Book Reviews: Achieving Strategic Alignment™

“It is obvious to me that, especially in these economic times, every organization would be best served to create formal account business plans. Taking a strategic, systematic, proactive approach to marketing to existing and new clients will be the key to any organization's efforts to succeed in this down-cycle. It certainly has created an awareness of the clients we wish to target, and results in an environment where everyone knows their tasks, timelines and expected outcomes that will drive success.

“Using Barry's approach we were able to accomplish this goal (building a business model) in a very short period of time, in a format that was very straight forward. Most importantly the information presented was very factual, and in just a few months has given us a very realistic future picture of our upcoming cash flow and cash flow needs. We now have the resource information available to make intelligent future financial plans as to the growth requirements of the company.”

—CollinsWoerman Architects, David O'Brien, Director of Operations, Seattle, WA

“Communicating multiple objectives through multiple business segments while at the same time growing our business was a challenge our company was facing, and quite honestly was struggling with. Barry's process allowed us to take a logical process of accountability and buy-in and combine it with clear, concise, and effective communication to realize results in our company we never thought possible. In addition, the pulse and the enthusiasm within our management group was noticeably upbeat and positive, and months later the energy is still there along with better bottom-line results!”

—Jay England, CEO, Pride Transport, Inc.

“What a beneficial and timely book. It came to me at just the right time, giving me the direction and the strategy our company needed. This book guided our management team as we designed and implemented our successful succession plan.

What a great resource for any management team.”

—H. Austin Kravik, CEO, E F Bailey Company

“Barry's book is a must read for CEOs and those who counsel them. The thorough approach and emphasis on alignment, not just planning, is incredibly timely and valuable. Too many planning sessions and strategic plans are quickly shelved, only to gather dust. Here is a practical, workable approach that ensures the leader can drive into the company parking lot knowing everyone inside the building is aligned with the organization's strategic vision.”

—Scott Seagren, CPCC, ORSCC, PCC, Vistage International-Chicago, IL

“Mr. MacKechnie provides a comprehensive, easy-to-understand roadmap for creating and executing a meaningful Strategic Plan. The structure of his book provides bite-sized, well-described descriptions of what an organization must do to achieve strategic alignment. Finally, there is a book that enables CEOs to quickly and efficiently create then implement a strategic plan!”

—David R. Lazzara, Vistage International, California

“It is strategic! It is pragmatic! It works! And it is easy to share with your team.”

—Stephane Bennour, CEO, NEOS-SDI, USA, France

“This book is a perfect tool for companies looking to create and execute their strategic plans. It provides a very simple and concise way for setting a strategic plan and actually achieving it!”

—Tuanhai Hoang, President, Qualitel Corporation

“The information in the book is a simple easy to follow step by step process to get your team thinking strategically and achieving alignment. We held an off-site strategic planning session based on Barry's principles. Our team initially started off very conservative when we began budgeting for the year (I think we had self-limiting beliefs). After considering our total market and reconsidering our budget, we budgeted for 35% growth (up from 5% originally) and put the pieces in place to make it happened. We are accomplishing growth of 45% in revenue this year. This is following 59% growth last year.

We have trained in advance to have the capability, hired to have the capacity and changed our organizational chart based on the principles in this book. Achieving Strategic Alignment is a short read with simple well organized principles that really work.”

—Don O. Nelson - President, Nelson and Sons Construction Co. Inc.

“Barry MacKechnie has unique insights into leadership dynamics that as an author enables him to bring clear focus to creating and achieving corporate strategy in his book "Achieving Strategic Alignment". His experience as an effective strategic planning session facilitator is demonstrated by how his framework turns a very complex process into a set of clearly defined steps that lead to an organization breaking its financial barriers.”

—Doug Ostrom, President, Stafford Health Services, Inc.

“I am Co-Founder and CEO of a marketing technology startup bringing disruptive innovations to two industries. Barry's book and facilitation have been invaluable in helping my team simplify the complex. Barry's roadmap has helped us define a solid strategy with transparent tactics.”

—Matt Furry, CEO, SingUlarity

“Mr. MacKechnie has successfully created an easy-read blueprint for achieving strategic alignment and strategic planning with certain ROI. Keeping the concepts simple and delivered in a sequential manner make this book a useful "how to" resource for any CEO seeking strategic alignment.”

—Eric Overton, CEO, Sparling

“Barry's book provides a most useful description of the process of organizational strategic thinking and its application to your unique business situation. Mr. MacKechnie's straight forward and practical approach will be used to help us provide that critical alignment in our small organization.”

—Robert S. Eaton, Founder and Managing Member, Eaton Hotel Investments

“Barry MacKechnie's book gives a very consistent and structured approach to the whole strategic alignment thinking. Most CEOs have probably heard here and there some of the things he is describing. But with the help of his book one gets a concrete guideline how to run the process of strategic alignment step by step. It is easy to read and has great examples. And it is only approximately 100 pages, meaning it focuses the reader on the relevant things without any distracting theories that do not help in real life.”

