What we do.
The way we work.
How you will benefit.
The secret to achieving
extraordinary results revealed!
This page will give you a clear idea of how our system for achieving extraordinary results works and how it will benefit your business.
By the way, If you're not looking for an end-to-end planning system, we'd love to speak with you about facilitating a meeting or workshop, or conducting some market research. See Services à la Carte.
To further explore whether it makes sense to work with us, return the form at the bottom of this page. We’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk about your situation and help you determine whether the Strategic Directions Planning System is right for you.
First, who are our clients?
We work with business leaders and their teams to build and execute a strategy for achieving results that are out of the ordinary, a.k.a. extraordinary results. Our clients include CEOs, managing partners, owner/managers, executive directors, business unit heads, vice presidents, and directors in business organizations of many types and sizes.
Typically smart, experienced go-getters, many of the leaders with whom we work are fully occupied running their business on a day-to-day basis. Some struggle with how best to move forward strategically. All are high achievers who understand the value in providing a forum in which management, staff, and other stakeholders can discuss, in safety, the issues that confront their business and collaborate on finding solutions that will make a difference.
Why our system is needed.
In many smaller and mid-sized organizations, decisions are made on the fly. Often, the staff is unaware of the organization’s purpose and the leader’s vision, because neither exists or has been communicated to them.
"You showed a fresh enthusiasm and an innovative approach to creating strategy and engaging a cross-section of managers in the process. You exhibited real depth in strategy and strategic thinking and ‘hands-on’ experience in leading change.”
Without a clear picture of what the organization stands for and where it is headed, managers are not always aligned in their thinking or actions. It’s left up to employees to decide what’s important and what’s not.
That's not to say these organizations are unsuccessful. Some do quite well. However, many are not benefiting from the synergy that’s possible when individuals, departments and teams buy into the organization’s purpose and their leader’s vision and are focused on executing the same plan and achieving the same outcomes.
Often, our clients are dealing with challenges like these:
They have organizational silos that don’t work well together. Departments and teams have different priorities, and there is a general feeling that the organization is not living up to its full potential.
They invest time and money in disconnected initiatives and projects. Without a shared vision or purpose, and a clear strategy, they don’t always pursue opportunities that are in the organization’s best interest.
They have a confusing and convoluted decision-making process. Some staff members feel that taking the initiative and proposing something new is not worth the effort or potential criticism. This reduces agility, limits innovation, and reduces competitiveness.
They are suffering from low or no growth. Demand for their products or services is flat or declining and competitors seem to be more with it than they once were.
They find it difficult to attract and keep the right talent. This limits their ability to escape the “not invented here” syndrome and improve performance.
They are experiencing an unacceptable level of customer – member, donor – churn. This has led to a reliance on developing new business and not on keeping the business they have.
Our efforts are focused on these 6 outcome-oriented practice areas
The secret to achieving extraordinary results is simple: faithful adherence to a holistic system for engaging employees and other stakeholders in the planned and systematic pursuit of results that are beyond the ordinary. Our System is designed to:
1) ENGAGE employees and other key stakeholders through inclusive conversation, information sharing, active participation, and recognition along the journey to – and through – execution of the organization’s strategy.
2) CLARIFY leadership’s collective understanding of the evolving business landscape including compelling opportunities and vulnerabilities.
3) VISUALIZE an explicit picture of what success will look like at a future point in time based on a clear understanding and endorsement of the organization's stated Purpose –"why we exist.”
4) COLLABORATE on making informed choices on strategic priorities (issues) and the ordinary aspects of your business ("ordinaries") on which to focus initiatives and projects.
5) TRANSLATE strategic decisions into executable and fully resourced actions with clearly defined and agreed-upon project accountabilities and responsibilities.
6) ACT, TRACK, AND UPDATE action plans every 90 days to ensure that actions remain fresh and relevant.
What can you expect to gain from working with us?
Your leadership team will be encouraged to stretch for results that can be achieved only when all efforts are focused on the same outcomes.
By ensuring everyone is clear on your organization’s purpose and vision, you will provide a focus that enhances collaboration, eliminates confusion, and reduces employee and customer churn.
You will have a framework within which to assess new opportunities thereby eliminating misdirected resources and wasted effort.
Customers, clients, and members will feel that you understand what’s important to them and are making a concerted effort to deliver what they need and expect.
Why does our System work?
We bring decision-makers together in facilitated sessions, online or in-person, to discuss important issues and make key decisions. We make it a point to transfer the knowledge and skills that will enable our clients to plan and act more effectively.
As experienced facilitators, we understand how to stimulate creative thinking and encourage pragmatic decisions. While we don’t have all the answers, the depth and breadth of our experience allow us to suggest alternatives that our clients might not have considered.
"Your engaging style, and respect for all participants, were key to the creation of a plan that we believe is aspirational in its scope and direction, yet pragmatic enough to drive quick results."
Our system produces a roadmap that clearly specifies what will be done and by whom as the organization embarks on a journey to achieve extraordinary results. Once the plan is in place, we connect with clients monthly to review progress and help them deal with any issues that are getting in the way of achieving extraordinary results.
Success through planned & coordinated action.
Achieving extraordinary results is the ultimate goal of the Strategic Directions Planning System. This means turning strategic decisions into executable action plans with defined accountabilities and responsibilities. It also means monitoring execution and updating action plans on a regular basis.
By ensuring that all members of your leadership team buy into your strategy and efforts to engage employees are ongoing, the System will enable you to deliver results that are truly beyond the ordinary.
Our system offers many benefits.
Armed with a plan that has been agreed to by your entire leadership team, you will be able to focus your energies on achieving the type of extraordinary results that would otherwise be out of reach.
You will clear up the confusion that results from an organization’s overall purpose and strategic direction being unclear. This, in turn, will enable you to take advantage of the synergy that comes from having your entire organization focused on the same outcomes. You will benefit from the organization's growing success and, in turn, from greater employee enthusiasm and a reduction in churn.
You will be able to stop saying yes to ‘shiny ideas’ that look good on paper but simply distract your leadership team and staff members from focusing on actions that will actually contribute to your success.
How is our approach different?
The Strategic Directions Planning System is the result of 30 years and hundreds of assignments. It offers a proven, no-nonsense approach to achieving results that are beyond what a business organization would normally expect.
We do not pretend to have all the answers and we don’t have a client's plan in our back pocket. We add value by creating an environment in which clients feel comfortable sharing their wisdom, experience, and innovative ideas.
Working with our client’s ideas and our own extensive experience, we help craft a plan that has one overarching purpose – laser-focusing their team on delivering extraordinary results.
What our program is not.
It is not a cookie-cutter or do-it-yourself approach to strategic planning in which you watch videos and fill in the blanks in a workbook. Nor does it simply follow one of the many models that are taught in business schools.
It does not pay lip service to engaging leaders in thinking strategically about the future of the organization and collaborating on a plan to get there. And it is not a make-work strategic planning project that leaders feel obligated to go through every three or so years even though they know from experience that the plan is unlikely to be implemented.
Your next step…
If you think working with us might make sense for you and your organization, please complete and return the form. We’ll be in touch to set up a meeting to answer any questions you might have and make sure the Strategic Directions Planning System is the right fit for you and your organization.