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Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky on the Importance of Strategic Planning

3 minutes, 10 seconds read

In my recent conversation with Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky, we raised the conversation to a more strategic level for a change of pace. As my podcasts usually focus on tactical execution, it was wonderful to discuss how to align that tactical execution with the strategic planning. 

Cynthia has a passion for the importance of a clear strategy that is embedded in all levels of the company. That strategy should start with a focus on the customer. “Understand what it is that we need to satisfy our customers. And that means understanding the value, putting it into a strategy which is more important than ever. We must have a strategy and roll it through the entire company,” according to Cynthia.

That strategy must be part of the ongoing operations and execution. “We don’t have time anymore to sit in meetings and figure out what it is that we should be doing and how in the world we’re going to coordinate and cooperate. We have to have that coordination from the get go. A strategy that immediately allows you to pull through and collaborate all the way through every vertical, every area of your company, as well as horizontally across all the functional areas.”

Hiring must be designed around that strategy. Given the velocity of change in this unpredictable world, companies need to adapt their hiring practices to bring people into that strategy and not just everyday tasks. As Cynthia said, “We are used to hiring for skill sets, so we hire people into jobs. That’s not going to work anymore. We have to hire people into careers.” 

That also means that companies need to build a workforce that will be able to deliver the creativity, diversity in perspective, and empathy for customers and colleagues that is able to adapt to unpredictable and new circumstances. 

“Even more than just technology, and more than just a change in process or business model, companies must change in how they build their talent. You have to have diversity of talent flowing throughout because you can no longer work off of only one viewpoint. If you want to be fast, you need a multiple set of viewpoints that come from women, from diverse populations, from people who worked in different companies. All of that has to be meshed so that you can move very rapidly,” was Cynthia’s profound parting message to me.

About Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky:

Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky is the President of Process & Strategy Solutions where she works with companies to increase revenue, transform operations, innovate supply chains, and integrate advanced technology. When she enters a consulting agreement, she works for client results, like the recent increase in a client firm’s valuation by 3X in 2 years.

Early career included redesigning manufacturing areas, integrating automation, and introducing new technologies and methodologies to make U.S. factories globally competitive. This included successfully optimizing the assembly line of, and transforming the product on, a business critical $2.5 MM/year, high volume line when she was 24. She turned it around from yearly losses to profitability in 1 year.

Cynthia was the Professor of Industrial Manufacturing and Supply Chain Program Management in the Department of Defense. She created and delivered reduction-to- practice supply chain training for DCMA and Service surveillance personnel. She also brought agile project management into DAU, negotiated a cross-agency team without a budget, and within 5 months the team developed a new product while eliminating approx. $500,000 in waste.

Cynthia has worked with companies of all sizes including: Amgen (U.S. and Europe), Biogen, Lindt & Sprüngli, Department of Defense, OPIC, Fisher/Emerson, Garrett Metal Detectors, Forte Payment Systems, Rockwell International, Atrenne and more!

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