There’s a saying, what gets measured has results.
TS: Absolutely.
MK:The organization should create a scorecard, a report card if you will. It should be reviewed at least once a quarter with the senior leadership and, based on the five goals or the department goals that are built off of the five goals of the organization, ask how things are going. What is the benchmark? What is the norm? Are we above? Are we on target? Where do we need to improve and speed up the process?
TS: A system of checks and measures.
MK:Correct. So then there are three major buckets of what the business should be looking at. The first is business development. What do you want to do to grow your business? Your revenue.
TS: Always the idea.
MK:Exactly. Then the next one is operating efficiently. How do you do things better and faster, but with less time and less money: operating efficiency. The next one, which I consider absolutely critical, is people development. What are you doing to grow your people? This would include succession planning. This would be looking at your high potential employees and those employees who might need some improvement to help the organization get where it needs to go.
TS: Absolutely.
MK:Those are three major categories that you should look at when you’re striving for the ultimate goals of the organization. After you start thinking of those, what do we need to do next? People need to understand what their specific goals are. Once we have goals for the company and we start moving into those three major buckets, then we start talking about, “Okay, what are Tim’s roles and responsibilities, and what are Tim’s goals for the year that should be matching the organizational goals.”
TS: Absolutely. And we can correct it going forward if need be.
MK:And then the last one is, how you are going to measure Tim on his individual goals and how they hit the organizational goals. What performance feedback tools will you use, and how often do you visit that formally and informally so the employee is on track?
TS: That makes sense to me. Initiatives and projects – what do we need to do?
MK:Once the company has its five major goals, it’s critical that they are communicated to all employees. This includes developing major projects that revolve around the goals. It’s developing a business case of why the projects are worth doing, and how these projects fit into the major goals of the organization. Then it’s a matter of prioritizing. What should the organization be concentrating on first? Once you have your goals, you then need to create a project plan that will that will bring the goals to life.
TS: The last step on our journey: individual actions. What do I need to do, and what will I be accountable for?
MK:Employees need to understand what’s expected of them, and they should work in collaboration with their managers to develop individual goals. One or two of the goals should be on personal development – growing, being part of the business, and individuals should use the SMART model and it should be linked to the company’s initiatives and goals so that they’re relevant. It’s important that employees really think through with their managers about the goals that they’re undertaking. If they have goals, or if the manager gives them a goal that’s not relevant to the organizational goals, then there should be some type of respectful pushback of why this or isn’t relevant.
TS: Thank you for listening to Generations in Family Business: Past, Present and Future, as part of the EisnerAmper podcast series. Visit for more information on this, and a host of other topics. We look forward to having you listen to our next EisnerAmper podcast.

About Matthew Kerzner

Matthew Kerzner is a Managing Director in the Center for Individual and Organizational Performance and the Center for Family Business Excellence. Matt has more than 25 years of experience in organizational development with a specialization in assisting family businesses and closely held businesses.

About Tim Schuster

Mr. Schuster is a Senior Manager providing tax compliance services to individual filers, as well as assistance on tax returns for companies in the manufacturing and real estate industries.

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