Dulverton Waste Management Authority
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: New Board of Management required an updated Strategic Plan that moved away from operational focus to a true strategic focus. Past five year plan was achieved via a two year successful focus by the CEO and the organisation needs direction going forward along with alignment to stakeholder priorities.
Reasons: Waste Management strategic issues are very different than the operation requirement of the current site. Carbon emissions, long term sustainability and potential leadership opportunities in the region require a clear strategic vision and stakeholder support. Directors’ strategic expertise needs to focused on setting the vision instead of crafting the plan.
Capabilities needed: Outside facilitator who will work Board members and stakeholders in an open session to bring out differing views and gain agreement under priority strategic initiatives. Ability to draft the strategic plans primary objectives for Board and CEO development of tactics and actions that will then link to annual Business Plans.
We provided: Review of current plan; discussion with Board members regarding open session with stakeholders; facilitated full day session and drafting of strategic plan.
Result: Successful review of past plan and facilitation of discussion on the strategic planning day resulting in agreement on 7 primary long term strategic objectives for the organisation. Drafting of the 5 year Strategic Plan focusing the Board, management and stakeholders on the opportunities and means for addressing challenges in the future.
ANCA Insurance Brokers
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: This highly successful firm was evolving from being managed by the owners/Directors to the appointment and management by professional managers recruited externally, but the strategy for this transition was not clear to all parties. As Directors queried how the business was progressing this process brought them to a question about proper governance, and the professional managers were increasingly frustrated with shared responsibilities and shifting operational priorities from the Directors.
Reasons: The move from Manager to Director in such a firm requires a strategic approach to governance and communication without overly formalising the relationship within a small team. Governance requires clear responsibilities and chains of command as well as effective reporting and recourse for issues/questions.
Capabilities needed: Governance experience with Directors. Business Management experience to review people, policies and procedures for a transition in overall leadership. Facilitation skills to appropriately communicate with all parties in a positive and constructive manner while potentially challenging current practices and assumptions.
We provided: One to one interviews with the Directors and the two key managers around the topics of responsibility, accountability, reporting and communication. Analysis and report from these interviews. A facilitated presentation and discussion around the suggestions for a revised governance and strategic approach to business management at the firm. Follow up support to the Directors and managers.
Result: Open dialogue both in the interviews and in the facilitated session allowed the process to be very positive for all parties. While challenging, the Directors approved a changed governance approach where the professional managers would submit a yearly plan for Director approval and then provide timely variance reports during the year. The discussion illustrated the need for Directors to invest initially more time with the managers to share knowledge about people, processes and expectations with the managers. Months later the transition has been successful and all parties are continuing the process.
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: To develop the senior management team and build succession planning into the successful business, Howrah Plumbing needed to have the managers assess the business strategically and establish their first strategic plan.
Reasons: The move from being operated by the owner to the development of a senior management team with strategic and operational objectives was crucial for the sustainability of the business in the long term. The managers had little strategic or management experience other than their learnings on the job.
Capabilities needed: First to facilitate a strategic review and direct the senior management team through a process of assessing the current business using different analysis tools. Second, to support the development of a formalised vision of where the company could/should be in the future. And third, to develop the first strategic plan with the management team and support the links to operational actions for implementation.
We provided: Three full day workshops were separated by several months to allow the managers to consider and review each phase of the process without overwhelming the team. The first workshop reviewed a strategic approach and facilitated a SWOT review and overall discussion of vision. The second workshop focused on the senior management team’s competencies for leading the organisation strategically, and the third workshop was to develop a draft strategic plan.
Result: Active participation by all senior managers demonstrated the relevance of the strategic discussion to their overall focus. Positive feedback to the need for strategic objectives and tactics along with a common shared vision. A draft strategic plan was approved after 6 months and is in the initial year of implementation. The owner is extremely happy with the growth in the managers and their commitment to the business’ future success.