Plan Before Writing The Plan

If you, like a very successful CEO I know, find that your executive team is mired in their everyday tasks, failing to examine if they are  doing the right things for the business, then we should talk about that  challenge. Periodically, you may want to  get your key thinkers out of their daily environment to come up with new ways  of moving ahead. Stepping back and examining your company with an outsider's  perspective forces a hard look at the business model and the current and future environment, and alerts everyone to when a pivot (a change in  direction) is needed. This "managed  process" also illuminates what is missing from the plan, and  priorities and tasks, and spurs exploration  of options never considered before. 

When I facilitate sessions for clients, they count on me to  bring that outsider perspective informed by deep industry knowledge and subject  matter expertise. I also use a powerful  new tool, the "Business Model Canvas", so that the group can record, debate and  refine a business model while testing ideas and making a check list from which  to work. In 2010, Business Model  Generation was written by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and  co-created by a crowd of 470 practitioners from 45 countries to use the  collective wisdom of successful entrepreneurs for building successful companies. The Business Model Canvas was born and I find  it is a powerful tool with clients and in workshops for business schools and  their entrepreneur programs.

What I've Learned: you need to plan before writing the plan, and certainly before making  the budget.

I LEAD, TEST,  COACH, TRAIN, and DELIVER: I work with  founders and CEOs to plan and facilitate a managed process for "planning before  writing the plan, and certainly before creating the budget".   Most of us don't work from a  well-thought-through plan and when forced to write one for funding purposes, it  is often never referred to again. I lead  client groups through a managed process of creating a business model canvas to  eliminate wasted time and to build a dynamic business model informed by  customer intelligence. From this we  deliver a working template in the form of a business model canvas which your  key executives have built - - for starting, adapting, and growing your business.

FOR LARGER ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESS SCHOOLS,  ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES: I facilitate  group workshops "Planning  Before The Plan" ™ to help organizations to carefully  examine tasks, priorities, and direction in the context of a well thought  through business model. This allows  participants to set new direction when needed, to redouble efforts on key  initiatives and to slow down others with a better understanding of what is  necessary or unnecessary. Workshops can  be offered as part of Entrepreneur Programs, Executive Education sessions, and  public seminars sponsored by government economic development agencies.  For instance, one country we are working with is focused on changing the business models of companies to grow from single to multiple locations, to explore exporting, and to add technology and knowledge-based components.

"Good Leaders Innovate" is an allied program, addressing the need and the power of leaders to support stringent and innovative business model testing before committing to a plan.


Great Results, Personable, Expert, High Integrity, Creative

Delivers results   "Your contribution to the company has been tremendous. You have helped us  to form an enterprise program, scope a market and open doors to key players in  the market. Your professionalism and integrity are unsurpassed in  my experience."

Leads Effectively  "The praise really goes to you -- for choosing us, organizing us, and keeping us on task  those many months." 

Inspires innovation  "Gail ran a two day workshop with our executive team to assist with some strategic product development initiatives. Gail was an excellent facilitator and we were thrilled with the ideas that were developed over the two days."

Easy to work with "Gail has been great to work with. She is very focused towards getting the results. I would highly recommend her."

Flexible roles  "Gail is as comfortable stepping into a company as an external advisor or mentor, as she is in taking the role of chief executive; leading business development and sales; handling corporate communications; spear-heading investor relations and making investor presentations."

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