As of Jan. 15, Ottawa’s Stratford Managers Corporation has become Stratford Group Ltd.
So, what’s in a name, and why does it matter to Stratford’s clients?
Jim Roche founded Stratford 12 years ago to fill a gap he experienced as an entrepreneur and executive running small and medium-sized technology companies.
“I wanted someone like Stratford to help me get to the next level, but such a company didn’t exist,” he said.
A lot has changed in 12 years. Stratford’s clients today span public and private-sector organizations large and small in a host of market verticals across North America. From publicly traded companies to growth-stage newcomers, municipalities to not-for-profits.
One thing has never changed – Stratford’s clients are organizations with a willingness to improve, to break out of the status quo and embrace new ideas with the help of some outside perspective.
Stratford has always served this need by parachuting in a seasoned advisor who would “lean-in” and work side-by-side with the client team. Regardless of the discipline, this individual is always someone who has “been there and done that.” They are the real deal and have walked the talk.
Over time, Stratford has evolved with the diverse needs of its clients. Today, clients can take advantage of a more comprehensive team approach that can span management consulting and advisory, intellectual property strategy, and talent management experience and methodologies.
“When a client engages with one aspect of our business, they don’t always have a clear understanding of the other ways in which we can also serve them,” Roche said. “We have restructured Stratford to make it more obvious that we have three pillars that can deliver real value, individually and together.”
The Group has formally re-organized into three distinct lines of business. Roche continues to serve as CEO, while three of Stratford’s most senior and experienced advisors have taken the title of President to head up each business line.
Stratford Management Consulting
President Colleen Kelley and her team can bring to bear the multiple skill sets that organizations need to scale or transform, often driven by a growth strategy or a significant event such as a business system change and navigating the complexities of a restructuring or an M&A transaction.
“We provide strategic and implementation consulting services from strategy and operations to go-to-market, digitization, finance, M&A and board governance,” she said.
High-growth company Calian and CEO Kevin Ford, for example, have long been leading clients. In fact, three out of the last five of Ottawa’s CEOs of the Year, as recognized by the Best Ottawa Business Awards (BOBs), have been Stratford clients.
Stratford People & Culture
President Mike D’Amico merged his HR consultancy with Stratford back in 2012. Today, his team tackles the full breadth of people and culture solutions – from counsel at the highest level to drive people strategies to workplace culture, organizational design, compensation, and pay equity. His team also offers best-in-class leadership development solutions that range from individual and team coaching, assessments to blended learning, competency-based training programs.
Stratford People & Culture can provide a virtual executive or even an entire HR department with a flexible part-time engagement until the client organization is ready to take the function in-house.
“It’s not unusual for the People & Culture and Management Consulting teams to work together with the client to support their goals and initiatives with solutions like a change management program,” D’Amico said. “Whatever we identify as a client need, we rally the expertise from across Stratford to help them achieve their goals and objectives.”
Stratford Intellectual Property
President Natalie Giroux and her team protect a client’s innovations, developing and implementing holistic IP strategies that align with corporate objectives. They recently created the Stratford IP Strategy Academy, an online learning hub that helps SME executives and their team learn about IP and avoid costly mistakes.
“Most executives recognize the importance of their IP portfolio but lack expertise to develop a pragmatic IP strategy.”
Stratford IP includes IP strategy experts, patent and trademark agents and other IP specialists, with all the services of a patent and trademark agency combining both strategy and operational expertise to support the full IP lifecycle. They work with clients on a project or retainer basis, often serving as a virtual in-house IP director. Innovative clients range from start-ups to growth-stage companies to technology leaders.
“Most executives recognize the importance of IP protection, but lack the expertise to develop a pragmatic strategy that will lead to an IP portfolio positively impacting their valuation,” Giroux said. “IP is more than just patents and trademarks. To emphasize that, we use a proactive approach that considers the value represented by all types of IP. Our goal is to design IP strategies that will lead to a diverse IP portfolio of maximum value.”
How can Stratford help you?
Stratford engages with private sector, public sector and national not-for-profit organizations in a variety of verticals. When you engage with Stratford, you benefit from a whole that has proven itself greater than the sum of its parts. Contact the team today to learn more about how its collective experience can help your team achieve its mission-critical objectives.