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a blog by Chris Barrow

Renewing your strategic plan

After a break of just over two years, I have today welcomed back into full coaching a former client. The initial project was to work with them after they had purchased an existing “middle of the road” NHS family practice from a retiring dentist. Back in 2006-2008 I had the pleasure of helping them to re-brand, refurbish and relaunch their business, complete with new name. We also re-educated their existing team and patients as to the benefits of modern independent dentistry. There comes a time for some when they need to fly their own kite – that happened in 2008. The client called me with those familiar words “Chris, we need to take a break from you and consolidate the things you have taught us.”I hear that a lot – and don’t sulk but congratulate – and leave the door open. Today, at their request, we enjoyed a reunion and shaped an ambitious business plan for the next three years that will increase production and profitability by 50%. More importantly, the male principal (its a man & wife business) will escape from a trap of overwhelm that has insidiously crept up on him in the time we have been apart. He had some direct feedback today about too few holidays and too little time at home with his wife and young daughter. Strategic Planning isn’t a one-off exercise. My experience is that clients have to renew their plan every 12 months and often go for a complete re-write every third year. That’s how things are nowadays – fast. Today we took a blank sheet of paper and fashioned an imaginary work of art. Now we will work together again to make that a reality. Then he will fire me again – and I will know that my work has been successful. In a world of abundance, that will be a victory. You know who you are – I am blessed to work with lovely people.

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