Bruce Elkin Executive Coaching, Strategic Design & Planning Consultant

Executive Coaching and Design-Driven Strategic Business Planning

Executive Coaching

Are you satisfied with your capacity to create results — in spite of change and adversity? Or just struggling to keep up?

Are you still seeking but not finding that elusive "life-work balance?"

Or are you successfully integrating life, work, relationships in a consciously-chosen hierarchy of value?

Do you find it difficult, even threatening, to confide in colleagues and those you manage?

Would you benefit from bouncing ideas and concerns off an executive coach with 25 years of experience in coaching individuals and working with teams?

"Bruce Elkin has an exceptional ability to teach the creative process and relate it to the circumstances of peoples' lives and businesses. He is a great personal success coach, and an exceptional executive coach."

- Duncan Dow, Business Consultant, Vancouver, BC

My Executive Coaching approach is based on a set of skills and structures that Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline calls "personal mastery."

Personal mastery is the capacity to create high-level results, starting with whatever you have to work with, and whatever circumstances you find yourself.

Executives with high levels of personal mastery are consistently able to realize the results that most deeply matter to them. They are committed to their own lifelong learning and growth.

Personal mastery is the basis of both team mastery and organizational mastery. It is, as Senge, says, "the cornerstone of an effective, results-creating, learning organization.

I work with individuals who want to increase their personal capacity to create results. I also work with teams who want to develop the organizational capacity to co-create outstanding results together.

For more information about my Executive Coaching approach, email me with "Executive Coaching" as the subject line.


I'm happy to offer you a complimentary 45-minute consultation in which we can see if your needs and desires fit with what I offer.

"Bruce is one of the most effective coaches I have worked with."

- Josh Dorfman, Author, TV Host, Vice-President, Marketing, for GoodGuide, Inc.

For three fascinating success stories involving business people and entrepreneurs, check out Success Stories.

Bruce's Background In Business and Consulting

Bruce has 25 years experience designing programs, projects and businesses.

He founded the Yamnuska Mountain School, which became one of Canada's leading adventure companies.

He designed and managed the Executive Seminars Division for One Step Beyond World wide, in the Canadian Rockies.

He started and ran Uncommon Sense Coaching and Summit Strategies: Strategic Design and Planning.

He has designed change processes for organizations from Fortune 500 giants to high-tech start-ups, from home-based enrepreneurs to multi-stakeholder groups in fisheries and forestry.

For ten years he trained and worked closely with Robert Fritz, author of Corporate Tides and the Path of least Resistance for Managers.

He was also an associate of Innovation Associates, a Boston-based firm co-founded by Fritz and Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline.

He consulted, coached designed programs for, or facilitated training for such businesses and organizations as: ALCAN, Motorola, Advanced Gravis Technologies, Ciba-Geigy, Scotia-McLeod, Control Data Institute, Pemberton Securities, Touche Ross, Vantage Securities, BC Central Credit Union, Esso, Texaco, PetroCan, Pacific Synergies, Jade Simulations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Banff Centre for the Arts, The Open Learning Agency of BC, Alberta Forestry, BC Ministry of Environment, BC Ministry of Forestry, BC School Trustees Association, Malaspina College, Mount Royal College, MacMillan College, BC Health Administrators, Calgary Board of Education, Mission School Board, Gulf Islands School District, Calgary YMCA, Alberta Camping Association, Canadian Camping Association, Canada World Youth, Outward Bound, BC, Outward Bound, NC, Sierra Club, BC, and numerous other schools, organizations and associations.

"Unblelievable effect and impact. We've never come together like this. A fantastic job. You have a skill industry can use."

- Al Redmond, Sr. Vice President, Ciba Geigy Canada

Design-Driven Strategic Planning: Training, Consulting and Coaching

Are you struggling to improve your team's strategic business planning?

Would you like all levels of design, strategy and tactics to lead to greater organizational effectiveness, exceptional leadership, and productivity-enhancing creativity?

BEWARE! Conventional planning processes may not get you there!

Most conventional 'strategic planning' is neither. At best, it is a tactical, low-level approach to problem-driven programming.

At worst it is a reactive grasp for relief rather than results.

Lacking integration, it often leads to internal conflicts, inconsistent performance and wasted resources.

However, a design-driven "results-creating" approachto strategic business planning and training can help you and your team soar while your competitors plod.

"Strategic planning is an oxymoron. Most strategic planning is neither."

- Henry Mintzberg, Author of The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning

Is this how planning often works in your organization?

Do your planning processes often degenerate into confusing, conflict-filled arguments over what matters and how best to achieve it?

Do big thinkers leave realistic bottom-liners shaking their head in confusion, while action types keep muttering, "Let's do something; anything?"

Are conversations peppered with idea-killing "Yeah, but...!" objections?

Does it take too long to generate plans and, when they're finally done3 they're out of date within weeks and sit, gathering dust, on a shelf?

Design-driven strategic business planning is different.

