Strategic retreats: Planning in the making
Several weeks ago, the vice-presidents of Le Groupe Maurice and I met outside company offices for a strategic retreat. This is something we’ve been doing annually for a few years now, and I always look forward to it with enthusiasm. This moment of retreat and exchange allows us to discuss the projects and priorities for the coming months, and to revisit and clarify our vision for the future of the Group in the longer term.
The size of our business today, the continued growth we wish to maintain and the leading position we currently hold in our industry, make the host of decisions we take today all the more critical. This strategic meeting is more than just important, it’s an absolute necessity. So much so, we agreed that one meeting per year is no longer sufficient. Thus, in 2020, we plan on meeting four times; we’ll be ready for anything!
If someone had told me 22 years ago...
that the company I had founded would one day boast over 30 properties with some 12,000 residents, I would never have believed it. I can’t say I never dreamed of it, of course, but back then the Groupe Maurice team was only a handful of people. I was involved in and oversaw every daily decision, no matter how small, to ensure the smooth operation of the one residence we had. I simply could not afford my larger ambitions in those early years. Today however, it’s a different story. I now count on a team of some 2,000 talented, dedicated and compassionate employees who make thousands of important decisions every day. Together, they fulfill the mission I gave myself from the very start for Le Groupe Maurice: contributing to the happiness and better aging of Quebec seniors.
While Le Groupe Maurice is named after me, I am not alone in the adventure any longer. It is an utter privilege for me to have such a wealth of talent, knowledge and creativity surrounding me today! It is what enables our company to seize even more opportunities and face new challenges with confidence. But this privilege also comes with a profound responsibility; a very mission, for the management team and myself. It is the mission of directing, inspiring and giving the team who accompany us each day, a clear vision of where we want to go and why. And it is our strategic retreat sessions which allow us to effectively accomplish this goal.
That said, a vision, however inspiring, is meaningless to me if it doesn’t translate into concrete action...
Of course, we also use our strategic retreats to analyze our ways of doing things, to see how we can evolve to better meet our needs. For example, I have always championed the importance of following our passion and intuition when it’s ultimately time to make a decision. And I must say that to date, it has served us very well; especially since it has allowed us to grow while maintaining our agility. So now, how do we maintain this agility, a key pillar of our success, while putting in place a structure, tools and processes which better address our new reality as a large company?
That was a key subject we tackled during our first meeting at the start of the year. Other issues examined were the labor shortage affecting companies everywhere in North America, the optimization of our governance structure, the importance of our risk management, compliance and the challenges it represents… In short, we had a plethora of rich and constructive discussions, from which concrete action plans to ensure our sustainability and growth will emerged; but never at the expense of all we have built over the past two decades.
My mission has always been to maximize the "happiness gauge" of Quebec seniors, and I like to believe that I’ve managed to make a contribution in that direction. I’ve also had the good fortune to participate in several events outside the province recently, where without fail, I see the curiosity and interest people share with regards to Le Groupe Maurice. They tell me of our esteemed vision of the elderly and our unique ways of doing things. In short, they admire our recipe for success (with good reason!), and I’m often asked how we could export this recipe to new markets (And why not?).
Without a doubt, Le Groupe Maurice has enjoyed great success here in Quebec but it didn’t just happen overnight. Success ultimately happens when preparation meets opportunity. And more opportunities, necessitate more preparation. So it's no great surprise that we’ve decided to hold additional strategic retreats this year. The opportunities will be many for Le Groupe Maurice. I’m more than a little convinced of this. And when they do arise – which they will – we'll be ready for action. And I hope you will be, too!