About This Practice
Business Improvement Architects | bia™ provides an effective framework for strategic planning; one that ensures collaboration and engagement at all levels as well as alignment of departmental goals with corporate goals.
How We Can Help
We’ll help you develop a clear sense of direction through our strategic planning process and set clear targets for every part of your business to make your desired future a reality.
Going through strategic planning is an exhilarating experience. It engages your creative and intellectual juices and it’s energizing and motivating. Yet too often, after the strategic plan is finished it sits on a shelf without implementation or does not get fully implemented. This is because there is usually no buy-in or ownership by the people who have to implement it because they had nothing to do with the planning.
That’s why our strategic planning process is different. We make sure to get input from all levels of the organization because this makes for a better strategic plan and encourages buy-in and ownership by the employees who will have to implement it.
Our process begins by helping you set your vision and then guides you to examine the key influences on your operation and the key challenges you currently face. You’ll explore the key relationships you have with customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders to confirm that key strategic imperatives maintain your benchmarked position. And we’ll make sure that you incorporate a clear understanding of your company’s core competencies into your strategic plan. This will lead to development of creative and innovative strategies.
Engagement at All Levels of Your Organization
We’ll engage all levels to contribute to the strategic plan so that departmental strategies link to the overall corporate strategic plan. This includes: understanding the voice of the customer, conducting benchmarking and identifying opportunities to engage employees throughout the strategic planning process. Through this process, your leaders will develop strategic thinking skills and understand how to create an inclusive, strategic conversation throughout the strategic planning process.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.
Maintaining Market Leadership
This manufacturer had maintained their leadership position for a couple of decades. The last strategic planning session they had held, which they conducted with another vendor, was almost 10 years ago. The experience was poor so they resisted any attempt at undertaking another facilitated strategic planning session. However, the President realized that strategic thinking was necessary if they wanted to maintain their market share and decided to contact us. Although the leadership team was very tentative about bringing us in, within the first half day of the session they were completely engaged in the process. The final strategic plan gave them a new direction. They created new products and services. They restructured and they examined many of their key business processes for improvement. After completion of their two year review they invited us back to help them create their new strategic plan.
Overcoming a Competitive Threat
Our client is a dominant force in the marketplace for specialized training in North America and has held this position for the last two decades. Their highly specialized training is a requirement by many industries to maintain certifications for safety and to ensure their employees meet all regulatory requirements. When a competitor announced that they were going to start operations in the same location within the next 6 months our client called us in to help them develop a strategic plan that would abate any threat from the new competition. The outcome of a focused and intense strategic planning session was the identification of the key strategies they would implement to manage this competitive threat. The resulting changes enabled this client to successfully continue their operations in the face of significant competition.
The Air Cruisers Company hired Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects to help them learn how to implement innovation.
"As the Master Lean Six Sigma Black Belt for my company, I was tasked by the upper management team to 'implement' innovation. Michael worked very closely with me to tailor a program to meet our exact needs. Over the 3-day session, Michael not only taught our team about innovation but worked with us to develop a complete innovation process, starting with a vision of the program, all the way to the implementation of the innovative ideas. Not only did we learn how to create an innovation strategy, culture and process, but we left the work session with a turn-key solution for starting our innovation journey. Over the course of the 3 days, we worked in groups to actually complete tasks such as: developing a vision, creating plans to reshape our culture, developing the future structure of our organization, and generating innovative ideas. Michael's innovation 'work session' far exceeded all of our expectations and I would highly recommend his services to anyone starting on an innovation journey."
This chain of convenience stores has worked with Business Improvement Architects (bia™) for over 10 years. bia™ has worked with the executive team on leadership and coaching, including a 360-degree feedback process. We have also worked with staff through major change initiatives brought about by integration of other organizations that Couche-Tard purchased as well as training on a new Performance Management System.
"Business Improvement Architects helped us to significantly reduce the impact of integrating employees between two diverse cultures into one organization. Previously we suffered a loss of staff and a slow amalgamation of processes. Their approach brought significant change in a relatively short span of time."
DNR hired Business Improvement Architects to help them implement innovation. We trained most of the employees in the Forestry Branch. They were very excited about the possibilities that Innovation has for them and so we then took a select group of individuals through a session to explore innovation more deeply through a process in which they developed their vision, strategy and culture.
"Taking your advice, we conducted our launch in a 'Town Hall' setting, which provided an opportunity for committee members to inform the region about the overall committee structure, ongoing upcoming initiatives, and the process to contribute ideas and get involved. We are excited about the level of engagement we have sustained through this process, and there have been lots of discussions/ideas around improving the way in which we conduct business which, at the end of the day is our main priority."
