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Create Your Ideal Future

I help organizations formulate and implement a strategy that is exciting, profitable and attainable.

Hire me for Strategy
ABOUT Ruben's strategy service

Does Your Team Have an Effective Strategy?

Do you have an effective strategy that is based on the realities of today? This is the question I pose to many executive teams.

Everyone knows the importance of strategy but many companies are spending too much time formulating their strategy and planning too far ahead. The age of the 5-year strategic plan is dead. The strategic approach that General Motors pioneered in the 1950s is no longer relevant.

Executives feel that spending an exorbitant amount of time on their strategy will translate into a better plan. They aren’t just dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s. They are ensuring all letters have been perfectly formed into beautiful sentences. The market doesn’t care if you have perfect handwriting. It only cares about what you can offer to customers.

Strategies should be shorter, 12 – 18 months at most and refreshed often. I can help your organization create a new strategy using a groundbreaking new process called Sentient Strategy®.

He is one of a few people in the world who are certified in this process. Sentient Strategy will give your organization a strategy designed for the future.

How Can I Help You with Strategy?

The video below will give you an overview of how I think and help organizations with strategy. For frequently asked questions, please scroll down further down the page.

Strategy is not just about the planning. It's really about how to create an ideal future and have what can be very tough conversations about what to do, what to stop doing and what are the things the organization needs to shift to move forward.

There are two elements to going through a strategy session:

Prep Work:

  • We will jointly select who should be involved in the facilitation session
  • All participants will complete a survey to gauge their knowledge of strategy, company values and ideas for improvements.
  • You will share any relevant documents including stakeholder research, mission statement, previous strategies, and so forth.

Facilitation Session:

  • Define Your Raison d’être (Why Are You Here)
  • Capturing the Shifts in Your World
  • Pillar Blocks of Sentient: Awareness of the Environment and Consciousness of Actions
  • Litmus Test for Priorities
  • Sentient Strategic Areas
  • Failure Points that Derail Strategy
  • Tackle Critical Issues
  • Implementation Assessment
  • Monitoring and Accountability
  • Next Steps

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the most common questions I receive in regards to my strategy work.

How long does the process take?

There are two main stages to the process, a Pre-Work portion and the strategy session itself.

The Pre-Work portion takes between 2-4 weeks as we collect data, feedback and I get familiar with your organization. The strategy session requires six hours which can be done in one day in-person or two sessions of 3-hours if done virtually.

At the end of the strategy session, your team is ready to start implementing the strategy.

How many people can I involve?

The minimum number required is five people and the maximum is around 14. There's some flexibility in the total number of people—18 people would be fine but 25 would not—and we can explore that together.

Who should I invite into the session?

You should only invite individuals who Profit & Loss (P&L) responsibility, are responsible for budgets and/or are managers in some capacity (typically for smaller organizations). All attendees should be comfortable thinking strategically and letting go of tactical issues.

Can you run the session in-person or virtually?

Yes, to both. The in-person version goes from 9 am to 4 pm with a break in the morning, for lunch and in the afternoon.

The virtual one takes place over two sessions of 3-hours each, typically with a short break halfway through.

What do you cover during the actual strategic planning session?

Every session is customized to each organization based on our conversations and the information that is uncovered during the Pre-Work portion. However, there are several elements that tend to be present in nearly all strategic sessions, as seeen by the questions below.

1. Where are you going?
2. What is changing around you?
3. What is not being said?
4. What are your priorities?
5. Who’s responsible for what?

How can we make sure that we will cover what we need?

Our initial conversations will highlight the specific needs and questions of your company and the Pre-Work portion will confirm or surface any other pending concerns from your team and staff. I will then design an agenda to tackle the most pressing items for the future of your organization.

What is the output of the strategy session?

Your team will assign someone to summarize the session into a one-page strategic document. It will contain the major priorities, metrics for success, action items, accountabilities and anything else your team needs to start implementation.

How do you prevent strategies from failing in the implementation stage?

There's a portion in the strategy session where we talk about accountabilities and monitoring, which will lay the foundation for what is required to implement the strategy. I will also offer further advice on how to connect the strategy to your team's self-interest through performance reviews, bonuses and other mechanisms.

Do you offer support after the strategic planning session?

Yes, that is something we can explore, depending on what your team needs.

How long should we be planning for?

12 - 18 months at most. You should be mentally ready to refresh the strategy at the end of this time frame.

Do you merely facilitate or do you bring your own IP/ideas?

I always bring my own IP and ideas to every strategy session. You benefit from the my work with 85+ organizations, across five continents, multiple industries and different kinds of organizations (corporate, non-for-profit, startups). I will be an active participant in the thinking process with your team.

How many organizations have you helped?

I have helped 85+ organizations, across five continents, multiple industries and different kinds of organizations (corporate, non-for-profit, startups) with their strategies and other strategic decisions.

Is our organization a good fit for your strategy approach?

The ideal organization for my approach is one that is growing or going through some kind of transition and open to exploring alternatives to arriving at their ideal future. You also need to hit the minimum requirements in terms of individuals involved covered in another question.

What Other Clients Are Saying

A preview of the results and team reactions you can expect when we work together.

It was great working with Ruben and completing the strategy sessions with him. We were able to cultivate great ideas to move our organization forward for the future.

Corey M.

Organizational Development / OR

This was a fantastic experience for our organization. He was organized, thoughtful, creative and responsive. He asked great leading questions and drew our whole team into a consensus of direction. I would heartily recommend his work.


Patricia N.

Executive Director / FOJ

Strategic planning can feel daunting, but Ruben guided Alianza’s management team through a two-day, structured process of identifying and prioritizing a handful of critical areas of operation that we could collectively focus on over the next 12-18 months. He patiently helped our group come to consensus, while providing team members multiple ways to share observations, opinions and individual visions for Alianza’s future. We appreciated Ruben’s professionalism and thoroughly enjoyed working with him.

Pamela B.

Director of Development / ADV

Ruben's expertise and guidance were instrumental in the successful development of the 24-month strategic planning for Eagle Online Academy. The session was incredibly productive, and the outcomes far exceeded our expectations. Ruben's insights and thoughtful approach helped us navigate through complex challenges, and we are thrilled with the strategic roadmap we have crafted for the academy's future. I truly appreciate Ruben's dedication and hard work throughout the process. His commitment to excellence and attention to detail were evident in every aspect of the planning. It's clear that he had a deep understanding of our needs and goals, and his expertise added tremendous value to the project.

Mozhgan  A.

Founder / EOA

Ruben did an outstanding job leading our team through a 2-day strategic planning session. Through his guidance, we were able to gain clarity as we prepare to go into our 20th year of service. It is great to get a re-start, especially post-COVID-19. We are very pleased with his professionalism and the deliverables we discussed.

Dr. Nicole S.

Executive Director / DITR

Ruben jumped on board our project with very little time to review our materials (given our tight timeframe) and yet he managed to run an excellent strategic planning session! We utilized his originally-designed strategic approach and outlined what are the key areas of focus for the next 18 months. It was a dynamic and fluid process that naturally led the focus items to bubble to the forefront. Ruben was a pleasure to work with, and his energy and enthusiasm were infectious!

Amanda C.

Executive Director / MSPUS

Awesome! Professional! Caring! Sensitive! Informative! The six-hour session went by fast and smooth. No one felt bored or that our time was being wasted. Highly, highly recommend Ruben Ugarte!

Philip W.

Principal / PHAA