Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS STRATEGIC PLANNING?

Strategic planning is a fundamental tool for an organization, serving as a guide for the years ahead. It also involves designing or consolidating coherent and effective tools such as action plans, financing strategies, business development strategies, communication strategies and more.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING?

The strategic planning process aims to clarify the approaches to be developed for the years ahead. It untangles ideas while mobilizing an organization’s stakeholders to establish a common vision.

HOW IS STRATEGIC PLANNING CARRIED OUT?

With Espace Stratégies, the strategic planning process follows a participatory approach developed with the client. Planning begins by putting all ideas on the table without judgment, considering at this stage that all ideas are valuable. It concludes with the selection of the best opportunities outlined according to the objectives set in the opening phase, aligned with the organization’s vision and values.

WHY CONSULT STAKEHOLDERS DURING STRATEGIC PLANNING?

Consulting stakeholders provides a comprehensive view of the organization and a better understanding of its scope. The true strategic positioning, or the organization’s identity, is defined by clients or stakeholders based on their expectations of it.

HOW CAN STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION BE SOLICITED DURING STRATEGIC PLANNING?

Apart from traditional brainstorming workshops, stakeholders can be engaged in various ways, such as online surveys, street surveys, focus groups, one-to-one interviews, public consultations, economic forums, or regional symposiums.

WHAT ARE THE PARTICULARITIES OF MUNICIPAL STRATEGIC PLANNING?

Municipal strategic planning establishes a vision for territorial development. It can also contribute to better understanding certain issues such as population aging, improving mobility, strengthening citizens’ sense of belonging, industrial and commercial revitalization, climate change and providing more consensus-based solutions.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF MUNICIPAL STRATEGIC PLANNING?

With Espace Stratégies, municipal strategic planning unfolds in 5 steps: project initiation and planning; stakeholder consultation (citizens, organizations, businesses, etc.); strategic reflection; drafting the strategic plan and developing the action plan.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE DURATION OF MUNICIPAL STRATEGIC PLANNING?

Tipically, municipalities opt for a three-year strategy but may extend it to a five-year strategy. In rare cases, especially for large cities needing further projection, municipal strategic planning can span a longer horizon, up to 10 years for some.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DEVELOP A MUNICIPAL STRATEGIC PLAN?

Developing a municipal strategic plan typically takes 4 to 6 months on average. Its duration largely depends on the size of the municipality or regional county municipality (RCM), regional context (such as prior experience with strategic consultation) and varies based on the type and number of consultations conducted.

WHAT IS STRATEGIC REFLECTION?

Strategic reflection encompasses any form of workshops or activities facilitating collective or individual contemplation on the organization’s future.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FORMS OF STRATEGIC REFLECTION?

Strategic reflections can take various shapes, ranging from informal gatherings to an elaborate process spanning several weeks, including annual meetings or brainstorming sessions that may or may not lead to strategic planning.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT?

Organizational development aims to optimize an organization’s resources. It aligns the respective interests of an organization and its human resources to achieve a mutually beneficial situation.

WHAT IS ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT?

Organizational development aims to foster organizational growth by maximizing its human potential. It operates on three levels: rational, emotional and relational.

WHAT ARE THE AREAS COVERED BY ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT? 

The covered areas primarily include redefining leadership and management approaches, evolving engagement and culture, as well as fostering employee professional development.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT?

To ensure an organization’s development, it is crucial to analyze human impacts, identify situations that threaten or foster it while minimizing stakeholders’ resistance to change. Projects and their execution must correspond to employees’ reality and be effectively communicated to ensure credibility and foster change acceptance.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONAL GROWTH?

An organization can experience various growth types throughout its lifecycle. These may include temporary decline, growth plateaus, rapid growth, or hyper-growth. Each represents different management challenges, highlighting the importance of identifying these growth phases accurately. Contrary to common belief, accelerated growth phases often pose significant management challenges.

HOW TO MANAGE GROWTH?

Growth often occurs in stages. The company may encounter a plateau if growth slows down and revenue stabilizes. In such cases, it’s essential to identify new business lines or ways to reach new customer segments to reignite the growth mechanism.

WHAT IS A GROWTH CRISIS?

A growth crisis arises from rapid change and inadequate time to adjust adequately, potentially putting the company in a precarious situation. It is often caused by a mismatch between expenditure timing and revenue inflows or outdated organizational systems.

WHAT PROBLEMS CAN BE CAUSED BY GROWTH?

