Reimagining Strategic Planning Today

When the late, great recession first arrived, most companies set aside their long range strategic planning efforts altogether.  In the beginning this was simple survival; urgent matters came first.  Later a persistent unease (or fear) of uncertainty paralyzed many a leader and organization.  I spent the next five years railing about how wrong this thinking was – provoking firm leaders to tap again into the powerful, overarching questions of mission, vision, and enterprise strategy –  those highest level objectives that really matter most.  “In times like these, more planning is needed, not less,” I implored.  And indeed, eventually, most leaders did again reengage with strategic planning.  We’ve been […]

Your 90-Day Power Play! Personal Action Planning for Success Right Now

Are you struggling a little today, busy with client projects but still anxious about the future, and wondering when you’ll get on to other initiatives?  Or maybe you have some extra time on your hands, but somehow can’t quite focus on turning that time into results?  Wanna change this dynamic in your world, get focused on what really matters, and get some important stuff done this summer and early fall? Look, the unexpected arrival of our uninvited guest this year – and the resulting disruption to our work and our lives – has led many of us to a strange mix of […]

What to Do About Connecting with Clients Today (Part Deux)

I began my last post remembering audience attendees from a conference back in 2009, and the pervasive anxiety that so many had back then (at the beginning of the great recession) with “what to say to clients, when you don’t know what to say.”  With so much change and uncertainty in that moment, few professionals had any idea of where we were or where we were headed – and thus not many answers.  Today, well, here we are again – uncertainty, volatility, change, disruption. My thesis (then and now) is simple:  it’s less about saying the right thing, and more about saying something. Showing up.  Being there.  Caring. […]

What to Do About Connecting with Clients Today

I remember this like it was yesterday. In early 2009, I was speaking at a conference of design and technical professionals – my focus on charting a path to business success in the deepening recession.  Faces in that audience remain etched in my mind – their look of anxiety, lost confidence, shock, paralysis.  No one knew what would come next, how to respond, or what to do.  It was (particularly for firms on the front-end of design) a moment of epic uncertainty. Then, near the end of my remarks, an attendee rose with a comment:  “I get what you’re saying here about the need […]