This is how it could be:

Imagine excited and committed planning teams -- from senior execs and owners to the management team tasked with implementation -- coming together to craft and share clear, compelling visions of what they most want to create.

Imagine your teams grounding those visions in mutually agreed upon and accurate, objective assessments of current reality.

Imagine the discussion about reality centering on "what already works?" and "what is the best thing we already do?"

Then imagine everyone holding vision and reality in a "Yes, and..." creating framework that naturally and easily leads to your best next steps.

Imagine having a solid platform from which to consistently generate the most effective actions needed to help you build the bridge from where you are to where you truly want to be.

If you're not already there, don't worry. You're not alone.

Henry Mintzberg, the world's leading expert on strategic business planning, is right. Most of what is called strategic planning is neither.

Conventional strategic business planning is often just tactical programming. It is low-level, reactive, and out of date as soon as current reality changes.

That's why so many expensive strategic plans sit on shelves, unused, gathering dust, and generating confusion and frustration.

But there is hope!

Truly strategic business planning is preceded by design.

Instead of a limited, energy-sucking focus on merely fixing problems, truly strategic planning focuses on what you truly want to create and what you already do well.

Your individual and collective efforts go toward leveraging your current capacity, creating what matters most, doing it better than anyone else - and reaping the rewards of success!

Truly successful businesses and organizations envision their desired outcomes - the results they most want to create - before they assess their current capacity or circumstances, and before they lay out implementation strategies.

Such vision-driven organizations have an energetic and competitive edge over all others. They make more, last longer, and people love to work in them.

"This approach will be critical to our success. You have a remarkable ability to communicate."

- Richard Yank, Vice President, Human Resources, Alcan Aluminium, Ltd.

Creating and co-creating results that truly matter!

In order for a team to design or co-create outstanding results, individual members must first be able to create results in their own work and lives.

There is no point in adopting an expensive planning approach if individual team members lack the skills to apply the principles and practices on their own.

Without first developing team members' personal mastery, and without a shared language and framework in which to design and co-create desired results, most team building and strategic business planning processes fail.

The design principles and practices of creating and co-creating what matters most can be applied to all levels of strategic planning consulting and strategic planning training. They create a useful context and a solid platform for continuous strategic business planning and development.

My creating approach (and the skills and structure that comprise it) is the basis for what Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline calls "Personal Mastery." It is also the basis of organizational and business mastery.

Creating is the cornerstone of my design-driven strategic business planning approach, as well as my strategic planning consulting and training.

I worked with Senge's personal mastery mentor Robert Fritz for 9 years, and spent two as an associate of Innovation Associates,a Boston-based firm co-founded by Fritz and Senge.

What's Involved?

My strategic planning consulting includes workshops to increase both personal mastery and team mastery. Such sessions are both training and working sessions that lead to immediate results.

I facilitate Design-Driven Strategic Planning Training sessions for executives, managers, and specific teams to ensure everyone is on the same page, working within the same vision-driven, reality-grounded framework for continuous planning and implementation.

I provide follow up coaching to ensure that team members successfully transfer skills and structure they learn in training to their day-to-day jobs.

"The best two days of strategic planning training I have ever attended."

— Glen Farrell, President, Open Learning Agency of BC

Designing an on-going strategic planning framework

My strategic planning consulting and training focus not on "the plan as artifact". Instead, I help you and your team co-create a dynamic framework for continuous, just-in-time planning.

My strategic planning training equips team members with the skills and the structure they need to keep their eyes on what matters most and to adjust plans and action to accommodate changes in reality as they occur.

Personal mastery development plus on-going strategic planning consulting improves action learning, feedback, and real time application. It ensures that your strategic planning consistently leads to outstanding results - regardless of the problems, circumstances, and adversity you face!

Sounds like common sense, but such an approach is not often seen in conventional planning, which research by experts such as Mintzberg and others is rapidly showing can be expensive wastes of time, energy, and morale.

When team and organizational mastery builds on personal mastery, truly strategic planning and outstanding results become not only possible but also probable.

"It helped us immensely in the strategic business planning process, especially in communication and focus."

- Grant Russel, President, Advanced Gravis Technologies

How Does it Work?

My Personal Mastery/Co-Creating What Matters Most Workshop is an effective basis for strategic planning training. It provides team members an opportunity to master design-driven strategic business planning skills and framework, and apply them to their own jobs and life.

As they master the skills and process of creating on their own, my strategic planning consultation helps team members extend and apply those skills to co-creating outstanding results together.

Making personal mastery the basis of strategic business planning and strategic planning training leads to more effective working relationships, less stress, better communications, and far greater results.

It also dissolves many of the common problems that plague the conventional strategic business planning done in many businesses and organizations.

"The most valuable program I have seen in terms of all-round communication and strategic planning training. It works!"

- Sandy Carter, Vice-President, Advanced Gravis Technologies

For more information about my strategic planning approach, please email me with "Strategic Design Info" as the subject line.

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