Consultants Resource Bank

Thomas Burack

Sheehan Phinney
PO Box 3701
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 603-627-8387

I help organizations to be prepared for and to thrive in an uncertain and unknown future. As a planner, designer and facilitator of strategic plans and planning processes, I bring an integrated set of planning and management tools together, including scenario thinking, customer-focused service, and phased development to equip organizations with the tools and internal capabilities to develop and implement a "living strategic plan" -- a plan that remains front and center into the fututre and does not just sit on a shelf. These "living" plans are refreshed regularly through a disciplined process that engages an organization's board and staff in routinely scanning the horizon for driving forces in the wider world or in its working environment that could affect its customers, its business model, or the demand for its services. These driving forces are used to help imagine plausible future worlds for which the organization should be prepared, and then to support the development of responsive and robust strategies that can be tested against the various imagined futures and continuously improved. The result is organizations that know themselves well and that are resilent, revered and respected for their foresight, innovation and enduring commitment to service.

A partnership approach with the organization's executive director and board chair will determine the success of scenario thinking and living strategic plans, so I seek a close working relationship with an organization's leadership. The organization's board and staff must have a strong sense of ownership of their strategic plan; accordingly, my approach is one of teaching, coaching and guiding the team in developing and practicing the skills of scenario thinking, always with a sense of humor, adventure, teamwork, and a passion for mission. Written work products are typically the result of shared efforts that help ensure the organization's capabilities to carry its living strategic plan forward into the future without significant ongoing external support. Engagements can range from an introductory workshop of a few hours to a full living strategic plan development process that may last from 3-6 months.

Specialties: Organizational Planning - Collaboration/Mergers, Organizational Planning - Mission & Vision Planning, Strategic/Business Plan Development

References

Community Development Finance Authority
Katy Easterly Martey - Executive Director
14 Dixon Avenue
Concord , New Hampshire 03301
603-717-9118

With the CDFA's staff and board leadership, I planned and facilitated a strategic planning process based in scenario thinking. The process included (1) advance information gathering to identify potential driving forces that may affect New Hampshire's communities in the future, (2) a board/staff retreat at which plausible future scenarios were developed and implications were identified, (3) a follow-up board/staff workshop at which strategies were developed and wind-tunnel tested, and (4) collaborative drafting and development of a living strategic plan that includes an underlying phased action plan and a clear statement of the organization's mission, vision and values. A high-level summary of the CDFA's Living Strategic Plan can be viewed here: https://nhcdfa.org/who-we-are/

 

New Hampshire Water Works Association
Boyd Smith - Executive Director
18 North Main Street
Concord , NH 03301
603-415-3959

This 501(c)(3) organization's new Executive Director was charged with developing a strategic plan as one of his initial tasks. The organization has just 1.5 FTE and serves the public drinking water suppliers in communities across New Hampshire. Primarily using virtual meeting approaches via Zoom, I have coached and facilitated a process through which (1) the Executive Director has interviewed each board member as well as key outside stakeholders to identify key challenges and driving forces, (2) the board developed a set of plausible future scenarios for the state's communities and their water supplies, and (3) potential strategies were identified and incorporated into a living strategic plan. The project is currently ongoing and is expected to be wrapped up and move into the first phase of implementation in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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