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Effective Utility Management Deployment: How Do We Get Started?

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One of the pitfalls of embarking upon organizational improvements is in the area of execution. Often failure is seen not in the development of a plan, but in the deployment of the plan. Kaplan and Norton (2000) assert that strategic plan failure rates are in the 70 to 90 percentile, and “…the real problem isn't bad strategy…but bad execution.” (p. 1)

From the words of the great American football legend, Tom Landry:

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan. – Tom Landry

The goal is sustainability in our industry. A tremendous amount of effort has been put into the development of the Effective Utility Management: A Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities guidance document, which many believe is THE sustainability model and framework for our industry. Some of the most progressive utilities in the nation, in cooperation with the leading industry associations, have come together to develop the Primer. Much strategic planning and a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom have been incorporated into this document. If utilities follow this model, they will posture themselves to become more efficient, productive, and sustainable utilities.

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success. – Pablo Picasso
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Keywords: Baldrige; Effective utility management; change management; leadership; strategic planning; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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