Our client recognized they needed a strategic plan and asked us to design a process that would include twenty-three current and future leaders.


A nationally respected mid-size design firm realized they needed a road map to transition to the next generation of leaders successfully.

The firm wanted a strategic plan to set direction and priorities for the next five years, not only for the founders—who were still quite active—and the next generation principals but also to engage the firm’s younger, emerging leaders. They asked us to design a process that would include the larger group of leaders and emerging leaders. Managing a planning process involving twenty-three people can be tricky.


In general, strategic planning involves a small number of participants from the ownership/leadership team. Managing a group of twenty-three people required creating a new approach that could adequately involve everyone.

We designed a structure that toggled between sessions with the entire group and smaller task groups. These smaller groups tackled individual categories within the firm, e.g., design, technology and delivery, finance, people, and marketing. We guided these task groups to develop goals, objectives, and strategies for their categories. They reported their progress to the entire group, which then discussed the proposed plan and came to conclusions.


A comprehensive, detailed, and action-oriented strategic plan was stitched together with the components from the workgroups.

Our client brought the same level of rigor to the strategic planning process as they did to the design and delivery of their projects. As a result, the strategic plan content was rich and detailed. By limiting task groups to no more than five people, every voice was heard, and all felt enfranchised to create the vision and plan for the firm’s future.

At the end of a six-month process, a broad group from within the firm felt a responsibility to carry the plan forward.


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