business focus

Experience the benefits of working with us

We spend more time on the problems

The solution to a business problem is usually buried in the problem itself, just as vaccines are discovered out of  a deep understanding of the virus. So it requires spending more time understanding the true nature of a problem to come up with a robust solution.

However, when faced with pressure or opportunity, the natural tendency is to want to do something quickly. Either relieve the pressure because it’s uncomfortable or seize the opportunity for fear that it may vanish. There is validity to this, but like any automatic response there are risks of negative consequences as well as upsides. Spontaneous solutions might be more detrimental to the outcome than beneficial.

We help our clients to develop more wisdom about their businesses by giving them the insights to directly confront their problems. This in turn helps them to apply better judgment and develop more calculated responses. We don’t sell pre-packaged solutions looking for a problem, we keep iterating until its right which involves extensive consultation and working directly with the inevitable resistance to change.

We dig deeper

We believe it is better to be right in decisions than it is to be right in opinions. Often big decisions are made on the basis of opinions rather than reliable and valid data so we dig deeper to reveal the truth of what’s happening inside the organization’s ecosystem.

We look for the recurring patterns, the sources of conflict or unproductiveness and identify the gaps in process or function so that we can present an honest picture of what’s happening.

Sometimes its ugly, sometimes its satisfying but its mostly validating. Our clients are generally familiar with the picture but it takes someone else to hold up the mirror to see it clearly.

Our planning is a dynamic process

Some argue that strategic planning is dead because businesses in today’s world need to pivot quickly or fail fast, so a strategy is likely to be obsolete as soon as its released off the press.

There may be some merit to this. Strategic planning is often treated as a static process where a plan is the goal, whereupon it’s used as a bookend to hold up all the business books that were also purchased and not taken seriously.

We help our clients create visions and strategies that flex and adapt as the organization learns and grows. We achieve this by focusing their attention on the discipline and habit of planning and thinking in a strategic way so that it becomes a mindset and the way the organization is run.

We leverage the natural systems

As organizations scale in size, the degree of complexity within their system grows exponentially. There will be more people to manage, more SKUs or customers, more handoffs, more…emails!

The “ready, fire, aim” approach doesn’t work with this sort of complexity, it has to be managed. The key to this is untangling the complexity and creating simple rules and logical processes to handle day to day matters (a.k.a. how we do things around here). This is not the same thing as developing a bloated bureaucracy and it won’t stifle creativity, on the contrary it is what makes an organization run more smoothly with less nagging pain.

We reveal to our clients the systems that already exist inside their organizations and help them leverage what works and change what doesn’t. This frees them up to spend more time being innovative and evolving their business model and less time putting out fires.

We create structure out of chaos

The frantic pace of change and complexity of doing business in the modern world means that structure is essential to organize thinking, and planning is essential to ensure actions are carried out in a sensible sequence.

Startups are often chaotic places but at some point in the growth journey they have to develop a more established business model that can accommodate growth. Those that don’t usually fail because they find a that a great product is not enough to succeed.

It is important to be agile and innovative but there needs to be a solid core or stable foundation to the business and this is what we help to build and implement.

We focus on sustainable profitability

Short-term thinking is the bane of many organizations pursuing profit at all cost. This works sometimes for some organizations but as the saying states its a short-term strategy and shouldn’t be the way the business is run.

Those that do run their businesses according to short term thinking tend to pay insufficient attention to building resiliency into their organizations and become highly vulnerable to new competitors or economic downturns.

We work with our clients to create financial resiliency by building sustainability into revenue streams and paying close attention to the real operating costs of the business in order to maintain healthy profit margins and more predictable cashflow.

Thinking with Clarity, Action with Purpose

There are no straight lines to success. It takes hard work, stumbling and sometimes failure before finally achieving the level of success that makes the business pages. Equally, there are no guarantees that such success will be sustainable. Nobody is immune to the complexity of doing business in the modern world; even the most successful companies hit the wall despite having the best intentions, the brightest talent and big scoops of cash.

Vision to action is a strategic consulting firm that helps small to mid-size organizations find their own lines to success and navigate the turbulence along the way. Leaders and managers are often too busy or too close to their businesses to do this work alone. They need someone objective who can challenge them to think differently and create a better playbook for success.

