organizations and leaders
we have helped succeed.
New plan starts with infrastructure and development needs.
A suburban Chicago village, primarily residential and reliant on property tax revenue, has significant infrastructure improvement needs and commercial development opportunities. The Mayor and Manager of engaged Forrest Consulting to lead the Trustees and staff in a strategic planning process to create a plan to address the municipality’s situation.
We developed planning input through public meetings, interviews and surveys. We conducted an environmental scan and developed a key environmental issues report. We developed a “State of the Village” analysis using financial and other parameters.
Then we facilitated two strategic planning workshops using our Fast Track Strategic Planning Process. In the workshops, the Mayor, Trustees and staff leaders developed a shared vision of the future, identified strategic gaps in the way of achieving the vision, identified strategy areas and developed strategies, identified action steps and strategic initiatives to pursue to begin plan implementation, and addressed responsibilities and timelines for each step and initiative.
The five-year plan was subsequently adopted by the Trustees and implementation has begun. The plan will be reviewed at regular intervals, and new action steps will be identified as needed.
Getting a committee on track.
An association of residential property developers and managers reconstituted its education committee. To help the committee come to a common vision and agenda, Forrest Consulting was engaged by staff to facilitate the committee’s first half-day meeting. The objective was achieved: Our facilitation included exercises that built understanding among committee members and resulted in the group committing to an annual education agenda.
A plan for the planners.
The Association for Strategic Planning was due for a new strategic plan addressing new opportunities. Using our Fast Track Strategic Planning System, Forrest Consulting worked with the Board and staff to create the plan. Steps were:
- Development of planning input: Member survey, Board planning survey and an environmental scan.
- Facilitation of three video/teleconference workshops using group collaboration software to develop plan elements: SWOT analysis, vision elements, provisional vision statement, strategic gaps and possible strategies grouped by category.
- Facilitation of a one-and-a-half day Board planning workshop at which the Board: Aligned on the vision; developed and agreed on strategy themes, strategies, action steps and strategic initiatives; and assigned responsibilities, timelines and measurements.
The Board approved the resulting plan document, as well as our recommended process for plan monitoring, adjustment and re-planning. Pursing the strategies led to expansion, greater revenue and more member value.
Quickly creating a relevant plan.
An international partnership of public affairs firms was facing new challenges and had opportunities not addressed in its previous strategic plan. The organization needed a new strategic plan on a tight time frame and with limited availability of the Board members. Forrest Consulting was engaged to facilitate creation of the new plan in a one-and-a-half day planning workshop with a portion of the Board members present only by conference call. We gained membership input through an e-survey, provided marketplace perspective through an environmental scan, facilitated the planning workshop using our Fast Track Strategic Planning System and from the workshop results delivered the draft written plan two weeks later. A key market not previously identified emerged from the environmental scan and was included in the draft plan. The Board adopted the plan with little change and subsequently was guided by it.
Assuring and aligning the staff.
The long-time founder and executive director of a non-profit low-income housing agency was dismissed by the Board for lax administration. The Chair of the Board of Directors was concerned that the staff would see the action as an indictment of their work, which was not the case.
Forrest Consulting was engaged to facilitate a session involving the staff and Board Chair designed to allay concerns and assure that the staff was aligned on the agency’s mission and would work effectively together going forward as the search for a new staff leader proceeded.
Our facilitated session offered a safe environment for staff to get their concerns on the table and receive assurances from the Board Chair. We worked with the staff in a team building exercise to create a “full value contract,” a short list of consensus behavioral norms to guide future staff interaction.
More effective Board meetings.
The executive director of a large Midwest agricultural association sought to make the meetings of the association’s large Board of Directors more effective. The association engaged Forrest Consulting to educate the Board on effective meetings and use of Roberts Rules of Order for streamlined decision making. We made a two-hour “Successful Meetings” presentation at a Board retreat, which included “Meetings Jeopardy” and other interactive exercises. We created a a takeaway guide on parliamentary procedure for subsequent use in Board meetings.
A leading online eyewear retailer and distributor engaged Forrest Consulting to develop a strategy for close alignment with its leading brand. We worked with the principal to propose a joint venture structure. The principal subsequently was asked to develop and manage the brand’s U.S. marketing program.
