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Consulting Approaches

Strategic Planning


This day-long session focuses on assisting both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in developing a meaningful strategic plan. Finding True North means identifying the core values, vision, and mission that inspire associates, guide behavior and build an esprit de corps. Through a set of experiential exercises and practical examples, this program engages participants in an enjoyable and creative process to define:


The organization's core values. 

These are constant and essential tenets upon which associates perform their work, interact with each other, and make decisions. They are the foundation of any purposeful plan.


The vision of the organization. 

The vision statement answers the question: Why are we here? It informs and inspires. Rooted in the values, it clarifies and articulates future goals and benefits.


The mission of the organization. 

The mission demonstrates how the organization intends to achieve its vision. It describes what the organization does and declares its reason for being.


The promise statement.

The program concludes with a draft of the organization's promise statement. The statement is a mantra that influences the behavior of all associates. It is a phrase that succinctly encompasses the mission and vision.

Eric Hansen 
Center for Entrepreneurship, Russia

Testimonial >

-_Eric_Hansen, Center_for_Entrepreneurs

Dr. Ray Smilor was already a globally recognized expert in entrepreneurship development, when our Center, located in Russia, began working closely with him in 2002. Over the following 17 years, Ray developed and delivered multi-day programs that impacted hundreds of people across Russia.  Ray's trainings helped entrepreneurs become successful leaders, taught faculty how to develop entrepreneurship curriculum at their universities, and demonstrated to technopark and incubator directors international best practices in how to run their organizations.  Ray's positive attitude, professionalism, and depth of knowledge makes him great to work with, and earns him the respect of program attendees. 

Phil Hartman 
TCU Dean of College of Science & Engineering

Testimonial >


Ray possesses a keen vision, boundless energy, and a genuine sense of optimism. His ability to harness these same traits in others has allowed our College of Science and Engineering to identify our “True North.”  Ray led our Board and departmental chairs in a series of interactive discussions that gave rise to our College’s mission, vision and values statements. To mix metaphors, Ray was the master of hearding sheep when necessary but also letting horses run wild when appropriate.  Thanks to Ray, our mission, vision and values were clearly articulated and are now firmly inculcated into our fabric.

Creativity & Innovation


This interactive, engaging and enjoyable day-long program focuses on unleashing creativity and innovation in organizations. Participants will recognize their own innate creative and innovative talents, understand blocks to creativity and innovation in their organization and how to deal with them, and learn how to tap into the creative and innovative abilities of associates in their organization. Through experiential exercises, interactive presentations, case studies, and even YouTube videos, the program reveals strategies and tactics to make the organization more agile in responding to change, quicker in solving problems and more effective in taking advantage of opportunities.  


Topics include:

  • Learning How to Think Creatively

  • The Three Great Myths of Innovation

  • Why Some Companies Succeed and Others Don't

  • Transforming Ideas into Opportunities. 

Featured Faculty Speaker Presentation

There is something magical about the creative process. In this video, Ray give a talk on "Learning to Think Creatively" to a group of executives who are consider enrolling in the TCU EMBA program, in which Ray teaches. The video includes a featured presentation by The Great Texini, the marvelous and mysterious magician of Texas.

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