Foreward to “Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs®

Foreword For Jim Gitney’s “Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs®

By Susan Crossman

I first encountered the term “Hierarchy of Needs” when I was a university student pursuing a political science degree and just beginning my quest to understand the connection between human behavior, belief systems, and decision-making. As one might expect, Abraham Maslow’s work surfaced as an important and foundationally relevant paradigm for tracing an individual’s path to self-actualization. I was fascinated!

Decades later, when I encountered Jim Gitney’s work on the Business Hierarchy of Needs®, I was immediately intrigued. The idea of mapping a business’s path to evolving into the greatest version of itself possible was a dazzling one. But it would require the careful coordination of the beliefs, biases, priorities, and actions of many stakeholders, not just one individual. You’d need a brilliant and no doubt highly complex system—and an unshakeable leader—to mobilize a corporate tribe to the degree necessary for creating lasting results.

Fortunately, Jim brings us exactly that in the pages of Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs®.

As a person who has always worked in the field of communication, I share Jim’s commitment to process, clarity, efficiency, and simplicity when it comes to mobilizing an organization’s resources and getting a team engaged in an important mission. And the energy and authority he brings to the work he does with his clients is a source of inspiration. In the pages of this book, as in everything he does, Jim, tells it like it is…with the wisdom borne of years in the trenches and the deep compassion for people at every level of an organization. All of these are the hallmarks of a guy who truly wants businesses to succeed.

You might be tempted to look at some of the material in this book with a “been there, done that” attitude. Mission? Vision? Values? Check. But look just a little deeper and you will find a knock-your-socks-off approach to your business that will set the stage for double-digit growth. Jim will help you determine “Where to Play” and “How to Win.”  He will step you through the process of developing a highly aligned long-term strategy marked by strong accountability. He will share with you the process he has used to help countless other organizations successfully manage performance and create powerful organizational readiness for growth. And he will help you set your organization up for successful implementation and continuous improvement.

In this book, Jim invites his readers to span the gaps within their organizations that could possibly take them down—if they haven’t already started doing so. He withholds judgement yet encourages readers to make the solid plans and the tough decisions that will, ultimately, put your organization on the path to a future that is as bright as the dreams that gave birth to it. With a graceful retelling of stories from his own journey to strategic excellence, he shows us how to put one purposeful step in front of another to ultimately build the resources in your organization that will fuel your own evolution into a stronger, more resilient team member in an organization you are proud to call the home base of your working life.

In Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs®, Jim shares the 29 elements he uses to help his clients create significantly greater success than they had ever thought possible. He also shares brilliant questions that, if you answer them, will assist you to catapult your organization towards a significantly more powerful role in your industry and your community.  Jim gives us permission to celebrate the small wins while keeping our eyes on our Most Important Goal (MIG). He invites us to have fun on the road to success. And, most especially, he invites us to learn how to stay focused and in our lane.

As you read this straightforward blueprint for a more successful business, Jim will help you simultaneously accumulate and manage the resources you need to help your organization thrive and confirm the elegance of what else is possible for it. He will encourage you to dream bigger and discover greater areas of possibility. And he will do it all with the authority of someone who knows exactly what they’re talking about.

Despite Jim’s extensive corporate leadership experience over many decades, I think one of the most powerful aspects of this book is its focus on the future. Jim encourages stakeholders to make technology a prominent part of their strategy and he reminds everyone to be sensitive to organizational culture—yours and that of your customer base. He reminds us that when we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’ll keep getting what we’ve always gotten. And he inspires readers to work together to lead your organization to the success that’s waiting for you, just beyond the growing shadow of the next few quarters.

An adventure into Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs® is vital for any business leader who is tired of kicking it old school and falling short of the success they seek.  It will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and it will provide some potent tips for building a strong and solid business life, one step at a time.

Jim is the founder and CEO of Group50 Consulting, and he is a strategy, operations, and supply chain subject matter expert. He has been an executive chairman, a board member, a CEO, and a COO, and he has had many other assignments in business development, marketing, sales, and operations. Jim has led eleven operational and financial restructurings during his career, and he has led or participated in more than 200 Kaizen events. Not only that, but he’s a heckuva personable guy who understands human behavior and organizational dynamics, and who brings a host of personal characteristics to his work on behalf of clients. Generally speaking, his clients enjoy a 10x return on their investment with his company.

All of which has made Jim the only person who could write this book and make it such a compelling and actionable read.

I am thrilled to see how his insights play out on the pages of this book.  This is information I wish I had had earlier on in my own business journey and I’m sure it will shift more than a few paradigms about what’s possible for you and your organization as you navigate your own journey to the fulfilling future that lies ahead.

Read this book with a willingness to hear Jim’s voice, and, more importantly, a willingness to start sharing your own voice as a stakeholder in your organization. If the future is an unwritten book, then you are the one who holds the pen, and Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs® is the manual that will open your eyes to possibilities you can currently only just imagine.

And who knows, maybe one day Jim will seem to you, like he is to me, the “business whisperer” that every business needs.

Susan Crossman

Founder of Crossman Communications






Get in touch

Meet Jim Gitney