We were engaged by the CEO of a community foundation to conduct stakeholder research (e-surveys with five stakeholder groups, facilitated group input sessions and interviews); develop strategic insights and recommendations to help set a new strategic direction; and facilitate a Board of Trustees planning workshop to adopt a new strategic direction.
The end goal was to drive growth in resources to enable greater community support and involvement.
The Board of Trustees adopted the new strategic direction. Subsequently, foundation net assets nearly tripled, from $28 million to more than $90 million!
Delivering on an urgent request.
An international recreation trade group grew quickly, but its strategic plan lost relevance as the industry rapidly evolved. Forrest Consulting was engaged to create a new plan “in an urgent manner” using best practices, as well as to determine global satisfaction and expectations for service; identify allies and competitors and strategies for dealing with them; identify new service areas; and formulate and prioritize opportunities to build new revenue streams.
We conducted stakeholder research through facilitated dialog, an e-survey and phone interviews; developed an environmental issues report; and produced a SWOT analysis, competitors’ analysis, and service and revenue recommendations. We facilitated a two-day strategy development workshop with the Board and key staff to produce a shared strategic vision, a new organizational values statement, a prioritized strategy list and annual implementation action steps.
As a follow-up, we designed an assessment process for the Board to use with the Executive Director.
The results? New alliances, more services and greater revenue.
Building on success.
Four years had passed since Forrest Consulting facilitated development of a local government’s previous strategic plan. We were asked back to facilitate creation of the next plan. We helped assess previous plan results, administered a stakeholder survey, conducted interviews and facilitated planning workshops with the Board and staff leaders. The new plan is now guiding decisions and initiatives.
Helping a college Board of Trustees function better and focus.
The chair of a college Board of Trustees and the college president saw that the new Board needed a clearer understanding of the Board’s roles and responsibilities and to focus on the big issues and opportunities.
Forrest Consulting developed a comprehensive presentation on governance best practices. We facilitated a Board workshop that increased understanding, built consensus and helped focus the Trustees on what was most important.
A new plan for new leadership.
With a change in leadership, the Board of a counseling center needed a vision and strategies to guide expansion, facilities replacement and more. Forrest Consulting surveyed stakeholders, conducted an environmental scan, and facilitated planning workshops using its Fast Track Strategic Planning System. The resulting strategic plan has the center providing needed services to more clients in its service area, a win for the center and the community. Implementation has begun.
Launching an entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur with a vision for a new business turned to Forrest Consulting for professional assistance.
We set him on the path to start-up and success by researching the market, developing pricing, creating the financial model, and producing other elements of a business plan and pitch deck.
The business in now open and growing!
Helping the homeless.
The Board of a coalition of non-profit organizations and governments coordinating county-wide services for the homeless needed expert facilitation to find a consensus view on a critical issue and to lead creation of a strategic plan laying out the way forward.
Forrest Consulting’s facilitation enabled the coalition members to find the shared vision and develop the strategic plan.
Developing the pitch and options for the way ahead.
Forrest Consulting was engaged by a pair of seasoned entrepreneurs with a unique product in the outdoor living category to create a pitch deck to be used in approaching funding sources and potential partners.
Then we developed funding/expansion strategies and subsequently introduced the founders to potential funders, qualified channel partners and possible acquirers.
A plan for new opportunities and leadership transition.
Forrest Consulting was engaged to work with the partners of a leading governmental relations/lobbying firm to create a strategic plan addressing new opportunities and a pending leadership transition. We conducted a planning survey of clients, firm members and other stakeholders and interviewed the partners. And we conducted an environmental scan and developed a SWOT analysis. Then we facilitated a one-and-one-half-day plan development workshop using Forrest Consulting’s Fast Track Strategic Planning System. The results? The partners developed a new strategic vision, strategies, action steps, strategic initiatives and an implementation plan. The plan is driving the leadership transition and continued firm success.
Planning for investment banking success.
Forrest Consulting was engaged to work with an investment banking firm’s leadership team to create a new five-year strategic plan. We administered and analyzed a staff planning survey, interviewed key leaders, and facilitated the planning process in a workshop using our Fast Track Strategic Planning System.
The results? A strategic vision, strategies, annual action steps and and an implementation plan. The strategies are now driving the firm’s continuing growth.