Our Approach


A no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation makes sure we understand your needs, goals, and desired outcomes.

Start with a free initial consultation. To work effectively, Strategy By Design needs to understand your needs and goals. Using this discussion as a starting point, we prepare a proposal to fit your desired outcomes and time frame. CONTACT US to schedule yours.

Set a course for success. Our processes help overcome previous unfortunate experiences with strategic planning. Rather than poorly conducted, fruitless experiences that seem to be a waste of time, our processes guide all participants to effective outcomes.

We engage organizational leaders, staff, volunteers, and audiences—identifying their core needs and goals. Strategy By Design takes steps to ensure everyone sees—and can follow—a clear path to a fully executed plan.

Focus on process. We use interactive methods to help organizations build a foundation of organizational learning. That learning enables you to create desired, impactful futures. These engaging group processes create a baseline organizational knowledge. You can build on that baseline through implementation of your plan and in later planning cycles.


Our work helps leaders set goals and follow measurable action plans to successful outcomes. Each step in your strategic plan engages organization members as vital components in growth and learning.

Understand Requirements

Explore the organization’s mandates, culture, and environment.


Analyze Systems

Review the organization's current systems to build on success and overcome hurdles.


Identify Priorities

Clearly define the order of the organization’s needs and goals.


Create a Plan

Design a specific action plan that defines the steps to success.


Apply the Plan

Implement your plan with measurable steps and assigned responsibilities.

Achieve Organizational Goals and Build a Foundation for Continued Success


Strategy By Design processes are based on proven system tools and sound research.

Employ interactive tools. Strategy By Design helps clients identify strengths and review weaknesses. Using proven systems, we partner with clients to create a viable business strategy with clear steps for success. We focus on improving the whole system, not just individual parts. We facilitate:

  • Strategic planning
  • Asset mapping
  • Appreciative inquiry
  • World Cafe™ group process
  • Organizational design
  • Interactive system design

Apply a systemic approach. As a centerpiece of the work, Strategy By Design applies the systemic approach of John M. Bryson, the McKnight Presidential Professor of Planning and Public Affairs at the Hubert M. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Bryson’s seminal work, Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations, 4th ed. (Jossey-Bass, 2011), is considered the go-to resource for public and nonprofit strategic planning practice.

We also use the Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence framework. It is based on core values and concepts that represent beliefs and behaviors found in high-performing organizations:

  • Systems perspective
  • Visionary leadership
  • Valuing people
  • Organizational learning and agility
  • Focus on success
  • Managing for innovation
  • Management by fact