Growth brings along its set of challenges such as hiring unqualified personnel, lack of time or structure leading to customer loss, or escalating costs resulting in liquidity exhaustion. Ironically, sometimes it’s necessary to slow down the pace of decisions, especially those with long-term structural impacts.

WHAT IS LABOUR SHORTAGE?

Labour shortage refers to both the lack of personnel and the mismatch between available positions and human resources. According to several experts, due to the current demographic reality, this situation is expected to last for at least a decade. However, episodic phenomena such as a recession could create a better balance in the shorter term, but without fundamentally altering the shortage backdrop.

HOW TO ADAPT TO LABOUR SHORTAGE?

The best approach to address labour shortage is to work on multiple fronts. This includes focusing on organizational performance through innovation and digital transformation, as well as recognizing employees through suitable working conditions and a strong employer brand.

WHAT IS COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT?

Commercial development encompasses a set of actions aimed at animating the municipality and fostering the commercial flourishing of a sector. It serves to meet residents’ consumption needs and contributes to the vitality of the territory

WHY ENGAGE IN COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT?

Commercial development can be relevant in the context of revitalizing commercial offerings in struggling neighborhoods where, for instance, numerous commercial spaces remain vacant. It can also serve to enhance the offerings of a neighborhood with a strong commercial vitality or support businesses in managing multiple storefronts or in developing large-scale projects, such as shopping centers.

WHAT IS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?

Economic development refers to positive changes in the structural transformations of a geographical area or population: demographic, technical, industrial, health, cultural and social. Such changes lead to population enrichment and improvement in living conditions. This is why economic development is associated with progress.

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES RELATED TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?

Economic development focuses on creating new businesses, maintaining, surviving and optimizing existing businesses, developing innovative sectors and attracting investments.

HOW HAS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EVOLVED?

Economic development is now divided into four major roles that overlap and have emerged successively over the past 50 years. Firstly, the role of an industrial commissioner who optimizes the use of available land for development; secondly, that of a business mentor in all phases of growth; thirdly, a network agent using an approach that brings together project stakeholders; and finally, the opportunity creator who identifies and connects businesses on concrete projects.

WHAT IS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?

The term “digital transformation” refers to the integration of new technologies related to digitalization within an organization’s practices, both in terms of production and management.

These technologies include information systems (CRM, ERP, data management systems), robotics and automation technologies, artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, as well as tools enabling communication between different systems. It involves converting all organization processes at all levels.

WHY EMBRACE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?

Digital transformation enables the automation of specialized tasks and levels of complexity never before reached, ensuring better integration of all processes and real-time communication with clients, partners and suppliers.

An organization that delays adopting digital technologies risks falling behind competitors, losing market share, and accumulating costly delays to catch up. From an institutional perspective, it ensures better service delivery and significant efficiency gains.

WHAT IS ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR THE SUCCESS OF A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?

Digital transformation can cause major changes in how an organization operates and can prompt resistance. Therefore, ensuring effective change management at all levels is crucial.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A VISION AND LONG-TERM FRAMEWORK?

A long-term vision provides a unifying objective for the organization and facilitates the alignment of all stakeholders. This vision determines the impact the organization aims to have and its pace of long-term growth.

WHAT IS STRATEGIC VISION?

Strategic vision defines guiding principles and projects an organization’s future. Without a clear vision, the organization risks navigating blindly, taking detours, possibly without ever reaching the desired goal. Among other things, the vision sets the tone for strategic reflection.

HOW CAN VISION AFFECT THE ORGANIZATION?

Having a clear vision mobilizes all organization stakeholders towards a common direction and fuels subsequent strategies and projects.

Based on the vision, it’s easier to determine targets to achieve and strategic priorities for the years ahead. It ensures coherence in decision-making and directs actions towards medium and long-term objectives that help the organization structure, develop and endure.

HOW CAN A STRATEGIC VISION BE DEVELOPED?

The long-term vision will be defined through the participation of the working committee and stakeholders (management team, board of directors, or organization representatives), taking into account the organization’s positioning and development ambitions. Subsequently, it extends to the rest of the team and influences all operations.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE IN AN ORGANIZATION?

An organization’s governance is one of the main pillars of its proper functioning. Its purpose is to define procedural rules ensuring efficient processes within an ethical environment.

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE?

