CEO’s Report: Planning for the Future

November 2, 2016

Strategic Plan Finalized

Over a year ago, Heartland set out to write a strategic plan, a document that would guide our path forward. It would be something we could refer to often to ensure we were making the right decisions for the future of our company.

The process turned out to be more difficult than we imagined but after retaining an outside expert to aid  the process, we were able to garner input from everyone who will be affected by the plan, including our customers, board of directors and staff.

We presented a draft outline of our plan in July at our Summer Conference and the Heartland board officially approved the final plan at our October board meeting. Most notably, the plan updated our mission and vision statements, outlines three major goals we plan to achieve in the next three to five years and outlines how we plan to achieve those goals.

To many, vision and mission statements may seem inconsequential. But, if used correctly, these statements can have a profound impact on a company. They can and should be seen as words to live by.

A company mission statement represents who and what a company is and how we do our work. With that in mind, Heartland’s new mission is:

Heartland is dedicated to providing reliable, affordable power to our customers while ensuring open communication, excellent customer service and sound decision making for a brighter tomorrow.

A vision statement is your optimal desired future state. This represents where you want to be twenty years down the road. It is important because it should be a guiding principle for your company. Decisions should be made with your vision in mind. It’s the ultimate long-term goal.

Heartland decided on the following as our new vision:

To be a trusted leader and partner of choice in the delivery of competitively priced electricity while adding value to the communities we serve.

We thought long and hard before deciding on these new statements. Specifically, we looked at the information we gathered from customers and picked out key words on how our customers see us and how they want to see us.

The strategic plan also outlines the core values that will be at the center of our business including honesty, reliability and leadership. It also better defines our motto of “the power of forward thinking” – strategically planning and making decisions today for a sound and stable future while serving as a reliable partner to customers.

We outlined three major goals in our plan that we plan to achieve in the short-term. Those include stabilizing rates, enhancing customer relations and maintaining sound financial health. Each goal has several objectives and strategies to ensure we achieve those goals. Each goal has also been assigned a team who will be responsible for keeping us on track. We will make regular updates to the board and customers on the progress of each goal.

Communication is key in any organization. While Heartland has always been planning for our future, having a strategic plan in place will help bring all of our stakeholders in on that plan. It formalizes what we may have already known, but may have failed to communicate to our key stakeholders: our customers. We look forward to implementing our plan and working with all of our stakeholders to ensure we remain on the right track.