Fresh Ideas Group
Fresh Ideas Group

“If you continue in the direction you are going, you are likely to end up where you are headed.”
    -- Ancient Chinese Proverb

Strategic Planning
Recommended Reading | References


Building a visionary company simply cannot be done without a strong base – an alignment among the leadership and key employees of the enterprise regarding the vision, the purpose and the values that drive the everyday operations. I have extensive experience in leading companies through the process required to develop a truly visionary company.

Over the years, I have worked with a number of different “technologies” developed for strategic planning. I am now a strong advocate of a process introduced by Jim Collins in his books, "Good to Great" and “Built To Last.” The process is simple, elegant and effective. It is based on extensive research and extracted from the practices of companies that Collins and his co-author, Jerry Porras, have separated out as being consistently excellent over a long period of time. The thing they have in common? They all operate out of a strong, vital vision that is an integral part of their company culture. They live it, breathe it, think from it and operate consist with it on a regular and disciplined basis. That is what separates the truly great companies from the “also-rans.”


“Built To Last” Jim Collins & Jerry I. Porras, Harper Collins Publishers - 

“Good to Great” -- Jim Collins, Harper Collins Publishers -


“What I hadn’t anticipated was the level of enthusiasm my entire team demonstrated both during and post retreat. We have run through our share of business consultants and planning facilitators over the past nine years, and Larry Bangs is the first to get a unanimous ‘thumbs up’ vote from each of my staff. A true testament to his talent and his efficacy in team building that betters the business as well.

It should noted that our team is 100 percent women and we’re a communications firm so one can only imagine the challenge in getting a word in edge wise. Not a problem for one moment for Larry, who not only won our trust but nurtured our ability to be much better listeners, a profound achievement.”

Sylvia Tawes
The Fresh Ideas Group

“During the retreat, Larry Bangs did an extraordinary job of galvanizing skeptical owners and executives from our association. In the course of a day, he led us through a variety of sessions resulting in our having developed a Core Purpose, Core Values and a set of 5 Year Goals. Most of all, Larry got us to see where we were “stuck” as an association. At the time, we were known as CIPA, “California Interior Plantscape Association.” With Larry’s coaching, we committed ourselves to a big leap – moving from a state association to one that serves the entire country. From this was born our change in name. The results have been very gratifying. We held our first convention and trade show outside of California. It was a big success, attracting plantscapers from as far away as Maine, and we can truly say we are now a national association.”

Mary Golden
Plantscape Industry Alliance

“One of the truly lasting contributions Larry Bangs made to the school was leading us in a strategic planning process wherein we articulated our “Core Purpose” and “Core Values.” That purpose and those values now form the bedrock for our school. We refer to them constantly and strive to live up to them every day.”

Karen Barela
Culinary School of the Rockies

“I’d like to thank you for leading our highly successful goal setting session. In the four months since our meeting, we have met or exceeded those goals in many areas. Your ability to focus our attention on key issues while still allowing freedom to brainstorm was instrumental in motivating the Board. You are a very effective facilitator and we appreciate your skills.”

John Cunningham, D.D.S.
Marin County Dental Society