Several elements are essential to maintaining sound governance: clear rules and policies, a well-defined ethical framework, good communication of expectations among stakeholders and coherence between the expectations of the board of directors and those of senior management.

HOW SHOULD A BOARD OF DIRECTORS MANAGE ITSELF?

A good board of directors should ensure adequate monitoring of its operations through self-assessment, establish a clear and well-structured integration process for any new board member, have a team and a board of directors mobilized around a common mission and have a neutral and diversified board of directors.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES RELATED TO GOVERNANCE?

Organizations may face various governance-related challenges such as:

  • Insufficient mobilization of a stakeholder, failing to fulfill its role as dictated by the organization’s rules
  • Overstepping responsibilities by a stakeholder, becoming overly involved in operations to the detriment of the organization’s functioning
  • Inadequate involvement or mobilization of the board of directors around the organization’s mission
  • Unclear roles of stakeholders due to policy or regulatory gaps
  • Immobilism hindering the organization’s progress
  • Lack of succession planning

WHAT IS THE SWOT APPROACH?

The SWOT approach (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is the classical approach used in most strategic planning processes. It documents an organization’s or a company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats present in its environment.

WHAT IS THE STRATEGIC ASSETS APPROACH?

After several years of experimentation and with a focus on simplifying the strategic reflection process, it has become apparent that it is more effective to first focus on the strategic assets that an organization or company possesses. A strategic asset is an element, tangible or intangible, that contributes to value creation or revenue generation. An asset can be performing or not and from a strategic standpoint, identifying an underperforming strategic asset quickly becomes a first opportunity to explore.

WHY USE THE STRATEGIC ASSETS APPROACH?

Starting with the identification of strategic assets allows for rapid work on the organization’s strategic positioning, a position given by the clientele or users. The concept of strategic positioning is transposed into an identity concept when the notion of clientele is less present, for example, for municipalities or institutions.

SHOULD THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT BE CONSIDERED IN THE STRATEGIC APPROACH?

Indeed, it is essential to consider the external environment. This is why we identify the current trends in it that may impact the organization’s development and the achievement of its mission, as well as the dynamics present in that environment.

WHAT IS STRATEGIC ADVISORY?

Strategic advisory encompasses all activities related to an organization’s or a company’s strategy but in a broader sense. Thus, strategic advisory will cover global issues and challenges and identify major solution paths or priority strategic choices.

WHAT SITUATIONS COULD BENEFIT FROM STRATEGIC ADVISORY?

Strategic advisory is ideal in the following situations: support for management in operations management, updating a strategic plan or an action plan, implementing a strategic plan, occasional support for a value-added project, addressing a specific issue, preparing meetings with the board of directors, a council of mayors or elected officials, the management committee, the management team, or shareholders, or revising the business model.

WHAT IS AN INNOVATIVE PROJECT?

An innovative project refers to a structuring initiative capable of transforming an organization or an ecosystem. This could involve developing a new growth platform, a research center, an acceleration space, or any other type of value-creating project in a living environment or for an organization.

WHY DEVELOP AN INNOVATIVE PROJECT?

In the context of an organization, an innovative project has the potential to push it further and open new doors. When referring to an economic ecosystem, these are structuring initiatives that will have a long-term impact on their environment or sector of intervention. An innovative project thus has the power to evolve our organization or community.

WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT IS OFFERED TO DEVELOP AN INNOVATIVE PROJECT?

Advisory for developing an innovative project can take various forms, including project development, analysis of the environment and competitive landscape, search for existing concepts, networking with domain experts or key actors in the ecosystem, writing a funding application or proposal for a project call.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO DEVELOP AN INNOVATIVE PROJECT?

The essential steps to develop a project: feasibility or pre-feasibility study to validate the “Go” or “No Go” regarding the project; the business plan; as well as the elements for implementing the project (partnership strategy, governance, staffing structure).

WHAT ARE THE DELIVERABLES OF AN INNOVATIVE PROJECT?

The deliverable can take several forms: a research report based on collected studies and analyses, including an annotated bibliography; a feasibility study; a business plan; drafting forms for project application submission; and relevant studies and analyses.

WHAT IS AN ORGANIZATIONAL DIAGNOSIS?

Organizational diagnosis is aimed at any organization facing issues related to its proper functioning, its resources (human or financial), its operations, or its strategic alignment.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN ORGANIZATIONAL DIAGNOSIS?

