Category Archives: Plan Change

Decide what must change, why and how.

Key to Operating Success in a Crisis

With baby boomers entering their last stages, Private Equity invested in senior residences ahead of the certain increase in demand as an aging population would surely seek community, comfort, support, and safety from communal living. COVID-19 changed the calculus overnight. WeWork and Airbnb represent two more niches that are forever changed…as are many more.

The time-honored formula for managing operations in crisis is simple and straightforward:

  1. Shrink to the size you can afford
  2. Prepare to grow
  3. Grow
Watch this video for an explanation of how to avoid “death by a thousand cuts” and come out strong instead in a crisis!

While shrinking to size takes force of will, it can be done by just deciding to do it. Preparing to grow is harder and takes careful thought and planning.

IntelliVen is management’s guide, especially in a crisis, to maturing operations in sync with stage of venture evolution to create maximum value in minimal time. 

In this time of crisis, we want to share what we have learned with you and your team. Join us for a FREE online session. 


Plan Evolution

The following sequence leads to a fully developed financial plan that the CEO, Executive Leadership Team, Senior Leadership Team, board, and employees all buy-in to achieving:

  • Executive Leadership Team (ELT) takes the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) offsite to review where we were, where we are, and where we’re headed, what we’re proud of and what we need to work on next following the script laid out here.

    While it is important to have both a high-level top-down and a preliminary sense for a bottom-up view of the financial plan, the offsite is not mostly about the numbers … it is about strategy.

    Specifically, what is working, what is not working, what is possible, what do we want to do, and what are we going to do. The objective is to set the context for the top down aspirational view of the future to iterate and come together with the bottom-up view during the detail planning.
  • The ELT briefs the board in the fall meeting to share how the current year is turning out, status on key initiatives, and to proffer/review/tweak planning guidance for next year.
  • Then All Hands meeting communicates the where we were, where we are, and where we’re headed with the full backing and support of the SLT, broader leadership team, and the board. Note how it all cascades down from CEO to ELT to Broader Leadership Team to Board to Company as a Whole, building an ever broadening base of support for what the CEO carries as a vision and direction.
  • Then, the bottom-up planning begins in earnest with each unit of major responsibility preparing and reviewing with the CEO how they have done, what they are working on next, and how things will be going forward.
  • The sum of the unit plans needs to be greater than the plan because it is unreasonable to plan on absolutely everything going according to unit plans.
  • The CEO and ELT strive to construct a top-down plan that is rational relative to the bottom up plans. They iterate until the top-down and bottom-up plans are in sync and judged to be aggressive but achievable…for example Planned Revenue ~= Firm Revenue (i.e., Booked & Highly Probably) + 1/3 (Highly Qualified Pipeline).
  • The spring All Hands is to inform everyone how things are going and to engage the whole company in moving forward on the top one, two, or three Strategic Initiatives.
  • The spring ELT offsite is for the top team to bond, assess, refresh, and get a common sense for each other, how things are going, and where things are headed.


Annual Process
Annual Planning Offsite POAD
How to Run a Great Annual Planning Offsite

How to use the Change Framework to turn initiatives into action.

If the leader thinks s/he knows what needs to change and that everyone is aligned, ask: “How do you know your team knows what you want to do; why don’t we ask them just to verify? If they all say what you expect them to say, a positive step towards getting what you want done will have been taken just by bringing it to the center of their attention. If it turns out that some or all of the team are not as aligned as expected, then remedial steps can be taken.”

Survey the leader’s top team and ask them each:

  • To describe the current state, that is: how things are today.
  • What really good things happen if we change and what really bad things happen if we do not?
  • To describe how things would be in the future if their ideal changes were successfully implemented.
  • What needs to be done in order to get from where things are today to where things would ideally be next?
  • What will make it hard to do what needs to be done in order to get from today to the targeted next state?

Review results with the leader to bring him/her up to speed on the group’s data. Look for and discuss fully any points the leader finds confusing or surprising. Continue reading How to use the Change Framework to turn initiatives into action.

How to Run a Great Strategic Initiatives Offsite Work Session

changeMany organizations embrace the need for their leaders to convene offsite, for a day or two, in order to advance their ability to achieve a desired future state and to improve group performance by crystallizing and preparing to launch one or more Strategic Initiative.  The best organizations know that to achieve optimum results such a session is best hosted by a trained outside facilitator and that pre-meeting data collection and preparation are key to success.

What follows is a POAD that has been used hundreds of times Continue reading How to Run a Great Strategic Initiatives Offsite Work Session