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  • Website: http://www.thealphastrategies.com
  • Location: Canada

One-Line Bio

Author, Speaker, Educator, and Consultant

Biography

A lawyer by training, Alan discovered strategic planning during his corporate career when he was asked by a well-meaning facilitator to huddle in a corner with five other senior executives of the company and write a vision statement for it; "it" being a highly successful, multi-billion dollar public company. All this on a scrap of paper - in 15 words or less - and with no instruction on how this was to be achieved.

Alan declined that opportunity. But he instantly fell in love with the discipline, strategic management and needed to know more about it. It seemed to him that the discipline was obviously so young that, unlike the law, it was filled with "white spaces" and unknowns - the true love of any consultant. Everyone thought, at that time (and, far too many others, even now) that all that was needed for successful strategy communication were vision and mission statements and the use of a huge variety of synonyms for the word, strategy. And if those synonyms could be made double and triple barreled, so much the better. Alan's personal favorite: "Overarching Strategic Themes". Use that in your strategic plan and you'll have employees scratching their heads for months, if not years.

Since then, Alan has pursued a career in strategy communications consulting and teaching. Since 1992, he has been an instructor (in strategy, of course) for the Schulich Executive Education Centre at the Schulich Shool of Business. He is a sought after speaker on matters of strategy, risk, major capital projects planning, and strategy communication.

Alan has a great deal of board and governance experience. (He was a lawyer, after all, and did serve for many years as secretary and general counsel to the board). Alan understands the requirements necessary to support informed decision-making by board members.

Alan's first book, The Alpha Strategies: Understanding Strategy, Risk, and Values in Any Organization, was published in February 2013.

For the record, Alan's consulting services focus on articulating and putting to paper meaningful descriptions of present strategy, using The Alpha Strategies methodology which he pioneered - but, for which he cannot claim total ownership! The methodology is pure Henri Fayol, tempered by some Peter Drucker, and greatly influenced by Trego, Zimmerman, and Canada's very own Dr. Henry Mintzberg.

Alan believes that If agreement can be reached on descriptions of current strategy, then decision-makers are able to begin consideration of changes to current strategy.

Alan believes there is no such thing as "We don't have a strategic plan". All that statement means is that the plan isn't written down anywhere. But the strategies are all being implemented. Isn't it time to agree on what those strategies are?