The Ministry of Environment was faced with the challenge of defining and documenting the scope of a large, complex and very high profile project. Their concerns centred on being able to develop a common understanding of the projects, its components, schedules, benefits and risks.
"Our experience with Business Improvement Architects and with Janet Williams is very positive and productive. The upfront cost associated with going through this type of project definition and planning exercise is insignificant compared to the potential cost and recriminations of a project gone wrong. The final results exceeded expectations. Janet Williams has helped us document the project in a manner that is professional, complete and credible. This will save us a great deal of effort and cost as we move forward."
Facilitating leadership development through assessment, coaching, consulting and training, the Business Improvement Architect's (bia™) team worked with senior executive, mangers and staff to help them build leadership competencies. bia™ stayed with them throughout the process helping them to develop and implement their key strategies and implementation plan.
"Business Improvement Architects has been instrumental in helping us develop our leadership team. Through the implementation of their recommended processes and continuous guidance throughout, they have helped us build a team of successful leaders and together we have increased customer service, employee satisfaction metrics have increased and projects are implemented more efficiently. I recommend bia™ for their strategic perspective, on-going support and practical measurement tools."
Three separate art facilities in a large city received a mandate from the local government to combine operations in order to better service general public needs and save costs. bia™ was asked to help the management and staff to unify the operation and help the team to overcome their challenges in bringing the exhibits together in one place. As well, staff did not function well as a unified team, rather, they continued to operate as three separate units within one building. bia™ used an "Innovation Process" and "Project Management" to create breakthrough performance for the staff and the organization. The outcome has been highly successful, with most of the innovations having been translated into projects.
"We are impressed at how Business Improvement Architects has very quickly and effectively managed to get us working co-operatively as a team. We highly recommend them to others."
This manufacturer of computer driver heads in China was looking for a competitive edge to gain revenue and recognized that project management could help them save time and money and improve the level of quality and customer satisfaction. bia™ was called in by the CEO to implement a training program for different levels in the organization in project management. This ensured that the management team, their direct reports and project managers had the shared knowledge to implement a project driven strategy. The strategy has proved highly effective for the organization, leading to acquisition of new multi-million dollar sales contracts.
"Business Improvement Architects has given us much help and guidance in our project management learning. All members of the LAFE team have a keen admiration for bia™."
Brookfield Properties asked Business Improvement Architects to help them implement a Project Management approach that would assist in the execution of their strategic plan. bia™ trained all project managers and project team members as well as those who were responsible for the new strategy.
"Business Improvement Architects successfully helped us apply a sound Project Management process that was effective in helping us execute our strategic plan. We are happy to recommend them to others."
Business Improvement Architects was asked to develop a customized, standard protocol and methodology that could be used for all of their projects. bia™ was highly successful because we recognized that all levels within the organization could benefit from application of a consistent methodology and our protocol addressed this opportunity.
"Business Improvement Architects drove the process to develop a standard protocol and methodology for all levels of the organization to apply consistently and developed a customized GWL Project Management Approach."
Recognizing the importance of project management in ensuring the success of quality initiatives, ASQ asked bia™ to facilitate all Project Management training sessions as part of their on-going public and in-house programming. ASQ has continued to use Business Improvement Architects over the past 10 years for Project Management Training as well as training in Process Improvement, Strategic Quality Planning and Creating Visions and Strategies for Government Services. More recently, bia™ has developed webinars and virtual training courses for ASQ.
"bia™ is an organization that continually meets our high quality standards. They consistently rate highly in their delivery, class management, use of applicable and practical examples of concepts to the theory and ideas they are presenting and their knowledge of and experience with the subject matter they are teaching."
"I literally walked into the class on day 1 with NO project management knowledge. The presentation, exercises and reference sheets have provided me with the confidence and tools needed to be a successful project manager. The most significant thing I learned was how to efficiently manage my time within projects (both small and large)."
Business Improvement Architects has been on faculty with the Gardener Centre of Memorial University since 2003 and continues to work with them to provide open-enrollment programs.
"Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects has been a contract trainer for the Gardiner Centre, (Previously Centre for Management Development) of Memorial University in both open-enrollment programs with diverse clients and for client-customized programs around specific client needs. We have used Michael and his associates on many occasions, and continue to contract with them because of their professionalism, the invariably high participant evaluations and most importantly because of repeat request from our clients for their services. Michael's evaluations have consistently been among our highest."
When Rogers Communications needed to start a new division, they called on Business Improvement Architects (bia™) to help them to develop the strategic plan and structure. The new VP had been put in place but the rest of the team would be identified as a result of the strategic plan.
"If I did not say it enough already, again, thank you for all your help in developing this for us. I really enjoyed working with bia™ on this project."