Our Work / Case Study

It’s not about one solution. It’s about providing critical information to help you make the right decision for your firm.

Good Strategic Planning Helps a Firm Thrive

A multi-office planning firm engaged us to help formulate a strategic plan.  This was not the first such effort by the firm, and while past efforts had varying degrees of success, the principals felt that generic strategic plans lacked adequate understanding of the fundamental nature of firm in the design disciplines.  We collected information about the firm that helped us understand the firm, the specific issues and opportunities facing the firm, the professional aspirations of the firm’s principals and other key players, and the successes and shortcomings of previous strategic planning efforts.

We then engaged in two strategic planning efforts that helped define the principals define vision and goals, identify opportunities leveraging current strengths, limitations that needed to be addressed, and various aspects of the culture and leadership, most notably having to do with the appetite for risk.  Growth proved to be an overarching goal, but the risk adversity of many within the governance group increased the degree of challenge in identifying and agreeing on the strategy to achieve it.

With our help, the Strategic Planning Group identified and discussed various strategies – incremental growth based on broadening the services provided to existing clients, key hires with market presence in new geographies, market-oriented international relationships, mergers, and acquisitions.

The firm’s strong recent profitability allowed it consider opportunities that would otherwise have been out of reach, and strategic planning effort concluded with the firm targeting incremental growth in its domestic arenas and faster growth in targeted international geographies.  The firm moved quickly in both aspects, both with our help.  It developed and implemented a more a more focused marketing program to expand its services within its existing domestic client base. It recruited a planner with strong marketing skills and a strong geographic presence in the Middle East and Asia, and it reinforced its overseas strengths further by relocating some talent already in the firm who wanted to be part of the new office.

Still warranting attention will be how the firm’s leaders and senior managers will support, monitor, and manage the expanded operations.  Those with such responsibilities moved quickly to delegate some of their existing responsibilities to give them the necessary time and learning opportunity to take on their expanded commitments.

Some observations:

  • The adage that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there is true. Our experience tells us more:  It tells us that a strong vision that inspires people is more effective than an unclear or uninspiring vision with a strong management plan.  Too often, we observe dissatisfaction with planning efforts – before our involvement – because they focus more on the latter than the former.
  • Understanding risk and how to mitigate the risk associated with strategic opportunities is critical to a plan than might noticeably and positively alter a firm’s course.
  • Profitability enhances the ability to consider new goals strategies. Without strong profitability, strategic planning options are severely limited.
  • Unmonitored, unmanaged strategic planning initiatives might succeed, but the likelihood increases with the appropriate combination of leadership, guidance, monitoring, and management of new activities. Finding the balance among those things can challenge even those with relevant experience.

Deep industry expertise

The Coxe Group is not one or two consultants — but a group of 10-plus who together bring more than 300 years of experience in organization management, financial management, marketing, personnel management, and behavioral science. Many of us are registered professionals in the fields we serve. Some of us have carried responsibilities as principals and managers.

Our richness comes from our diversity. And our strength comes from our collaboration. With such a broad base, we can address collectively all the issues surrounding a firm’s goals, plans, structure, people, and finances. When you work with The Coxe Group, you have access to this entire resource.

Today’s increasingly complex organizations need to be skillfully led and managed to endure. We are proud to be in the forefront of those who have responded to these leadership and management needs and advanced the state of the art.