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Babson's Elizabeth Thornton Addresses Wellesley Chamber on Strategic Planning in Turbulent Times


“You need a strategic plan with solid analysis and objective thought to bring you through these turbulent times,” says Elizabeth Thornton, President and CEO, Entrepreneurship Advantage Inc, and part time entrepreneurship faculty member of The Arthur M. Blank Center of Entrepreneurship at Babson College.

The event was the Babson College/Wellesley Bank Business Series at the Wellesley Chamber's Networking Before 9 breakfast held here at Babson.

Thornton says a strategic plan in times of trouble will help businesses adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. “You need to know your priorities, and have clarity on how you are competing…all this will help you better understand what is actually sustainable over time.”

According to Thornton, a successful strategy plan will explore how your business is:

  • Generating cash and securing financing for growth
  • Ensuring cost control and profitability
  • Hiring high-quality employees for growth
  • Implementing systems and planning for future needs
  • Delegating operational planning
  • Formalizing the strategic planning process and sharing with key managers

“Strategy is a unifying theme that gives a coherence and direction to actions and decisions of an organization,” says Thornton, “It will deliver a sustainable competitive advantage.”

When discussion turned to the ever increasing number of “dry pipelines”, Thornton cautioned on the usual assumptions, and instead encouraged business owners to dig deep to understand the real causes.  “It might be more than stagnation in sales,” she said.

Thornton welcomes questions from business owners through email: 

She will also provide an electronic copy of her workbook on “Strategic Planning for Sustainability and Growth.”