Project Description

Finding common ground on a long term plan

Project Details

Auckland, New Zealand

DATE – 2015 – 2016

CLIENT – Manufacturing Business

PROJECT TYPE – Commercial

The Process

The Brief; The business had been started by 2 mates and had grown organically to a modest size, however, both owners had agreed that they had hit what they described as an invisible glass ceiling resulting in them struggling to grow further. When talking to the owners about the business 2 things became clear.

  • They had reached there current point without a plan, simply starting with a handful of client orders and relying on word of mouth for further opportunities, as well as a friendly banking relationship to help fund growth.
  • It was also clear when talking to each of them separately that they each had a very different view of what the future looked like which hadn’t been discussed between them.

The solutions resulted in several steps;

  • First we spent time talking about each of their views and vision for the business with a near, mid-term and long-term horizon perspective. 0-2 years, 2-5 Years & 5-10 Years.
  • When each realised that the other had very different views, quite a bit of time was spent on working on common ground as well as agreeing what amongst the other views and ideas could be modified, tweaked or agreed.
  • Once much of this was worked out a few outliers still existed but the bulk of the thinking had become common ground after some modifications and in some cases concessions by each of them.
  • From there we moved to creating a plan that involved financial, production and market initiatives that were tactical in nature in the short term and more strategic as well as aspirational in the longer term.
  • The output was a 10 year plan for each of them as leaders in the business, as well as a plan for the business itself. The plan was probably slightly more challenging for 1 and perhaps a little more conservative than the other might have otherwise aimed for. What was important though was the each agreed to the plan and each signed off on it, happy that this was the right plan for the business.


3 years down the track the business is well on the way to achieving its growth objectives. They have a new factory and investment in further plant. They have also moved up the food chain taking on much bigger projects from new clients. I touch base with both owners every 6 months to ensure they remain on target to achieve their plan.

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