Skip to main content

“Say to yourself what you would be. And then do what you have to do.”

– Epictetus

Strategic Planning

The key to success in strategy is both clarity of destination, and emotional connection with the actions necessary to get there. Where most strategic plans fail is in achieving this simplicity from the outset.

It is all too common for a leadership team to reach the conclusion that their long-term strategy is insufficiently flushed out, lacking cohesion, or even on occasion non-existent.

This is often a driver of inconsistencies in mindset and understanding across the layers of the organization. And frequently the cause behind problems recurring year after year.

Schedule a Consult

The Most Foundational Move in Business: Charting the Course

Establishing a clear, long-term strategy is not only critical for a well-aligned organization, it is also necessary for success in action. A prerequisite for embarking on an action plan is having clear, mutually understood goals and objectives. Those can only be set properly when aligned with company strategy.

Our strategy process is deeply rooted in Six Sigma principles and an entrepreneurial operating spirit. It’s been implemented across many teams: from large multinational aerospace corporations to higher education institutions.

The Strategy Gap: Problems with Other Solutions

We’ve been through many strategy sessions with other practitioners. Too often they’ve left us frustrated and bored. Even when we’ve left jazzed up about the goals we’ve set – by Monday morning it’s often worn off and the team is once again drifting apart.

Wayforward gets the results you didn’t get from other strategists

They’ve never actually had to implement one before.

Imagine trusting someone with the future of your company when they haven’t walked a mile in your shoes. Does the confidence they speak with spring from having lived this work? Or from ignorance of how it actually goes?

If that sounds like it’s a little personal for us, it is. We like our experts to be real experts.

Expect strategy work from Wayforward to come from multilayered experience across not only the market and sales, but operations, organizational, and human behavior expertise. Expertise that knows what it’s like to make decisions on which hundreds of millions of dollars, and thousands of households depend.

Their work is based in the abstract.

Many strategy consultants like to base much of their work with clients in market data.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but we believe a client’s executive team is more than prepared for a strategy session with enough knowledge of their market and where it’s headed to set their strategy.

We also find that spending any significant portion of what is already precious time within our two and a half days together by pouring through spreadsheets is a distraction from the real work.

And, well, we might also think that anyone who wants you looking at spreadsheets instead of having productive dialogue might be trying to distract you from the fact that they can’t produce a strong deliverable.

Lastly, when you’re working with market data and other intellectually clever but complex topics – you’ll quickly find yourself working on something that is too complicated to get your entire team behind, to communicate to your organization, or for your front-line employees to understand, internalize, and – most importantly – repeat.

They make assumptions about the wrong things.

Spending all of your strategic planning time being excruciating about details far in the future leaves precious little time for where strategies usually fail – implementation.

It is all too common for a leadership team to leave an offsite with a lot of enthusiasm – but not much to show for a plan, and diverging understandings of what was discussed.

It is critical to the initial launch and long-term survival of a strategy for the team who creates it to be in lockstep on what that strategy is. For them to have clarity not only on the long-term goals, but the roadmap between their current state and that future state as well. We find in our strategy work with clients that the long-term goals are the easy part.

Where most executive teams are most closely aligned on long-term goals, the closer you get to today – to the current state of the organization and its immediate priorities – the most critical part of the roadmap – the less alignment in understanding and opinion there seems to be.

We ensure that the immediate priority work gets done as well, to set things on track toward the business’s desired future state.

We’re doing fine. We’re profitable. Coaching isn’t necessary for the team.

Doing fine is fine – if “fine” is the goal. Otherwise, we’re underperforming and holding the business back from its realistic potential by setting our bar for leadership too low. It’s much more likely that your leadership team has aspects of leading that challenge them, and can use guidance to improve those areas for the good of your business results.

Value-First Pricing: Aligning Costs with Outcomes

Clients committed to ongoing engagements with our firm (such as EEX) benefit from our strategic planning services at our standard daily rate. When provided as a standalone service for new clients, these services are priced based on our market rate.

Precision & Clarity: From Vision to Execution

Connecting the longest-term thinking to the immediacy of this quarter’s action plan.

This is foundational work which establishes what we refer to as “lockstep” within your executive team. It begins with long term goals. But quickly moves to clarity of a roadmap, and concludes with actionable, immediate objectives. Because it is our experience that most strategic planning fails in its first steps on that road. Your strategic plan will not. Instead it will be sturdy enough in practice to soon be transparently cascaded through your organization.

What distinguishes our strategic planning from the time you’ve wasted at offsites in the past?

With Wayforward, your strategy is facilitated by experienced executives who not only develop, but personally implement these strategies. We have a keen awareness and respect for the tension you feel between setting ambitious goals and actually getting them done in practice. Your plans will be built to survive contact with reality.

More about what to expect with a Wayforward strategic planning offsite

2.5 days offsite – whether that’s with us in Buffalo, NY or closer to you. But never at your own facility.

  • Strongly facilitated work that will keep your executive team on-track.
  • A no-nonsense agenda. You will not be bored or wondering why you’re not working on something else.
  • Leaving with a committed team that fully understands what each member is accountable for on Monday morning.
  • The feeling that you got more done as a team in the past few days than you have at all of your meetings this year.
  • Simplicity in strategy that can be communicated to any employee in your organization.
  • Enough laughs to make your face hurt.

Client Testimonials: Beyond Expectations.

Our facility.

We are always delighted to host team sessions at our beautiful facility in Buffalo, New York for groups of up to 12 participants, or can travel to the preferred location of you and your team.

We take great pride in making our workspace a home away from home. We frequently host offsites, annual planning meetings, and other events for our clients at our facility on Buffalo’s historic Chandler Street. Our offices are located on the 4th floor of the former Bell Aircraft helicopter factory, with a rich WWII-era manufacturing origin. We ensure that time spent with us is respite for your physical and emotional self even if we’re going to ensure you undergo an intense mental workout.

Interested in where our strategic planning has had a lasting impact?

Redefine your organization's future with Wayforward.