HPS was looking for process rigour and double digit growth.
Annual planning at Hammond Power Solutions had been effective over a 20+ year span, but was becoming pedantic, and the results were incremental. The process in place had become stale and there was a sense of going-through-the-motions. Organic growth based on tremendous operational execution was never really in question, but strategic growth suffered as bolder discussions and decisions were often deferred. The senior team sought out both better process rigour and an adrenaline boost, where the outcomes would be transformative.
We started with an overhaul of the strategic planning process itself.
The existing process was 4-stage, running from April to November, and quite narrow in scope, starting with a standard fact base and working through gap-filling initiatives meant to add revenue against a pre-existing long-term target. Most of the stages were run on-site, which hampered the thinking.
We first added an additional stage for no-constraints, big picture strategic thinking, which allowed for the long-term target to be altered, and allowed for the orientation of the business itself to change. We also expanded the initial fact base generation stage to include a much broader context – a wider view of the market, competitive landscape and opportunities/ threats. Subsequent stages were better spaced allowing for more time and better analyses, and were expanded such that initiatives explored could have an impact beyond incremental revenue generation – i.e. we redefined ROI.
And most importantly, in terms of style and approach, we sharpened the design of each of the workshop stages, forcing harder conversations and trade-offs. More thoughtful pre-work was conceived and assigned. The frames for each workshop stage were narrowed considerably, zeroing in on longer debates on only the business-changing decisions. And in the room, a no-lazy-thinking orientation and tougher facilitation method was employed to maximize the investment in time. These follow-on stages were organized off-site as mini-retreats, which also helped considerably in opening up possibilities.
The process now runs from February to December, and the changes have been quite sweeping. The conversations are very strategic, and although contentious and tense at times, have led to a much higher ceiling on growth – a ~doubling of revenue over a 4-year period – and the start of fundamental business model transformation, to mitigate the risk of technology disruption and allow for leadership of multiple aspects of the electrification of the North American economy out through 2050.
- Fact Base Development
- Annual 5-Stage Workshop Facilitation
- Board Involvement and Board Materials Preparation
- Strategic Plan
- KPI Framework
- 5-Year Budget
”Mark’s style, although somewhat unconventional, has made a big difference. We now have the conversations we need to have, and the decisions we make are more fundamentally sound and bolder than ever.Bill HammondCEO, Hammond Power Solutions