The process allows for an in-depth analysis of the organization’s internal mechanisms. It will highlight issues and challenges that may affect organizational health in terms of operational structure, financing structures, governance, internal management policies, human resources practices, strategic planning, and much more. It will thus provide recommendations that will enable the organization to target the identified issues and implement effective and sustainable solutions.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN EXTERNAL DIAGNOSIS??

Espace Stratégies can help organizations conduct an external diagnosis to understand how they position themselves within their ecosystem. Some of the questions to ask include, for example: what are the trends and dynamics at play in the external environment? How is the organization perceived in its environment or by its partners? What are the external factors and pressures that may influence the organization?

WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR COMPLETING AN ORGANIZATIONAL DIAGNOSIS?

The organizational diagnosis process typically spans 1 to 3 months, depending on the organization’s needs.

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OR DELIVERABLES OF AN ORGANIZATIONAL DIAGNOSIS?

An organizational diagnosis includes observations, recommendations and an implementation proposal based on the information gathered and the analyses conducted. The process may also include a user survey, employee, administrator, partner, or key stakeholder groupings, as well as discussion workshops to coordinate the various parts of your organization.

WHEN MIGHT AN ORGANIZATIONAL DIAGNOSIS BE USEFUL?

You might need organizational diagnosis if you feel that your organization is facing obstacles preventing it from projecting into the future and fulfilling its mission; experiencing high turnover or lenghty board meetings and decision-making difficult; sensing tensions within internal teams; noticing duplicated services or unfulfilled services; or experiencing dissatisfaction with operations management.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING A FEASIBILITY STUDY?

The study could simply seek to: obtain a picture of a specific situation, whether related to the activities of a territory, a population, the employment sector, or the competitive market, to better understand the current situation or facilitate decision-making; clarify the feasibility of a project before preparing the business plan; obtain a critical mass of information to gauge market sentiment as part of a commercial study; unearth strategic information; gather expertise to better define a particular project currently under consideration.

WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR CONDUCTING A FEASIBILITY STUDY?

The duration varies according to needs and may extend over a period of approximately 2 to 6 months, depending on the depth and scope of the project to be defined.

HOW TO CONDUCT A WORKSHOP?

Each workshop should be tailored to the specific needs of the organization. The use of an external facilitator is generally recommended. This allows for an independent view of the situation without personal bias, enabling all stakeholders to focus on the discussion at hand.

An external firm will be able to design workshops in co-creation with the client, considering factors such as the type of facilitation, presentation, content and themes to be addressed. To do this, they may use traditional or innovative approaches as needed and remain constantly vigilant for inspiring new methodologies.

WHAT TYPE OF FACILITATION SHOULD BE CHOSEN?

Espace Stratégies has developed extensive expertise in facilitating various types of workshops, particularly in applying a strategic thinking process.

Thus, it is important to vary plenary sessions with subgroup or even individual activities to strike a balance between idea generation and the consensus sought for this activity.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM CUSTOMIZED WORKSHOPS?

Any type of organization can benefit from workshop facilitation services, whether in the municipal sector, businesses, non-profits, or economic development organizations. Each workshop is unique, as each is designed based on the information desired, the size of the group and the type of people present.

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST YOU WITH WORKSHOP FACILITATION?

Espace Stratégies can help mobilize stakeholders and facilitate custom workshops tailored to different situations, such as a board of directors meeting, a strategic retreat, or team mobilization.

WHAT FORMS CAN WORKSHOPS TAKE?

Depending on organizational needs, workshops can take various forms such as: strategic reflection workshops with stakeholders; one or two-day brainstorming sessions; public consultations; economic forums, economic summits, or regional conferences; or one or more consultation workshops to build strategies or conduct a study.

WHAT IS AN ACTION PLAN?

An action plan is an operational tool that prioritizes projects to be undertaken following the completion of a strategic process. An action plan allows, among other things, to establish the schedule and designate budgetary resources for each action listed, as well as the individuals responsible for its implementation. It should also include concrete objectives and performance indicators.

An action plan should be reviewed annually to ensure proper project monitoring and to update the initial strategy if necessary. Espace Stratégies is able to provide an external and independent perspective to facilitate action prioritization and maximize the chances of strategy success.

HOW IS AN ACTION PLAN DEVELOPED?

An action plan generally takes the form of a dashboard, which is a reference tool that can be used throughout the year and revised in subsequent years.
 
It is necessary to prioritize short-term opportunities (one year) and establish the initial steps for medium or long-term opportunities (2 to 5 years).

