TrueNorth provides customized, high-impact workshops for management teams that want to – or need to – implement significant change in strategy and/or operations. Our knowledgeable, experienced facilitators use the best in learning exercises, video, and computer-based presentations, most of which have been developed by TrueNorth exclusively and specifically for the homebuilding industry. Nowhere else will you find such tightly targeted information; nowhere else can you get information presented so efficiently and effectively.

Every client situation is unique. The TrueNorth item process ensures that all workshops are on target and provide data and information for action:

  • Interviews with executives, employees, suppliers, trades and/or customers reveal both strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Survey feedback and data are incorporated into workshops for learning exercises addressing your particular environment.
  • Advance reading and exercises are used to ensure participants are fully engaged prior to attending some of our higher level workshops.
  • Indoor and/or outdoor team building exercises, with lessons applied directly to homebuilding, provide a dynamic learning environment.
  • Participants are assured a lasting learning experience because they have a little fun while accomplishing significant work.
  • Client-specific follow-up and activities ensure appropriate application after the workshop.

TrueNorth workshops, appropriate to your specific needs, ensure productive action long after the workshop is done. Participants clearly grasp the importance of work they’ve accomplished and, one year later, there will be no doubt that the workshop contributed to both individual and organizational growth and process improvement. There will be a strong consensus that as a result of a TrueNorth workshop, things got better!

Planning Workshops

Action (Tactical) Planning

All TrueNorth item projects culminate with a one-day, two-day or three-day planning session; you choose the planning workshop most suitable for your needs. All begin with a roughly ½-day meeting for all or most employees during which we present item findings (after discussion with your management team, of course.) The importance of this step cannot be overemphasized: if employees have been surveyed or interviewed, it is critical that they recognize that you heard their opinions and at least acknowledge their point of view. This step greatly reduces resistance to change, yet it is surprising how many builders and other consultants want to skip it in a misplaced effort at cost reduction. It is so important that TrueNorth includes it as part of the item package.

The second ½-day of a one-day workshop is spent with a core team charged with breaking down the information and prioritizing steps, thus ensuring that something constructive is immediately seized. We ask the question “How will what was just learned change the company?” and in one-half day the answer becomes the action path forward.

The two-day planning workshop takes advantage of the Process Improvement Target Assessment and adds construction-oriented team building exercises. The three-day workshop incorporates the Training Needs Survey and the Community Startup Evaluation (part of Community Startup Re-engineering) and moves to an off-site venue to become the Good to Great retreat for key managers. It includes the construction-oriented team building exercises and action planning of the other two workshops, but then branches into either the Strategic or Operational Planning workshop described below.

For more information on how the various item tools and Planning Workshops can be packaged to address your situation, contact us.

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Strategic Planning

Workshops are available from one to three days in duration. Take a strategic view of strengths and weaknesses, your sources of competitive advantage, operational competencies and local short-term and long-term market opportunities – all with an eye toward increasing competition, land scarcity, and looming labor shortages. Understand the three strategic categories: product, market, and business-model. Clearly define what business you are in and, just as importantly, what business you are not in.

Emphasis is placed on growing beyond pseudo-strategies based only on short-term, land-driven opportunities. If needed, this workshop can include defining your mission, vision and guiding principles.

Operational Excellence

Workshops are available from two to three days in length. Gain a clear consensus on exactly where the company is now, where it wants to be in five years, and how you will get there. As an option, define the company’s mission, vision and guiding principles. Apply process & process improvement feedback tools such as the Process Improvement Target Analysis, TradeCOMM or Quality Culture Assessment.

TrueNorth stresses an operational philosophy of continual process and product improvement to achieve ongoing operational excellence. Identify “Best Known Processes” and determine how to implement them in an ever-changing framework. Challenge each process to add value, reduce waste or shorten cycle-time.

In longer workshops, develop an implementation plan with specific process improvement initiatives, measurable three and six month goals, and significant nine to 12 month change targets. Operational Excellence can be combined with elements from Strategic Planning to create a comprehensive, 2-day management planning workshop.

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Builder of Choice

If you are not certain you have the best employees, the best trades, and the best crews of those trades, this workshop is designed for you. Become the Builder of Choice for employees, customers, suppliers, trades, investors, developers, community authorities, and even other builders. Workshops range from one-half to two days. Explore 12 knowledge and skill elements necessary to compete and prosper. Determine direction, set priorities, challenge personnel to expand their thinking and adopt new paradigms. Longer workshop sessions include action planning and implementation strategies to immediately launch workshop decisions.

Supplier of Choice

Explore key skill and knowledge areas that manufacturers, distributors, suppliers & trades need to compete to establish themselves as “Supplier of Choice” in the eyes of builders. Become more than a mere supplier of a product or service, become a recognized problem-solver to builders. Understand a builder’s challenges and opportunities; think in new ways to earn and keep a builder’s business.

Workshops range from one-half to two days in length. Longer versions include specific action planning and implementation plans so decisions made in the workshop can be effectively and immediately launched. For more information or to find out if you should be working toward Supplier of Choice status, contact us.

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