Meet Our Team
Our principals and extended family of expert strategists, facilitators and researchers
are ready to add value to your next planning or facilitation project. We match the person
to the project, assuring you of the most productive engagement possible.
Chris Ward, MBA, CMC
For the past 30 years, Chris Ward has been helping business leaders and their teams achieve the future they want to own. A keen observer and lifelong student of business, Chris recognized at an early stage that an organization’s ability to survive and thrive is directly related to its understanding of key stakeholders and what they value. This has resulted in an unwavering focus on uncovering insights that inform the decision-making process, and to creating strategies that engage stakeholders and deliver value.
Chris’s eclectic business background – as a senior executive in both retailing and manufacturing, consultant with a leading firm of management consultants, and entrepreneurial founder of three companies – enables him to guide clients through a rigorous facilitated strategic planning process, while providing perspectives and advice based on deep business experience.
Chris holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. As an Entrepreneur In Residence at the Ivey Business School at Western University, he coaches and mentors students engaged in consulting projects with private and public sector organizations. He is member of the Independent Review Committee for the Bullion Management Group. Previously, he was a chair and member of The Executive Committee, an international network of CEOs focused on improving their leadership abilities and achieving their professional and personal goals as well as a member of the Consumer Affairs & Communications Committee for Tarion, the new home warranty people, and a founding director of the Myoblast for Muscular Dystrophy Foundation.
“Without hesitation, I recommend Strategic Directions and Chris Ward. With Chris, you will get a smart, experienced, proactive professional who has worked with countless for-profits and not-for-profits alike (both big and small). He is a strong and skillful facilitator with a sound process and the ability to get people singing off the same sheet. If your experience is anything like ours, Chris’s value will far exceed the cost of his services.”
– Malcolm Berry, Vice President, Major Gifts, Sick Kids Foundation
Bob McCulloch, MBA, FCMC, CEC
Bob McCulloch is a strategic advisor and executive coach to senior leaders and their teams. His clients represent companies across a wide array of industries as well as all levels of government and several not-for-profit organizations and associations.
Bob’s primary focus is on the strategic thinking of leaders in the organization, both individually and collectively. He brings the ability to include and bridge diverse personalities, distill and synthesize disparate ideas generated in facilitated sessions, build consensus and commitment around the resulting powerful themes, and coach and guide leadership teams through implementation. The nature of the “business” doesn’t really matter – the strategic concepts are largely the same, and the enterprise’s distinctiveness relates more to the culture of the client organization and its stage of evolutionary.
Bob holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School and a Certificate in Executive Coaching (CEC) from Royal Roads University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Ontario (ICMCO).
“At the beginning of my working life, I was fortunate to have a career-creating position for four years at IBM Canada:
- as an adult educator teaching non-technical executives about IT,
- as a facilitator helping IT and senior executive teams build their technology and corporate plans, and
- as a student of strategy, introducing a range of strategic models to frame the content of these plans.
Over the next 35 years, I continued to evolve the formula through 100s of client assignments, adding leadership and team coaching along the way.”
Strategic Directions facilitated the development of our organization's new three-year strategic plan and we are very excited about the results. We have a clear direction for our organization and a commitment from our executive and staff to move the organization forward in a positive direction. [Strategic Directions] led us through an engaging process that included a research and input component, a detailed pre-planning briefing note, and a two-day planning session. We have received many positive comments about the entire process, and [Strategic Directions] left us with an initial 90-day action plan that was very helpful in getting us on track quickly.
– Doug Gellatly, Executive Director, OFSAA
Lynn Bennett, BBA, FCMC, CLC/ACC, CTC
Since 2001, Lynn has worked extensively across all sectors, assisting organizations to achieve their vision and goals. Bringing in-depth knowledge and experience, Lynn is passionate about helping leaders, teams and organizations realize their unique strengths and capabilities.
Lynn blends a strong background in business development and strategic planning with a range of consulting and team coaching modalities. She specializes in unlocking the potential of her clients, to develop new insights, skills and strategies. Her clients say it best, describing her unique ability to balance “a clear and challenging mind with a highly constructive, pleasant approach, leading to break-through thinking”.
A sampling of Lynn’s clients include:
- Ontario Government - Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers, Directors
- City of Toronto
- The Regional Municipality of York
- University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- Variety of not-for-profits around the GTA
Lynn also believes in giving back to both her profession and her community. As a Certified Management Consultant (ICMCO), she has served as the Chair of the National Board CMC-Canada and her service has been recognized when she was honoured by her peers and named a Fellow of the Ontario Institute. As well, Lynn is a Governor of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care which comes after serving three three-year terms as a member of the Board where she served as Chair of the Governance Committee, member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.
Lynn is a certified coach (Georgetown University, Washington DC) and a member of the International Coach Federation. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University she holds an Honours Bachelors’ Business Administration. Lynn is a life-long learner having completed numerous certification programs including the Strategic Change Management Program at University of Toronto's Joseph L. Rotman School of Business, Legacy Leadership: 5 Best Practices of Leadership™ - Master Facilitator, a variety of assessment certification, and the International Coach Federation (ICF) certification. Recently Lynn completed a year-long certification program to refine and hone her skills as a team performance coach with Corentus Inc. from Boston MA.
Barry Steinberg, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Acc.Dir.
Drawing upon his diverse experience in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, Barry Steinberg focuses on strategic plan execution and governance.
Barry served as Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario and Director of Marketing for the Ontario Real Estate Association. His for-profit experience includes consulting engineering in energy management and remote power system design, international marketing management, product development and executive management in the manufacturing sector.
Barry has been an instructor and an author in the areas of association management, marketing, and strategic planning. As an executive and Board member, he has consistently helped companies and associations achieve growth through strategic planning and execution. He has spoken and lectured on Strategic Marketing Plan Development and Corporate Branding.
Barry has undergraduate and Master of Applied Science degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto; and executive certificates in Business Communication Management and Leading Sustainable Strategic Change from the Sprott School of Business at Carlton University and The Schulich School of Business at York University.