HOW TO DESIGN AN ACTION PLAN?

The process of designing an action plan may include prioritization workshops to untangle the various paths and opportunities that emerged during previous reflections. This includes consultation activities internally, usually at the management team level.

It is proposed to address certain questions such as:

  • What are our decision-making criteria?
  • What human and budgetary resources are required for the successful completion of each action?
  • What are our goals?
  • What are our outcome or impact indicators?

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST YOU WITH YOUR ACTION PLAN?

Espace Stratégies can assist organizations in the annual review of their action plan. This often requires reflection workshops to assess the relevance of the paths and opportunities:

  • What actions have been completed to date?
  • What actions have not yet been completed? Why?
  • Was there a lack of time or resources?
  • Has the context changed and requires a new approach?
  • Were there transformative elements for the organization over the past year?

WHEN SHOULD AN ACTION PLAN BE DEVELOPED?

An action plan can be developed following any strategic reflection process, whether it is a strategic plan, research strategy, communication or marketing strategy, financing strategy and much more. It applies to all types of organizations.

WHAT IS A STRATEGIC PLAN?

A strategic plan is the result of a process that aligns the organization’s development for the next few years by making informed choices while avoiding dispersal.

The reflection exercise preceding the strategic plan allows for an in-depth examination of the mission, vision, strategic positioning, values and various present opportunities to identify priority directions for the organization.

The strategic plan thus proposes a clear direction and should be followed by the implementation of an action plan. The strategic plan then becomes the most important document for the organization and will serve as its compass for the years to come.

WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC PLAN?

The reflection process behind the development of a strategic plan varies and can span a period generally between 3 months and 6 months, depending on the complexity of the organization and consultations to be held.

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OR DELIVERABLES OF A STRATEGIC PLAN?

Typically, the strategic plan includes the following elements:

  • Mission and values
  • Strategic positioning or identity
  • Development vision
  • Priority issues for the organization
  • Strategic directions and objectives
  • Objectives and measurement indicators
  • Action plans distributed over the short, medium, or long term

WHO CAN DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN?

This approach applies as much to the strategic planning of an organization (business, non-profit, institution, for example) as it does to territorial planning for an economic development organization, a city, or a regional county municipality.

The strategic plan is a perfect exercise for organizations wishing to:

  • Engage stakeholders
  • Align their resources
  • Mobilize teams
  • Clarify their directions and define their development strategies
  • Communicate their development intentions to stakeholders

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS THAT CAN BE INCLUDED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A STRATEGIC PLAN?

Several types of analyses and forms of consultations can be carried out as part of a strategic plan. These elements depend on the type of organization, specific needs and issues related to each context and also depend on the organization’s budget.

The following elements can be added to the process:

  • A survey of partners, members, merchants, users, the population and any other stakeholders
  • One-to-one interviews (partners, clients, etc.)
  • Focus groups
  • An economic forum or regional conference
  • Specific analyses on supply and demand
  • A 5-function organizational diagnosis
  • An action plan (in addition to the strategic plan)
  • Ad hoc strategic advisory for other customized needs
  • And other activities specific to the organization’s context

WHAT IS A STRATEGIC REFLECTION PROCESS?

A strategic reflection process involves bringing together the perspectives of different stakeholders within an organization to share a common vision and prioritize opportunities.

Strategic reflection requires less involvement from management compared to a strategic plan. It is a streamlined process that allows focusing on the essentials.

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OR DELIVERABLES OF A STRATEGIC REFLECTION PROCESS?

Typically, a strategic reflection process will cover some elements of strategic planning, concentrated in segments that require immediate attention. At a minimum, it should review the vision, issues and major orientations.

WHO CAN UNDERTAKE A STRATEGIC REFLECTION PROCESS?

This approach applies to businesses, non-profits, or economic development organizations. The major difference between strategic reflection and a strategic plan is the duration of completion and the level of participation it demands.
 
Strategic reflection is ideal for organizations that:
  • Want to focus on what is essential
  • Have limited resources preventing them from completing a full strategic plan
  • Need to make informed decisions quickly

WHAT ARE THE GROWTH CHALLENGES FOR BUSINESSES?

The business context is constantly evolving, presenting companies with three typical situations:

  • On a plateau: The company maintains the same situation but struggles to find its next growth phase.
  • Experiencing rapid growth: The company undergoes rapid growth, creating a rush of activity. The rapid decisions it must make will have long-term impacts on its organization, requiring careful consideration.
  • Facing challenges: The company encounters specific difficulties negatively affecting it and seeks to stabilize its organization or resume growth.