—Dick Lueth

“Mr. MacKechnie's book is a concise and comprehensive tool that provides real world descriptions of how organizations can become strategically aligned. The book is an easy read with concise chapters and real world examples leading CEOs to the holy grail of strategic alignment.”

—James T. Peterson, Vistage International, San Ramon, CA

“Mr. MacKechnie has successfully created an easy-read blueprint for achieving strategic alignment. Keeping the concepts simple and delivered in a sequential manner make this book a useful "how to" resource for any business seeking strategic alignment.”

—Joe Stanik, VP Finance, Cashmere Molding, Inc.

“This is a great book for CEO's - it is concise, to the point and full of great info. It is ideal for helping CEOs build alignment and to develop a cohesive plan with their team's involvement. The best leaders are servant leaders who trust their team to get the job done and empower them to do so. This book will help you do exactly that.”

—Richard Walker, CEO Efficient Technology, Inc., Author of "It's My Life! I Can Change If I Want To"

“Great book! As a Small Business Owner I found this book to be an excellent resource in focusing my team. A "must-read" for CEO's.”

— reader review

“Mr. MacKechnie's book continues to be a valuable resource for me and our organization. We are experiencing positive results from our strategic plan and related deliverables.”

—Chris E. Wallace, President/CEO, Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce

“Mr. MacKechnie provides a comprehensive, easy-to-understand roadmap for creating and executing a meaningful, differentiated Strategic Plan. The structure of his book provides bite-sized, well-described descriptions of what an organization must do to achieve stratetic alignment. As a successful business leader who has led a number of strategic planning sessions, I found Mr. MacKechnie's book to be complete, correct, and concise. It is a valuable guide, and I recommend it to all who want to maximize the success of their strategy planning and implementation.”

—Mike Redmond, President, Ops Savvy

“In just a few hours you learn a lot about achieving strategic alignment. Here`s a book that makes it possible for executive teams to learn how to create what they need most to execute their strategy: strategic alignment. Many of you reading this should have read this book long ago, but it wasn`t written yet. Now it is. Read it from cover to cover. It takes just a few hours! Even if English isn`t a language you use on a daily basis (I`m Dutch). Reading this is just the first step in a process, but at least then you`ve started this process of gaining knowledge and experience. It starts with some knowledge based on the author's long-time experience and this is easily the quickest way to get access to this. It ends with results.”

—Rene van Dinten, Lecturer of (strategic) marketing & strategic performance management at Hogeschool Utrecht, Lecturer of (strategic) marketing & strategic performance management at University of applied sciences Utrecht, Netherlands

“Useful the first day! This book gives you step-by-step techniques you can apply today. Not the usual 30,000 foot view that your company will get lost in.”

— reader review

“Quick & easy read, packed with practical application. It has great step by step direction, great how-to tips and strong methodologies to get the entire organization in to lock step. I look forward to working these into my organization!”

—Rodney W. Ferris, CEO, F/T Construction

“I thought this book was terrific, I run a small but dynamic company and getting all focused and moving the same direction is a huge challenge for us. We will apply what has been learned from this book.”

— reader review

“A no nonsense inspirational read and a prerequisite for Senior Executives and current CEO's. Other authors should take note. I must say, "Very well done Barry".”

—Michael Ness, Director, Business Continuity at Virginia Mason Medical Center

“Barry's book is an easy read with great content. It has excellent tips and insights with wonderful templates. A must read for CEO's.”

—Business Development Coach, review

“MacKechnie takes the typical business retreat to a new level with his book, Achieving Strategic Alignment. Getting buy-in at every level - not just at the top - improves the overall performance of a company. I can't wait to give it a try at our next retreat!”

—Tom Hoban, CEO, Coast Group

“Barry has taken a subject that most entrepreneurs and CEO's downplay and shown both the importance of using these key processes to achieve even greater company results, as well as how easy the process can be if a systematic methodology is followed. And, he spells out that methodology in easy-to-understand terms.”

—Tom Englander, President, ES Interims

“I suggest you buy a quick read, Achieving Strategic Alignment by Barry MacKechnie. The book, which can be read in two hours (three for me), not only discussed strategy, but gave a play by play approach to tactics. In other words, the book illustrated how to break down your journey to baby steps. We are overwhelmed with knowledge on a daily basis. Any tool, like this book, that can streamline your learning process and still present results, leverages your time efficiently, and will bring returns for years to come.”

—The L.A. CPA

“What a great find. Whether you're in the Strategy or consulting business or play a leadership roll in your organization, Achieving Strategic Alignment is the perfect read. 1. it's only a 100 pages or so, 2. it lays out everything you need to keep in mind when it comes to rolling up your sleeves and doing the tough work of a re-org, re-brand, or a re-position and 3. I've never seen a book that keeps everyone involved, accountable for their actions. Most people leave half day or two days sessions, pumped for just a few weeks, then they run back to their corners and back to 'work'. This book keeps everyone at the table accountable for change through goal setting and follow-through. This is the perfect business book.”

—Ken Grant, Media Advisor, Motivated Branding