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This client Testimonial describes the experience of one CEO client who worked with Gagnon Associates to develop a strategic plan for his company coincident with a major strategic acquisition.  He describes the strategic planning process and its effectiveness in helping to meld executives from both companies into an effective, new leadership team:

From January through April of 2008, we engaged the services of  Gagnon Associates, to assist the executive team here at Noble with the task of developing a new Strategic Plan.

We had just completed a major acquisition in Europe that almost doubled the size of the Company.  We were in the beginning of the process of not only combining our businesses – one in North America and the other in Europe – but, since the entire senior management team of the European business stayed on to continue to run the business, we also needed to meld together two very different cultures, while determining how to create value.

Let me begin by saying that, in this context, Gagnon Associates’ involvement with Noble was invaluable.  Their experience with other companies, combined with their ability to quickly understand Noble’s situation, allowed all of us to hit the ground running, and made our Strategic Planning Process very efficient.

I previously mentioned the need to integrate two very different cultures from Europe and North America.  It was important that the senior management team be aligned on our plans for the future and comfortable working together.  Ray structured our planning sessions in such a way that each person had a chance to present and discuss their specific issues.

There were, of course, many tangible benefits from our Strategic Planning Process.  First and foremost, perhaps, these meetings helped us to set the long-term Vision for the new Noble International, LTD.  As a part of that Vision, for the first time in the history of the Company, we laid out concrete plans to diversify Noble beyond its traditional automotive base.  These plans included concrete Goals and Strategies, as well as accountable individuals and detailed implementation timetables. The process also helped us to define common metrics as well as to lay out a road map for how to take product successes from one region to another.

While these tangible outputs were important, of equal importance to me as CEO was the opportunity that the Planning Process provided for this new, global senior management team to work together and become more comfortable with each other.  In our earlier planning sessions the interaction was good, but as people became more comfortable with each other and confident that their ideas were being heard, the interaction became fantastic.  By the end of our last planning session, each of the executives who participated truly believed they had played an important role in developing our new Strategic Plan and that their voice had been heard and respected.

I’ll simply conclude by saying, I would engage Gagnon Associates again for any other assignment without any hesitation, and would provide a positive recommendation to other companies considering utilizing the expertise of Gagnon Associates.