Additionally, companies may face particular issues, such as in human resources or in an entrepreneurial succession project.

WHAT IS A GROWTH STRATEGY?

Entrepreneurs often have numerous business opportunities and struggle to prioritize them. Developing a growth strategy allows, for each opportunity, an examination of the estimated revenue potential over several years, in the short or medium term. The growth strategy also determines whether the volume of opportunities is sufficient to achieve the set goals and explores new avenues or revises objectives if necessary.

Whether the company is in a precarious situation or facing a crisis, a growth strategy allows for rapid intervention and short-term response to find development levers. It can also lead to preparing meetings with potential investors or better aligning daily operations with research and development.

WHEN SHOULD A GROWTH STRATEGY BE CONSIDERED?

A growth strategy can address the following aspects, depending on each organization’s needs: revising the business model and business plan; analyzing growth opportunities; reviewing assets and the organization’s strategic positioning; identifying market trend changes; selecting innovation paths in management practices, products, and services; and gaining a better understanding of customer needs to find unique and differentiating elements in the offer.

A growth strategy can also guide the company’s trajectory and plan its growth over the medium and long term. It can help navigate entrepreneurial succession issues, find a merger and acquisition strategy, discern the best opportunities and measure risks.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF RAPID GROWTH ON AN ORGANIZATION?

The impact of rapid growth on all internal systems of the organization is often underestimated, as is the pressure this rapid growth puts on the company’s financial capacity and liquidity.

Systems that were effective with the organization’s previous size no longer work. Hiring (including onboarding and learning periods) does not meet current needs. The bank relies on outdated data and credit lines are no longer sufficient. Necessary investments in expansion or equipment upgrades will require significant capital input. And so on…

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST WITH A GROWTH STRATEGY?

Espace Stratégies can assist any type of company in this process, regardless of the business area.

With participatory methodologies, an understanding of market evolution, and recognized expertise in strategy, Espace Stratégies can adapt to the company’s context, identify promising development opportunities and establish relevant connections with key stakeholders. Furthermore, due to its extensive knowledge of the business ecosystem, Espace Stratégies can engage experts in specific areas to complement its expertise.

WHY SHOULD AN INNOVATIVE BUSINESS SEEK EXTERNAL HELP TO ENSURE ITS DEVELOPMENT?

Innovative businesses often underestimate the impact of rapid growth on important strategic decisions for the company and their implications. External perspectives help ensure the long-term vision remains on track and provide the right tools to make these decisions.

UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST A TECH COMPANY?

Tech companies often face rapid growth, which brings numerous challenges and requires agile management of cash flows, human resources, innovation and research and development investments. Espace Stratégies can guide a technology company in its strategic journey to reach its full potential.

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST A TECH COMPANY?

Espace Stratégies can help devise the best strategies for the company’s growth potential and identify the right business model based on the competitive environment and business practices in the targeted sectors.

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?

While each non-profit organization operates within its unique context and faces its own challenges, Espace Stratégies has identified several recurring issues impacting these organizations, including diversification of funding sources, governance structuring, documentation of organizational processes, adaptation of service offerings to emerging trends, workload overload amidst labor scarcity, among others.

Espace Stratégies has been able to support these organizations by cultivating their strategic reflexes through strategic thinking and planning processes, developing business plans for the implementation of strategic projects, conducting organizational diagnosis, as well as implementing change management plans.

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS?

Espace Stratégies can:

  • Assist your organization in redefining its service offerings based on the current transformation of your ecosystems
  • Provide support for the growth of your businesses, including assistance in producing business plans and more complex financial arrangements
  • Support your entrepreneurs in integrating digital, Industry 4.0, and artificial intelligence considerations into their business models
  • Aid your teams in structuring significant projects such as technopoles, innovation zones, incubators, and accelerators
  • Conduct analyses, studies, and sectoral research for which you may lack internal expertise
  • Enhance your organization’s client approach towards entrepreneurs and start-up companies in the territory
  • Plan the economic, industrial and commercial development of your territory
  • Support the development of your commercial structures
  • Engage your community and businesses in consultation activities, whether traditional or focused on co-creation
  • Provide internal support for your recruitment and human resources challenges

WHAT IS A COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (CDC)??

