The client, a CEO of an organization in the financial services industry, was concerned about the effectiveness of their annual strategic planning process. “It’s getting stale. We’re doing the same things year after year…and not really getting anywhere.”

The client expressed concern about consultants they had used in the past that portrayed themselves as “know-it-alls” and did not listen to participants. The board chair wanted to prompt needed innovative thinking without threatening long-term board members who were resistant to change.


Gayle led a strategic planning retreat that engaged board members, executives and other key stakeholders differently. Challenging their thinking without disrespecting their traditions, she helped them see new ways to achieve their goals. The client stated that the strategic planning process was the best they had ever experienced and they had been doing planning sessions over 25 years. One board member exclaimed, “It was actually enjoyable and productive!”

The organization focused on ways in which it could build on its success—ways it could carry out its mission while introducing new services in their market. It’s moved away from “this is how we’ve always done it” thinking to a stronger focus on those they serve. With clear vision and direction, the mission driven organization is making needed changes…one step at a time. They are moving forward in new and better ways to adapt to the changing needs of their market.