Scott Thompson, Shasta College Foundation
I’ve always resisted strategic planning. Other people always say, “Yeah, we did our plan but now it’s sitting on the shelf.” But that’s not the case here. This is a working thing; it’s really alive and giving us the focus we need.
Laura and Shawn Sears Co-Founders, Vida Verde Nature Education
As the leaders of a small nonprofit, our to-do list is continually long. The “strategic planning task” was always an item that stayed undone, and near the bottom. But now we are complete and total converts. This type of work makes all the regular days more smooth, pleasant and productive: fewer fires to put out, clearer understanding of what’s important and what can wait, greater funding, smoother relationships, and unexpected respect and status in the community due to our more professional organization.
Greg O’Sullivan CEO, Economic Development On-Call
When we first hired you I had an idea that we’d get some sort of strategic plan. What I didn’t expect was the crystal-clear focus and implementation strategies that you helped us put into place. With your template there is accountability to everything; we were getting results long after our day-long planning session. Plus, you backed us up to address and solve some tough team dynamics that would have been hard to do on our own. Thanks for everything, my friend.
Delores Turner Human Resources Director and Assistant City Manager, City of Emeryville
Eric is fearless in his interactions with everybody on our senior management team. His open, honest, and respectful style let’s you know it’s “all about you.” These characteristics are essential in building trust with our team. We are now communicating and sharing our knowledge and successes, as well as our challenges in leading our departments — and we are now doing more to support the continued development of each person’s leadership skills due to Eric’s stewardship.
Brad G. Bunt, North Texas SBDC
You focused us more in one day than we have in twenty years.
Kristin Ohnstad Former Director of Operations, Teach for America — Bay Area
I most appreciate Eric’s ability to diagnose what’s holding us back from being great managers and suggest research-based — but real-life — solutions that pushed us to the next level. I often found his insights to be a few steps ahead and right on the mark. Beyond this, Eric is just plain fun to work with. He greatly values his relationships and it shows in everything he does.
Barbara Wakefield, Board Member, YWCA-Silicon Valley
I have worked with literally dozens of consultants throughout my 30+ year career in high tech management. After retiring I have also worked with many more in the non-profit sector. It is effortless, and with great pleasure, that I can say that Eric is by far the BEST I have ever worked with. He is flexible, smart, sensitive to all personalities, and intuitive about business needs. Above all he is incredibly effective at getting superb results. I know, this makes him sound like a Boy Scout – but it is all true! As I also specialize in strategic and organizational planning, I know how difficult it is to lead a group through this process to yield a useable plan. Eric does so masterfully with an extensive knowledge base, years of experience, and best of all – a WONDERFUL sense of humor. He is truly a delight to work with and I offer the highest recommendations for his work.
Jay Chamberlin Director, Natural Resources Division, California State Parks
As someone who has participated in many onerous strategic planning processes, I was a little skeptical that Eric Ryan’s program would be much different. I was wrong. Not only did he immediately create trust with our team of engineers and scientists, but he helped us create a focused plan and framework for executing our plan. Several months later our team’s enthusiasm has never been higher and, as their manager, I’ve been able to focus on what matters most.
Teri Cannon Executive Associate Director, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Eric is incredibly gifted at facilitation, ensuring that all voices are heard and honored. He earned the trust and respect of our entire staff and improved our communication, planning, and productivity. He helped us develop an annual plan and to establish a system for monitoring the plan in addition to working with us on our values statement and other strategies that promote productivity and staff satisfaction. Eric’s experience in a wide variety of management areas and his gifts make him an invaluable and successful consultant.
Marquise Jackson, San Diego and Imperial Valley Small Business Development Network
Eric Ryan has helped change my view of strategic planning. Before working with him, I believed strategic planning was basically about creating a three-year (or so) plan. Now I realize that effective strategic planning is actually a continuous and dynamic cycle of strengthening our team’s focus and results.
Karen Mountain CEO, Migrant Clinicians Network
It’s pretty daunting to position a not-for-profit business to make the leap into the international arena while simultaneously managing the challenges of money, people, and mission. Eric has nurtured our staff and board through this process, helping us set clear strategic compass points, focus on our financial health, establish yearly objectives, and achieve and celebrate solid results. While working with Eric, we have streamlined our hiring, orientation, and performance management systems and increased the sophistication of our marketing efforts. We’ve created a plan for financial sustainability and have increased our staff satisfaction scores in 11 of 13 categories. We are a much stronger organization due to the passion and dedication of both Eric and our entire team.
Ted Hiatt Special Projects Manager, Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center
Eric Ryan has the rare gift of bringing a sense of FUN to the sometimes tedious world of strategic planning. He is talented, insightful and brings people together in a lighthearted, easy-going manner. Eric was able to help us develop a framework and strategy for success in less than two days.
Bob Nash CEO, Superior California Economic Development District
I’ve experienced plenty of strategic planning processes that were excruciatingly painful and drawn-out. That’s not the case with Eric’s approach. I’ve attended about seven of his facilitations and his ability to rapidly get group consensus and develop a strategy is impressive. He gets results quickly and efficiently.