Strategic Planning | Growth Planning | Visioning

Strategic Planning, Growth Planning, Long-Range Planning, Visioning … whatever you call it, your organization needs to know where it’s headed and how it’s going to get there. And everyone needs to be on the same page, to be aligned, especially members of your senior leadership team. You need to create STRATEGIC CLARITY, FOCUS and ALIGNMENT in your organization!

Strategic Planning is Simple ...but Not Easy

The Simple Part

The heart of strategic planning is answering the following important questions:

  1. Where are we now?
  2. What does success look like in the future?
  3. What gaps exists between our current state and our desired future state?
  4. Which gaps are most important to bridge right now?
  5. Who must do what by when?

Simple, right?

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The Hard Part

It’s tempting to extrapolate current realities forward; challenging assumptions and biases about your business and your market is hard.

It’s easy to generate a long list of things you could do to move towards your desired future state. But that list will exceed your resources (e.g., time, talent, money, etc.) – guaranteed! Prioritizing what you should do versus what you could do is hard.

A plan that’s not actually implemented is just a dream! Gaining alignment regarding an action plan is hard.

We can help!


Cynthia Waisner, M.B.A., Ph.D.

Managing Partner

We’ve been designing and facilitating successful strategic planning retreats and workshops for more than twenty years. Our clients range from global brands such as Bayer, BDO, and Gucci to entrepreneurial startups to successful mid-tier enterprises to national associations like the School Nutrition Association and International Housewares Association.  The organizations we work with are very different…but the challenges they face and their need to create clarity, focus and alignment are common ground.


Glen Waisner, M.B.A

Managing Partner

Want to meet remotely?  no problem!

We are experts at recreating the experience of meeting in-person VIRTUALLY.

We leverage advanced video technologies, coupled with virtual breakout rooms, whiteboards, interactive real-time polling, etc., to bring you a workshop experience that is as good as - better than? - meeting in-person. Don't waste time and money traveling.

Let us design and facilitate a virtual experience just for you and your team.


Trusted by...



Mary Ann Knaus
Founder at Aquarius Group and Former SVP at Jarden Consumer Solutions

Professional and Objective Facilitator

Glen quickly assesses organizational dynamics, challenges and issues from which he facilitates tough, honest, open dialog and effective resolution. No matter the issue or challenge, Glen facilitates productive dialog and effectively leads sessions, managing divergent points of view to consensus and action. Glen diplomatically surfaces organizational blockers in an engaging fashion, encouraging participation, problem solving and commitment to accountability. As an experienced professional and objective facilitator, any executive team would benefit from Glen’s engagement.


Jerry Zuchowicki
President/GM of North America & EMEA for Newell Brands

Always Willing to Address the “Elephant in the Room”

It’s one thing to claim to be a “trusted adviser,” but quite another to deliver on that promise – and Glen does! As a member of the JCS Executive Team, I worked with Glen for years as he provided facilitation and consulting services across a host of strategic areas of our business. He was always willing to address the “elephant in the room” and help us navigate and align around some tough issues. And he never let us forget “Glen’s Rule” that “no business can outperform its leadership team long-term.” Glen would be a true asset to any business leader looking to accelerate success in their marketplace and comes with my heartfelt recommendation.


Adele J Suddes
Former Vice President Communications at Textron

One of the Best Investments I’ve Ever Made

I hired Cynthia for several years when I was employed at Textron and leading its senior executive marketing council and senior executive communications council. Both groups were comprised of very diverse and opinionated executive leaders. Also in both groups were 2-3 individuals who tended to be argumentative and seemed to enjoy de-railing meetings and exploring rat holes. Bringing Cynthia in to help me plan our monthly meetings so that the meeting goals were achieved was one of the best investments I have ever made professionally.  If you are looking for expert assistance to help you bring a group of people together around a vision, mission, goals or action plans: you will find no one better than Cynthia.

Work ON Your Business, Not IN It

What should you expect from a planning workshop?

If you’re thinking about strategic planning, then you probably feel that you and your business can do better. You have ASPIRATIONS – they may be relatively modest, or they may be “Big Hairy and Audacious.” In either case, we can design and facilitate a session for you that launches you and your organization toward your new, brighter future by…

Organizational Clarity

When we ask meeting invitees before their session what they most want to achieve, 90% of the time they tell us they want CLARITY. Where are we headed? How will we be successful in the future? Who will do what by when – and how will we hold each other accountable? What if things change (and they always change)?

Collaboration and Accountability

One of the greatest benefits of a well-run workshop is the opportunity for you and your colleagues to work ON the business not IN it – and to do so together, as a TEAM. True teams focus on the business, as a whole, and not just their own functions. They realize that strategic planning is all about the BIG PICTURE.

