MNP Strategic Planning:
Mapping our Future
"We don’t just make plans; we achieve them."
It’s a statement well-earned from our proven record of being able to set a lofty but reachable vision for the firm and having the insight how and when to evolve that vision. Plans are our beacon, offering guidance on day-to-day decision making and are the standard upon which we measure our success. On the eve of the next strategic plan, this article looks back at our 30-year history of strategic planning to offer some insights about where we have been and where we are headed.
"The credit for developing MNP's 1990-1991 vision really belongs to Don Penny. It truly was Don's vision that he sold to the partners of the day and that he continued to sell to future partners."
Daryl Ritchie [partner, 1982-2017, and CEO, 1998-2015]
1991 Strategic Plan
The firm’s first Strategic Plan, launched in 1991, is recognized as the bold and ambitious turn point that charted our course to the firm we are today. It created the firm’s first mission statement and outlined our primary ambitions. As noted in the firm’s history book, Finding Our Way, it was seen as a “significant stretch,” considering it called for a 16-partner firm with $9.1 million in revenue to grow to 50 partners and $25 million in revenue. Yet, through aggressively pursuing mergers and recruitment of individuals who could expand our service offerings, the firm far exceeded that goal by 1998, with $40 million in revenue.
2000 Strategic Plan
“The best solution for every client every time.”
Developed over the course of a year by consulting every single office, the second strategic plan was truly a grassroots initiative where buy-in and sharing of vision were paramount. The published plan that resulted from this process set out the priorities for improving the health of the firm to allow continued growth and marked a turn towards a cohesive vision and unified team. Looking back at this plan, two notable impacts on the firm to this day stand out: 1) it clearly established a long-range vision for a geographically expanded firm — at the time across the West; and 2) it introduced that ‘fun’ could be a strategic goal, something completely different and unique from any other professional services firm. Both tenets are very much alive today and critical to MNP’s success.
2005 Strategic Plan
“Knowledge beyond numbers.”
A true “stay the course” strategic plan, the 2005 strategic plan focussed on how we would get better at what we were doing. The dual compasses of staying true to MNP’s core values and paying attention to our client’s needs were the dominant themes. This plan set new profitability goals, service delivery expectations, targets for niching expansion and set out to complete the network of offices in new regional service models.
2009 Strategic Plan
“We have the opportunity to create something truly unique.”
The vision of expanded geography reached its natural conclusion with expansion into central Canada just prior to MNP’s 2009 planning cycle.
Armed with a new national vision for the firm, the 2009 plan focussed on cementing the “one size does not fit all” concept that remains critical to our success.
Acknowledging and allowing for differences meant that offices, niches and services could be run and resourced differently according to their unique needs. Supporting this principle was an adjustment to the governance model based on the matrix of service lines, regions and niches. As acknowledged by CEO Daryl Ritchie in Finding Our Way, the vision and principles articulated in this 2009 plan set the stage for the future development of the $1 billion-plus firm.
2014 Strategic Plan
Much like the 2005 plan, the 2014 strategic plan was about growing into the vision articulated five years earlier as a national, full-service firm. The "continuation of our journey" theme stated in the plan spoke to both the immense opportunity afforded by the new national footprint and the time it would take to fully realize our potential in these regions.
The plan reflected the strategies that MNP would need to employ to keep moving toward its vision. As noted by Jason Tuffs, who served on the 2014 strategic-planning committee, “The new strategic plan no longer was so focused on adding new things, but on capitalizing on what we had already built.”
As of fiscal 2019 year-end, the $800-$900-million growth target set in 2014 had been fully realized.