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Chief Executives:  Strategic Planning and CEO Roundtables

Make no little plans.  They have not the spirit to stir men's minds. - Daniel Burnham

Chief executives need to create the conditions for collaboration and succession.  A strategic plan both provides direction and is a diagram for collaboration and a map of how each department is critical to forward-looking decisions. 

Chief executives are expected to know everything. 
The Center also facilitates CEO Roundtable Intensives to explore deep issues in confidence with peers (below). 

Our strategic planning facilitation uses four tools:  5-Year Look, Competitor Grid, Trends Outline and the Goal Tree.  It follows Question-Based Planning, which begins with "question discovery," a structured 2-hour session to identify and prioritize all the big questions.  It only takes five 2-hour meetings over two months, with no retreats or fat binders (short book).  It answers the three core questions of leadership:

  • Why are we doing this?

  • Where are we going?

  • How are we going to get there?

"I learned about Question-Based Planning as a director of our hospital, where it's been a repeat success; the one-page 'goal tree' really got my attention. At Culver's, it helped our management team get and stay clear on the key issues. The plan helped us make real progress in every discipline." - Phil Keiser, CEO, Culver Franchising System, Inc.

One CEO vented: I just want everyone headed in the same direction—I don’t really care which one! 

Without a solid plan, projects wander and time and resources get wasted. Plans should instead generate focus, improve collaboration and produce consistent results

The Goal Tree provides added benefits:

  • Shows direction and priorities at a glance

  • Shows everyone how they fit together

  • Traces everyone’s career path

  • Clarifies lines of delegation

  • Keeps directors focused

  • Makes accountability crystal clear


We run unique two-hour, semi-annual intensives for chief executives: a peer delivers a 15-minute setup for a discussion at 3 provocative questions at facilitated tables of five.  See Events. Past topics:

•  Future Perfect:  How to Predict the Future Perfectly
•  Backfire:  How Can Success Get in the Way of Success
•  The Nine Stories Leaders Have to Tell
•  Power Up:  Getting Buy-In From Everyone

We help people achieve great things together.


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