We have learned from experience that the most significant challenges facing growth-oriented businesses are multi-faceted and almost never exist in isolation. Yet it is common for managers to react to these complex and nuanced challenges with knee-jerk or tactical solutions in an attempt to ‘do something’ or relieve pressure. Such approaches often fail because they don’t address the connections. Think about it: how often are employees blamed for poor performance instead of the broken processes or poor role clarity that make it impossible for them to perform? Or situations when new strategies are decided upon without paying sufficient attention to the actual capacity of the business to deliver.

For this reason we use the entire business model, rather than just a piece of it, as the focus of our work. This allows us to quickly and strategically assess the various elements of an organization and the connections between them to see what is functioning (or not) relative to the vision. We then focus our attention on helping our clients design initiatives or put mechanisms in place that will deliver the most impact and enable the organization to be more agile and adaptable to change.

We partner with specialists to deliver a complete solution

Vision to Action has alliances with specialists in their fields who can provide expert advice on functional areas such as financial management, supply chain management or information technology. We bring these specialists in as required to ensure the initiatives we recommend are robust and meet best practices, however we remain the primary point of contact for our clients and ensure all 3rd party service providers work within the agreed project framework.

Meet Our Team

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts

Founder & CEO

Dave founded Vision to Action, a strategic consulting firm, to provide small to medium sized businesses with affordable and pragmatic advice to help them build more effective organizations that enable profitable growth. With over 20 years of experience working with corporates, entrepreneurs and small businesses he learned first-hand what organizations need to do to succeed and avoid unnecessary mistakes.

He is a strong proponent of learning by doing, but only when the doing is preceded by clear thinking and planned with care. Dave favors a direct and honest style when working with clients and thrives in problem-solving situations that require both conceptual and street-smarts. He has learned from both success and failure and so views the world through a bifocal lens of risk and opportunity and is able to weave this into a holistic and valuable perspective for his clients.

Prior to Vision to Action, Dave worked in management consulting across many different industries, HR and change management, sales and small business management. His journey has touched all the functions across an organization but his particular areas of expertise are in planning, people and change. He holds a Bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters in Business.

Originally from New Zealand, Dave came to Boulder, Colorado to enjoy the great outdoors and gain access to its world class skiing and mountain biking. He has built a successful property investment business, is on the board of a charitable foundation he helped to create and enjoys giving his time to good causes in the community.

Email: dave@vision-action.com

Phone: 970.404.1947

Steve Mokan

Steve Mokan

Marketing & Strategy

After graduating with his MBA from the University of Colorado in 2009, Steve has worked for highly-regarded local companies including Level 3, Return Path, and Kapost in both Segment and Product Marketing management roles, focusing on entrepreneurial product lines and developing business into new markets. Prior to getting his MBA, Steve worked on the logistics side of the house with Whitewave Foods and Hunter Douglas, so he has a true understanding of what makes a business tick.

His expertise includes creating cross-functional integrated marketing campaigns, business development, emerging markets, product expansion, and brand awareness projects. While engaged on a project, Steve prefers to be very hands-on and encourages open creativity, likely a side-effect of building many award-winning showcase websites and microsites. Steve is very detailed oriented, but at the same time encourages- and looks for- new ways of getting to an end result.

Steve has lived in the Boulder area for over 10 years, and enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, travel and photography. After leaving his corporate job in July 2015, he started up two small businesses: Switchback Photography and Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures.

Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts

Project Management

Jane provides project and program management expertise for Vision to Action clients as required. She brings over 20 years of experience leading complex enterprise-level software implementations for highly regarded companies such as SkillSoft, Genentech, Hewlett-Packard, and McKesson Corporation. She has also successfully implemented initiatives to incorporate the tools and processes needed to enforce best practices for project management methodologies across various organizations and industries.

While her expertise includes creating structure, organization, and process improvement for both enterprise and small business projects, Jane also prefers to use innovation and creativity to meet the individual needs of each client. Introducing and maintaining structure in dynamic and fast-changing environments is one of her essential strengths and she encourages an open-minded approach to ensure success.

Jane is from California and has lived in Colorado for 10 years. She came to Boulder for the outdoor recreation, progressive attitude, and appealing sense of community. She manages a number of real estate investments and enjoys skiing, running, hiking, travel, and art.