Woodwinds & Wisdom

Today we are happy to introduce you to our new blog series and its author Francis Loughheed. This post will introduce you to Francis, our resident expert in Results Based Strategic Management. In this series he will cover topics including, Purpose of an organization, Strategy, Operational Planning, Performance measurement,Integrated approaches and more.

Strategic management


Welcome to a new series of blog posts on the concepts of Strategic Management and some ideas on implementing an integrated approach to strategy, operations, performance measurement and contributing to results.

First, a little about myself and why I am writing this series of posts.  My name is Francis Loughheed. In my deep dark past I was studying oboe, the instrument that Samuel Pepys called an “ill wind that nobody blows good”.  I was attending an audition for L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal with 45 applicants for one spot and a 4 hour delay in the auditions start.  It occurred to me that there were many more fine oboists than orchestral positions and maybe there were interesting opportunities in the back office. I applied to the MBA program at York University that had an arts administration component and was invited to take the program.  It was an interesting and life changing experience.  I loved marketing, struggled with statistics and got through finance.  Organizational behaviour was a revelation to me where the biggest organization I had ever experienced; a symphony orchestra, was fundamentally an 18th century benign dictatorship!

I found strategy class one of the most interesting.  The concept of seeing the big picture and linking it to operational activities captivated both my left and right brains.  It was both creative and practical.  Since that time, I have worked with literally hundreds of organizations and business people.  I have had the joy of working in both public and private sectors, profit and non-profit.  In all of these instances, I have seen good strategic management and abysmal strategic approaches.

One of my most interesting experiences was working with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation as Strategic Planning Advisor. For almost three years, I got to explore, test and work in a day-to-day manner in developing, promoting and managing the links between strategic planning, operational plans and budgets, and developing a corporate performance measurement framework to inform decisions at multiple levels of the organization.  The result was the development of an integrated approach to strategic management that I called Results-Based Strategic Management (RBSM).  More on that later.

The goal of these series of blog posts is to explore the ideas behind strategic management, strategic planning, the link to budgets and operational planning, and finally the role of performance measurement.  Along the way, we will look at simple, elegant solutions to creating environments that promote organizational excellence and sustainable operations.  These ideas are applicable to both public and private sector organizations, profit and non-profit alike.  I hope you will enjoy the series.

We look forward to your questions and comments.  I can be reached at floughheed@otusgroup.com

In our next post we will define strategic management.

P.S.  I did graduate with an M.B.A.  One of my greatest accomplishments was to do so and maintain my sense of humour.

Cheers, F.





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OTUS Group is a business advisory firm and our mission is to help make your organization stronger. We get things done, and when we do, our clients have peace of mind and a sense of control.

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