An Action Plan That Drives Results

The point of having a strategic planning session is to articulate a desired future state (e.g., more revenue, more customers, higher returns, liquidity event, etc.) and for you and your team to agree on an action plan (e.g., a growth road-map) that will move the business toward that new horizon. Poor action planning leads to weak execution and weak results. Remember the cautionary tale about 70% of strategic plans that don’t get implemented? We help our clients join the successful 30%!

An Investment, Not An Expense

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Chief Executive Magazine recently noted that “Few initiatives in the business world can consistently generate enough ROI to compete with what a well-planned and well-executed executive retreat can do for you and your team.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Our clients include:

Examples of what clients have achieved during their retreats

  • Identified step-change aspirations for the future and developed a 3-year growth plan to rapidly move their business toward that exciting new future.
  • Mapped current and future growth opportunities by product category and market. Identified high potential opportunities for future investment. Identified low-potential categories to “harvest” and/or exit.
  • Explored and evaluated dozens of existing and planned initiatives and projects. Refocused organization on five “big rock” ideas. Developed an action plan that identified milestones, timelines, and project leaders.
  • Surfaced the root causes of senior team disagreements and dysfunction. Developed team behavioral norms and communication processes to minimize future collaboration challenges.
  • After exploring industry and economic mega-trends, the leadership team realized that their business model was outdated and subject to disruption. So they agreed to pursue an entirely new business model.
  • After identifying a lack of innovation as a major risk, workshop attendees surfaced dozens of potentially lucrative new product and service ideas to be tested and evaluated long-term.
  • Identified several market niches that could be exploited in the near-term and several others that could, with minor investment and structural changes, be penetrated in the mid-term.
  • After an in-depth exploration of what’s been working and what hasn’t, the senior team identified the need to quickly accelerate online sales while expanding domestic warehousing and distribution capacity.

What's Included?

We work closely with project sponsors to articulate detailed project expectations and deliverables that are unique to each engagement. But our strategic planning projects always have three phases:

Prior to the Workshop

This is often the most important phase of a planning project. Well before the event itself, we spend as much time as necessary with project sponsors to understand their expectations and goals. We review prior strategic plans (if any) and other pertinent material. We may distribute pre-work, surveys, online assessments, or thought-starter questions. And we typically talk with all planned attendees in advance to understand their perspectives and aspirations regarding the upcoming session. 

During the Workshop

This is when the magic happens! With a clear understanding of the desired work products to be generated during the session always in mind, we guide participants on a journey of exploration, discussion, debate, prioritization, and action planning. We facilitate you and your team answering the questions necessary to create focus and alignment. And we ensure that participants create a consensus action plan — who must do what by when — so that everyone is committed to executing your new plan.

After the Workshop

Within a few days of the completion of your planning event, we provide written documentation of the session’s outputs, strategic imperatives, action plans, etc. This document reminds participants of the work they did together and the commitments they’ve made to each other and your organization. 

We also connect with you by phone or video conference to debrief your session, discuss execution, and provide suggestions for on-going success.

What About Cost?

Expert Virtual Facilitation Available

Our professional fees are always based upon the project, so that you can call upon us at any time without concern that the “meter is running.”  Our work is also guaranteed, and we will commit as much time as necessary to fulfill the outlined objectives and meet the agreed-to time frames.

Our typical professional fee for a custom-designed 1½- or 2-day session (which we’ve found is the ideal length for a leadership team planning retreat), including the types of activities outlined above, is typically between $5,900 and $14,900.

It’s easy to see why the ROI of our planning workshops is so high!


The Strategic Planning Cycle

When working with strategic planning clients, we often use our “Shaping and Executing Strategy Model” to help guide the project.

Sometimes the challenge is to define or rethink an organization’s fundamental building blocks like Mission, Vision, Business Model, Value Proposition or Strategic Pillars. We label this part of the strategic planning process “Destination Setting.”

Many clients, on the other hand, are comfortable with their strategic “building blocks” but need help developing consensus mid-term Goals, and the Strategies that will help them accomplish those goals. We label this part of the strategic planning process “Flight Planning” — you set goals and develop plans to accomplish those goals.

Once an organization’s mid-term Goals are set, Tailwinds and Headwinds identified, and general Strategies agreed to, the next step is to establish annual Objectives and detailed Action Plans to accomplish those objectives. This is the “Navigating” phase of the process when adjustments and course corrections will undoubtedly need to be made.

Executing your strategies is the key to success. Remember, 70% of strategic plans don’t get implemented. So, think of the competitive advantage you’ll create if you actually DO SOMETHING with your strategies!

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Copyright Catalyst Consulting Partners LLC

We’re comfortable and experienced working across all aspects of this planning and execution cycle. We don’t force-fit a “canned” solution; we help you focus on just those elements of the strategic planning process that will create the most value for you, your team, and your organization.

Give us a call!  We’d love to talk with you about working together to create focus and breakthrough results.