Strategic Planning Session for the Board and the Executive Team (Case 2)
Private Fast Growing High Tech Company
From a profitable footprint in one market segment, the company needed to explore ways to significantly expand its market opportunity. I was asked to create a meeting that would tap into not only the resources of the company’s senior executives and the Board, but also include specialized outside skills to provide the company with new possibilities for growth.
Why was I asked for this assignment?
One of the Board members and a significant shareholder had experience with my capabilities in organizing and leading strategic planning sessions. He felt that my skills would be well suited for the needs of this client.
After a period of intense planning and preparation, we held a two day meeting that included 14 seasoned executives representing many sectors of the potential market for the client’s products and skills. Half of the attendees did not know the company before nor in many cases did they know each other. However, with intense preparation and the right choice of participants we held a very focused and effective meeting. We attained insights that will be beneficial for the company both in terms of short term sales objectives as well as promising large future potential value. Every participant agreed that the meeting was a success and many commented that it led to some un-anticipated and potentially very important ideas. We had a unanimous “exceeded expectations.”
From a Board member, who is an entrepreneur with a successful specialized hardware company used in laptop computers and many other devices, an unsolicited comment:
I haven’t mentioned to you how much I enjoyed the session. I came in anticipating learning a great deal, meeting interesting industry related folks and creating new strategic directions for our company. I came out with all that and a third unanticipated result – that is the power of human interaction. And, we’ve gained a number of new ‘friends’ that will possibly play key roles in the company’s development. What a dynamic result!
So, you did far more than advertised. You put yourself fully into this – risky, I realize, by bringing such different people into the conversation- but the result of taking that risk have positioned us to reap the reward. Also, I found that each of these people are solid thinkers but more than that, they are all real people. Good job, Johanne.
From the Board member that recommended me:
I have seen Johanne do her magic before in meetings of great complexity with personalities that would normally be expected to be very hard to ‘harness’ effectively in a dedicated two day meeting. She pulled this one off beautifully. She held all of us fully in the moment, dedicated to the task at hand. All of us, company members and guests, blended quickly into a team that worked together to identify the best possibilities for the organization. The meeting had its own rhythm. And at the end we found some startling insights that I expect will take this company in a direction with potential that we never though possible before.