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Strategic Planning: What the Participants Say...

Strategic Planning is not a common exercise for labour unions. Those who have share their experiences in the comments below. If you have any questions about the process, use the chat feature below, or email us at 

The Cornwall Professional Firefighters Association called upon Bill Cole’s expertise in Strategic Planning in the Spring of 2023. The Executive Board had recently gone through a changing of the guard, and direction was needed as we began to learn our new roles. The multi day strategic planning was imperative in setting goals and direction for us to follow in the coming months and years. Cole Labour’s ability to steer us into some difficult conversations has helped us grow as an executive board as well as form deeper bonds and understanding of each of our visions of our Associations future. Starting with an extensive list of goals and objectives we whittled our list down to just the most imperative and achievable goals. This has given us a blueprint for where to go next to achieve them. The sessions with Bill have laid the groundwork to give us an achievable and considerably better future for our members.

James Brough, President, Cornwall Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 849

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Over the span of a decade we benefited from Bill's guidance in several strategic planning exercises. Many key parts of our team coalesced as a result. At the start I gave no thought to things like mission statements but, for the first time, we sat down and thought about what we do as an Association. The mission statement, on its own, put us all on the same page. Our organization was successful in achieving many of our objectives with Bill's assistance. We talked about major challenges and how we would navigate them, and we were better for it. 

MS - President, Large First-Responder Association 

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Bill Cole hosted a strategic planning session for our union executives. Bill's facilitation skills were evident from the outset of the session. He created a supportive and inclusive environment that encouraged open and honest dialogue among all participants. His adeptness at guiding discussions ensured that all voices were heard and respected, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that allowed for the sharing of diverse perspectives.

One of the most impressive aspects of Bill's facilitation was his talent for asking thought-provoking questions. His ability to challenge our assumptions and encourage critical thinking pushed us to delve deeper into the issues at hand. By guiding us through a series of insightful questions, Bill helped us uncover underlying concerns and identify innovative solutions that we may not have otherwise considered.

In addition to his facilitation skills, Bill's approachable demeanor and excellent communication skills further enhanced our experience. He was able to explain complex concepts and ideas in a clear and concise manner, ensuring that everyone in the room understood the discussions and could actively contribute.

Overall, the strategic planning session facilitated by Bill Cole was a truly transformative experience. His exceptional ability to facilitate constructive conversations allowed us to engage in meaningful dialogue, challenge our thinking, and develop effective strategies for our union. I would highly recommend Bill's strategic planning services to any organization seeking to foster collaboration, inclusivity, and strategic thinking in their planning processes.

Emily MacDonald, Vice President, Cornwall Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 849


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