If we fail to plan, we plan to fail

From the Board of Trustees

Recently, one of the employees here at Baldwin EMC confessed that she’s already started thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas, even though it’s only September. “I start thinking about our holiday plans sometime around the middle of August,” she explained. “My husband, on the other hand, starts thinking about them the first time his stomach growls on Thanksgiving Day. That’s how our marriage works. I’m a planner, so he doesn’t have to be.”

Our members’ relationship with the board and management of Baldwin EMC works in a pretty similar fashion. We devote a lot of time to examining the horizon and planning for the future, so that you can have reliable and affordable electricity, without having to give it much thought.

As your democratically-elected board members, this is our job and we don’t take it lightly. Every five years, we take on the task of crafting a strategic plan for the co-op. This plan addresses the needs of members, analyzes potential changes and challenges for our industry and forecasts the demand for electricity in the future. Using the information gathered in that process, we can create a set of initiatives that will direct how we use our resources and where we’ll focus our energy in the upcoming years. These initiatives spur the creation of specific goals that can be shared with our team.

The key initiatives included in our most recent strategic plan include:
• Building a secure environment that will protect all of our stakeholders
• Setting a standard of excellence so we can better serve our members
• Creating a healthy environment that encourages participation, open communication and continuous learning

The amount of thought and the level of focus that we put into crafting our plan is no small order. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was our co-op. We view this plan as a tool just like any other, and just as we do with all our equipment, we want to put in our due diligence to make sure we’re equipped with the best tool for the job. The job, in this case, is guiding the co-op smoothly into the future by preparing for growth, acknowledging weaknesses and minimizing risks.

Our strategic plan also identifies what we call “key performance indicators,” which are methods for gauging our success as we work towards our goals. Here’s where you can actually play a part in the process. Two of the performance indicators mentioned in the plan are the member surveys we conduct. Your participation in these surveys is critical, because our efforts aren’t worthwhile if they aren’t helping us to better serve you, our members.

After all, that’s what all the planning is for – to make us a stronger, better co-op that provides you with the best service possible for many more years to come.

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