Strategic Planning

We now live in a world of volatility, uncertainty, change, and ambiguity, and traditional planning methods are inadequate for today’s open-ended and ill-defined challenges. These “adaptive” challenges require observations and insights from new perspectives.

Clients tell me they want something different, not the same old agenda, and I am delivering those new innovations. My agendas feature memorable experiences from war games to storytelling to commitment gut checks, and all have final exercises that produce crystal-clear action plans.

But all work and no play is not inspiring . . .


Tom Byrne, Chairman, Byrne Zizzi CPA Firm

We started working together in 1998, and as you think about our history, I’d appreciate your answers to the following questions.

Q: What challenges were you facing before we began our work together?
A: I was growing into a leadership role and I lacked a circle of people to share my thoughts and ideas with. You became a confidant who helped me learn to lead and to create a more concrete vision of where I was headed with the Firm.

Q: What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve this problem?
A: It was a scary proposition to know that because of our success we were growing into something bigger, and I did not have experience in the role to which I was evolving. And at the time, I didn’t have people around me with whom I could brainstorm and share ideas. As we have said before, our growth was the No. 1 opportunity but also the No. 1 threat.

Q: What was different about my approach than other consultants you may have used?
A: You had a practical approach and didn’t come across like you knew all the answers. I actually felt that instead of trying to come in with a pat answer for everything, you helped pull my best ideas out of me. You had a soft-spoken way of playing devil’s advocate with me and helping me see the flip side of the coin. I am put off by the audacious and boisterous types, and like to work with thought leaders that listen and practice humility.

Q: Take me to the moment when you realized our work together was actually working to solve your problem.
A: The moments get repeated time and again on our phone calls; often I go into them thinking we don’t have much to talk about, and we end up being very productive. If I had to pick a moment, it was perhaps at a Firm retreat either North of Jackson or in Mobile, when I could sit back and realize we were doing some really good things.

Q: Tell me how life looks now that your problem is solved.
A: 2020 feels like a year in which all the plans of the past 25 years are paying full dividends. I feel like I am in the last chapter of a success story, and the work that we have done for so many years is fully paying off. And there are sequels out there to be written, but I don’t have to be the author.

"Tom recently conducted a leadership retreat for my firm's senior management. His preparation was thorough and on point. He is an excellent facilitator and did well establishing rapport with the group." -- Becky White, VP Organization Development

"This was the best meeting that I remember since being involved in management planning." Vice-President.

"The most valuable activity was developing and prioritizing action plans." President

"The most enjoyable activity for me was the process of planning and creating a positive Environment." President & Owner

"The most valuable topic for me was setting growth goals and creating action plans to achieve those goals." Vice-president & Division Manager

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