Strategic Planning Services (Finance/Crown Corp)

Strategic planning services for a public financial services regulator.

The customer organization is a financial regulator, responsible for monitoring the overall health and providing regulatory oversight to financial institutions. They also guarantee deposit protection to deposit holders through maintenance of an investment fund.

Interthink Consulting Incorporated has collaborated extensively with the organization between 2007 and 2011 to facilitate their strategic planning process. This involved planning and facilitating strategic planning workshops with the executive team as well as with the board of directors. Interthink Consulting worked with the VP of Strategy to revise and reframe the strategic planning process in order to streamline the process, ensure the process was objective and produced a clear, realistic and attainable plan, and to put in place a balanced scorecard to support monitoring the attainment of the resulting strategic plans.

Interthink continued to support refinements and improvements to the strategic planning process in subsequent years. In 2009, in response to a desire by the executive team for greater involvement of the broader organization in the strategic planning process, Interthink Consulting developed and facilitated a large-group input into the environmental scan. This comprehensive workshop enabled every member of the organization to assist in evaluating and identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) facing the organization. The workshop culminated in a prioritization of those aspects that, in the view of the organization members, were most critical to address, and identification of recommendations and suggestions for consideration by the executive team and board of directors.

In 2010, Interthink Consulting also facilitated a broadening of the planning process to directly involve all supervisors and managers in the identification and development of projects in response to the strategic priorities identified by the executive team. This comprehensive workshop process involved a review of the key strategic priorities in a joint discussion between the executive team, management and supervisors, and the facilitated identification, definition and scoping of projects to respond to the identified strategies. The workshop results were subsequently presented to the executive team for consideration and incorporation into the final board submission.

As a result of Interthink Consulting’s work with the organization, they have been able to realize a number of significant and valuable outcomes, including:

  • A streamlined approach to developing the strategic plan, and a clearer and more actionable strategic plan document. The process of developing the strategic plan has progressively become more efficient, reducing from a three-day off-site retreat with several days of subsequent follow up, to typically no more than two days of workshops with the executive team. At the same time, the resulting plan document is clearer and more focussed, and has greater alignment of the priorities of the organization with the resulting objectives and strategies. The executive team has noted on several organizations the improvements in both the process and the resulting document.
  • Adoption of a balanced scorecard approach that provides the organization and the board of directors with a focussed and objective means of assessing realization of the strategic plan. The measures use the same dimensions and priorities as the plan document, and the executive team and board of directors collaboratively agree on what measures will be adopted as well as appropriate targets for performance.
  • Implementation of a planning process that involves widespread participation and input from all members of the organization. Through expansion of the environmental scanning process to a large-group workshop format, the organization has benefited from more comprehensive and realistic input into the environmental scan, a greater level of ownership and commitment of organizational employees as a well as a more streamlined and effective process of environmental scanning. The board of directors has commended the administration for both increasing employee and engagement and improving the quality of the strategic planning inputs.
  • Inclusion of the full supervisory and management team in identifying and defining the projects to be considered in delivering on the stated strategic priorities of the organization. The result is a more realistic sense of what is required to implement the strategic plan, greater ownership and commitment of the organization to the work required and a more immediate assessment of the resources, costs and implications of adopting the strategic plan.