L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, is the CEO of Boomer Consulting, Inc. He has served on council and several committees through the AICPA with Tom Hood. The two had worked together on strategic planning for firms around the country, and had the opportunity to witness the development of each other’s processes. When it came time for Boomer Consulting to do their own internal strategic planning, they asked Tom to facilitate.
Tom Hood has facilitated an annual Strategic Planning session at Boomer for the last seven years. Each year, the group begins by discussing areas of progress and major priorities of the company over the previous year, and comparing those observations to what subjects had been addressed at the last session. This look back is followed by an investigation of market trends, both in and outside of the industry, and members of the group share which trends they think will be most impactful to the company in the coming year.
The sessions themselves have been described as “participatory, engaging, and energetic,” by L. Gary Boomer. “Everyone, no matter their position, has their voice heard. It’s a very positive environment where everyone takes away as much as they put in,” he says.
The annual sessions have been formative for Boomer Consulting. One of the hardest things for a company to do may be to give up product or service lines, but Boomer has chosen to let some of their lines go after taking a hard look at them through the lens of the Strategic Planning process. The tough decision has worked in their favor.
Mr. Boomer attests that the biggest payoff of having BLI and Tom back annually is the focus it brings to his company. The process, as much as the plan that comes out of it, is credited with paying the dividends and helping people reach consensus. Keeping an eye on the big picture saves people from getting bogged down in the details or jumping at every false opportunity. “Having worked with Tom Hood over the past five or so years, we find that it’s immensely beneficial to us to have the same facilitator back annually. This gives the process continuity, and brings it a level of accountability that wouldn’t be there if we were to bring someone new in each year. This way, we’re not hearing about the hot topic of the moment, but rather having the conversations that we need to be having.” L. Gary Boomer, CEO