A Commercial Development Corporation (CDC) primarily consists of a gathering of merchants and business individuals located on a street or within a defined geographic area. Its main mission is:

  • To liven up the community
  • To support merchants in their activities
  • To advocate for the interests of its members
  • To organize promotional events and enhance the territory’s value

It is an initiative implemented by and for the community.

HOW DOES A COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (CDC) OPERATE?

Established as a non-profit organization, it has its own board of directors and governance rules.

When setting up a commercial development corporation, businesses in the area have an obligation to contribute financially to support its activities.

The CDC is also supported by the city where it is located and, in some cases, by the borough. Although it is a private initiative, the CDC is a legally regulated organization that takes the form of an independent entity.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF A COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (CDC)?

Similar to a city or a regional county municipality (RCM), a CDC acts within its territory to address issues affecting its members and its development.

Externally, a CDC must address problems impacting the viability of its street or commercial area, including activities and image.

Internally, a CDC may face numerous organizational challenges, whether in governance, recruitment, or mobilization.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING A COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (CDC)?

The challenges are manifold:

  • The street or area is struggling, evidenced by a high vacancy rate or declining foot traffic
  • The area is vibrant but has not reached its full development potential
  • The area is undergoing major construction work affecting commercial activity, leading to decreased traffic to businesses
  • The area seeks to establish a strong and distinctive commercial positioning to stand out from other commercial hubs
  • The CDC aims to develop a mobilizing vision for its members to prioritize actions and make the best choices for its territory
  • The CDC faces governance and board mobilization issues

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES?

Espace Stratégies can:

  • Develop a comprehensive and inclusive strategic plan considering all stakeholders in the territory
  • Provide expert guidance in implementing strategies, tools, action plans and project prioritization
  • Identify a relevant and distinctive economic positioning for the organization
  • Facilitate collaboration among socio-economic actors, such as coordinating their needs or establishing an economic forum
  • Assist the organization in project proposal submissions for an incubator, accelerator, or other significant projects
  • Support the development of complex business plans
  • Conduct organizational diagnostics, provide human resource management support or recruitment
  • Update the socio-economic profile of the territory
  • Plan the structure of commercial streets and develop a commercial development strategy
  • Plan the development of industrial parks
  • Consider sustainable development in territorial planning or development, as well as in significant projects

WHEN CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES?

Espace Stratégies can assist cities and municipalities when:

  • They require support in territorial planning or strategic planning due to lack of time, internal resources, or to benefit from independent expertise
  • They have a new economic development mandate, but lack internal knowledge to plan effectively
  • They are facing a new governance structure in the territory
  • They want to establish a long-term vision for the territory in consultation with elected officials
  • They aim to promote collaboration among all ecosystem actors and avoid working in silos

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST A SOCIAL ECONOMY ENTERPRISE?

Similar to for-profit enterprises, social economy enterprises must:

  • Establish sustainable strategies, especially in the context of scaling up projects
  • Conduct feasibility studies and market research for their projects
  • Market their products and services
  • Develop a marketing plan, communication plan, or sales strategy
  • Consider organizational development for their structure

WHAT IS SOCIAL ECONOMY?

Social economy refers to the ecosystem of organizations or enterprises whose primary mission is focused on serving members and the community rather than solely profitability.

The organization aims to address a community need and prioritizes human capital. While still seeking economic viability, social economy enterprises measure success more based on positive impacts within their communities.

They often have democratic operational methods and distribute revenues or reinvest profits within the organization. These organizations more commonly take the form of non-profits or cooperatives.

HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST A COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (CDC)?

Espace Stratégies can assist a CDC in various needs to invigorate the commercial offerings of your territory. We can, among other things, help the CDC to:

  • (Re)define the commercial positioning of the street to identify the uniqueness of your territory
  • Develop the CDC’s strategic plan, involving all stakeholders (CDC staff, directors, members, institutional partners, citizens, etc.)
  • Implement a commercial recruitment strategy to attract new businesses to occupy vacant premises or influence the commercial mix composition
  • Establish a profile of commercial offerings, including establishment inventory by typology, composition of the commercial mix, vacancy rates, etc
  • Establish a profile of commercial demand, for example, by studying foot traffic, consumer origins, and all socio-demographic data. Some streets may have a local focus, while others attract customers from other neighborhoods or cities
  • Conduct a walking diagnosis, surveying the street on foot to determine its assets and create a dynamic portrait of its reality and challenges