Many professional practices find the whole idea of strategy and planning difficult.

Each partner has different aims, views and values so to try and forge some form of consensus about the future of the firm appears impossible. Without an agreed vision for the future, it then seems difficult to build a comprehensive business plan that allows those tasked with marketing, human resources, technology, finance or premises to prioritise their activities.

Whether it is helping to facilitate a partner retreat or conference where we craft a strategy and business plan, or a longer term assignment where I talk to each of the partners on a one-to-one basis and then undertake market and client research, I have helped many firms develop or refine their strategies and business plans.

Strategy requires an unusual blend of analytical and creative skills. It must be underpinned by rigorous analysis using established frameworks and discipline. But it also requires the ability to “helicopter” above so that the big picture can be seen, to identify strengths, gaps and weaknesses and to make bold choices and decisions about what position to adopt and where to focus resources.