Why should I plan my HQ?…

Oct 5, 2011

Over a year ago, one of our clients decided to buy a building and use it for its new headquarter and production facility as well as other commercial activities. Although we were not working with them at the time, it sounded like a good idea and a perfect opportunity to improve the company’s productivity and the motivation of the employees.

They were hoping to have extensive work done and move within 6 months. We started to work with them during that time. It was obvious that the timing was off and we suggested that they needed a plan and a detailed budget. The owner did not agree at all. The bank is lending the funds and there is no need to complicate the project. Our engagement was on other management matters anyway. After a few weeks and a change of project manager, I decided to come to the rescue and save what could be saved of the project.

No HQ move for now but most of the structural work could be done and some activities could be transferred there. Value of the property (and bank collateral) was kept. But the owner still did not believe in a planning exercise or in a budget. If it could not be done in the spring, it would be for sure finished by the fall and the company would move there by the end of the year.

It was not a surprise when I heard earlier this week that the project had not made any progress this summer. The move is now for later next year… and still no budget. Employees have been told for over a year that they are moving soon. So not only does it create stress on the management and on the company financials, it is also impacting the motivation of the staff, indirectly costing the company.

And it could have been so much easier over a year ago. Planning budget and timeline, building the right expectation with the employees,  the banks, the partners and vendors involved in the project. Planning would have set realistic goals and save time, energy and money. And a new HQ…


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