Strategic Planning

Strategic PlanningCharting the Way Forward with Strategic Planning

Our mission is to help our clients create realistic, actionable strategic plans. Plan development is founded on thoughtful drafting of issues, spirited debate and careful facilitation. A meaningful plan answers questions concerning what client organizations can do, what they want to do, and what they are willing to do to achieve their strategic goals.

For more than 45 years, Matthews, Young – Management Consulting has provided strategic, compensation and executive search services to owners and/or executives of all types of organizations. Our strategic services practice is devoted to helping clients develop a strategic management program to direct the organization toward the consistent accomplishment of multi-period goals.

Our Philosophy

Strategic planning issues are directly related to an organization’s condition, culture and objectives. Each client is unique and there is no standard answer to an organization’s needs. Solutions must be designed, implemented and internalized. We like to be held accountable for achieving results, not making recommendations. We pursue results and work hard to ensure the client gets the sought after benefits. We keep the client informed throughout the consulting process to insure the client is never surprised.

The Approach

We provide assistance to the Board and Management in developing and describing a Strategic Vision for an organization. This can usually be best accomplished through a series of working sessions of the Board and/or Management Team, in which we guide discussions through three important phases:

Phase 1: Assessment

Critical to the successful setting of direction is the establishment of the starting point, the present condition of the organization. This is a multidimensional assessment of soundness, vitality and peer comparability.

The assessment should look to the past to determine the nature of past efforts and successes. An appreciation of the firm’s assets (hard and soft) must be gained to determine the inventory of resources available. An understanding of the competitors, current and prospective, and of supporters, must be developed to assess the operational environment for change. Finally, an assessment of the competence and potential of management must be made to determine the depth of this critical resource.

Phase 2: Goal Setting

The application of vision to the setting of goals is the least understood element of the planning process. It requires a willingness to consider a broad range of potential “futures” and to examine the implications of each. Outcomes that represent both success and failure must be examined to determine the applicability and leveragability of available resources to achieve or avoid the consequences of each course of action. It is the exploration of “what could be”, both good and bad, that will surface the bedrock issues of the client’s future. Just as the assessment seeks to answer the traditional question of strategy “who are we?” This process deals with the more compelling question of “who do we want to be?”

Phase 3: Scenario Development

Here the resources of the client are applied to the potential accomplishment of the plan. Through scenario development we attempt to live the future. Issues relating to redeployment of the client’s assets such as office relocation, product focus, management development, mergers and acquisitions, and capital formation are likely to be central to the determination of a feasible and acceptable course of action. We will stretch our planning horizon beyond a single year to determine the vitality and robustness of our vision.

At the conclusion of the process we will have examined the client, its strengths and weaknesses and evaluated in that light, a range of outcomes. Finally, we will have drawn into focus a desired outcome and analyzed client resources available for its accomplishment, highlighting strengths and voids. The stage will be set for the follow-on development of annual business plans by the Management Team.

We ordinarily plan for four working sessions of 3 hours each in length, all completed in the span of two to three weeks, in order to accomplish the work described above. In this way, the sessions are not overlong and the time required is spread out so as not to overburden personal schedules. Moreover, the time between sessions allows useful time for reflection. However, we can conduct the Board session in a single extended one day sitting.

In preparation for the sessions with the Board, we develop preliminary profiles of the client and its competitors, and establish a baseline of interests from among the Board and Management. The latter is accomplished through a survey of the Board and Management Team.


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Hillsborough, NC
(919) 644-6962

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(336) 644-1980

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(404) 435-6993

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