Strategy

Strategy Services

It’s the role of the CEO to develop strategy. Many CEOs, however, find that they spend most of their time making sure day-to-day business is operating smoothly. It can be hard to find time and a clear head for strategy. Warren Whitney helps you and your leadership team develop and implement strategy in the areas that matter most — strategic planning, board development, succession planning, and nonprofit mergers. We work with you and your team to develop a strategy tailored to your organization.

Strategic Planning

When we help you develop a strategic plan, we start by listening. We listen to the thoughts of people who are important to your organization. We lead you, your management team, and your Board through a series of conversations that helps you decide where you want to go. We explore big possibilities for your future. We figure out what is possible. Ultimately, we help identify three to five main goals that will help you fulfill your mission and move towards your vision. Finally, we help you map your action steps so it’s clear what needs to be done and who will do it. Warren Whitney professionals provide:

• Strategic Planning Guidance
• Strategic Planning Research
• Facilitation for Group Planning Sessions
• Drafting of the Plan for Your Review

Succession Planning

Every member of an organization’s leadership team should have a succession plan. We know that unplanned events can happen at any moment. An emergency succession plan can help your organization survive the unexpected. And for longer-term succession plans, we help you develop a plan for a smooth transition to the next generation, whether that’s a family member, a current employee, or someone from the outside. We develop succession plans that include:

• Current Organizational Assessment
• Emergency Absence Procedures
• Employee Development Plans
• Communication Plans

Board Development

Great nonprofits have strong and engaged governing Boards, and many of the strongest privately-held companies have advisory Boards. That doesn’t happen without a focus on Board Development. Warren Whitney professionals can help you strengthen your Board. Do your Board members have clear expectations for their roles? Do they know what they should be doing to help your organization? Are they providing the support you need? So whether it is creating a new Board for your business or strengthening your current nonprofit Board, we will help you and your Board work together to achieve your mission through:

• Board Training by a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer
• Board Member Recruitment
• Orientation Programs
• Governance Documentation
• Board Leadership Succession Planning

Nonprofit Mergers

There are many good reasons for nonprofits to consider a merger — a leadership change, potential efficiencies, complementary services. We conduct feasibility studies to help nonprofits determine whether a merger would make sense. We serve as an unbiased third party to gather information that helps each Board evaluate the impact and benefits of a merger. Once we’ve completed the feasibility study, we help the nonprofits through the merger implementation process. If you are considering a nonprofit merger, let Warren Whitney provide:

• Mission Alignment Analysis
• Culture Compatibility Analysis
• Financial Impact Reporting
• Implementation Plan Development & Execution

Meet Our Strategy Group

Warren Whitney’s business strategy professionals have decades of real world experience that can help your company better define its mission and goals.

Strategy Case Study

A longstanding nonprofit felt that its board needed assistance in identifying steps that needed to be taken to strengthen the board and its governance practices. Most board members wanted to be engaged but there were conflicting ideas about what they should be doing as board members.

Warren Whitney served the client by constructing an engagement that used a board self-assessment as a foundation for a day-and-a-half board session which combined governance training with consulting. Specific steps of the engagement included:

  • Conducting background research by reviewing the bylaws and minutes from recent meetings and by talking with the executive director and several board members.
  • Designing and administering a board self-assessment survey centered on best practices and including several questions specific to issues the organization faced.
  • Facilitating a retreat comprised of four sections:
    • Roles and responsibilities of board members.
    • Strategic planning.
    • Board member cultivation.
    • The partnership between the board and the executive director.

The sessions provided a training component in each area followed by discussion of the issues specific to the organization.

During the session, the board developed a draft vision statement and agreed on a process for moving forward to develop a strategic plan. In addition, the board agreed on 10 actionable steps to strengthen its approach to governing the organization and the board itself. Warren Whitney committed to providing assistance at the first several meetings of a newly formed governance committee.

“You have made such a positive contribution to the Board and moved us light-years ahead of where we could have been. Thank you so much!”

“You had a part in making all this a reality for us. Our strategic plan has been moderately aggressive and those goals have focused this company to excel and in turn made us stronger fiscally to achieve this tremendous victory.”

“Thank you for the wonderful job you did in helping with our merger. We couldn’t have done it nearly as efficiently and painlessly if we hadn’t had you herding cats, bringing structure to the analysis, and making sure we kept our eyes on the important issues. An incredibly professional job that reflected your depth of experience and great people skills!”

Want to talk strategy?

If you think Warren Whitney could improve your business strategy, let’s talk. We’d love to meet you and, as always, there’s no charge for an initial conversation.

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