new website banner
                About          Facilitation          Training          Tools          Resources          

divider full width
Life Lessons
Written by Darcy Bien
My father recently passed away.  He was a visionary and was always asking me if I had published anything yet...  To honor him and all the dads out there, here are three life lessons I learned from him.
These lessons have been reinforced by the passionate, successful leaders I have worked with during my career and remind me the importance of mentors and coaches in our lives:
  1. Be a Lifetime Learner - When my oldest brother was born, my dad was reading a magazine with parenting tips.  One "easy" tip caught his attention: "Read with your children."  He did and in return, we do today!  To be leader, one must constantly strive to learn and try new things, while being open to new ideas.
  2. Get Organized - My first year in college was a huge transition and the workload was intense. At one point, being overwhelmed by it all, I called dad in tears. He listened intently, he always did, paused, then asked, "Is your room clean?" I quickly questioned what my room had to do with all my stress. He patiently said, "Chaos causes Chaos."   Successful leaders spend enough time in the planning phase so that the work phase is effecient and effective.
  3. Always, Always, Overachieve - Dad constantly challenged me to get out of my comfort zone. This started in high school when I decided to run for Student Council Representative. But dad had bigger plans and simply said, "Go for President."  I was afraid. With his support and help with my campaign, I landed one of my first leadership roles.  Dad always "pushed" me past what I thought was unreachable. Bottom-line, we can all do much more than we think, most times we just need a little push!

Thanks to all the dads, mentors and coaches out there - you make a difference!

Client Story / Testimonial AMPAC packaging logo

Partners in Change was hired to assist AMPAC with strategic planning for all their business units. One critical step was the investment strategy using the GE/McKinsey Matrix.  We identified the Build, Hold and Harvest segments in each Business Unit. 


As we know, structure follows strategy and the next step was creating new roles, Market Segment Managers, who would focus on building the Strategic Market segments identified in the plan.


AMPAC needed a consistent strategic marketing process for the segment managers to utilize.  Darcy Bien, with Partners in Change, and David Bartish, the Marketing Director for Ampac, worked together to customize the Internal Strategic Planner (ISP) process for Ampac.  Recently, we certified all three Market Segment Managers using the customized ISP training process (Check out our tool, ISP Certification Checklist, free to newsletter readers).


AMPAC was instrumental in listening and implementing the strategies needed to be successful. Here are a few of the initiatives that made a big difference:

  • Marketing structure and support was added to drive strategy
  • All market segment leaders were certified as Internal Strategic Planners
  • Management went through the full strategy process and the company now has their priorities to achieve the growth they desire - connected to the company's vision framework and strategic direction

Dave Bartish, Marketing Director AMPACDavid Bartish, Marketing Director for AMPAC, describes his experience: 


"Having gone through the process across all three of our divisions, we gathered both an internal assessment of our company's strengths and weaknesses and a roadmap for moving forward.  


We have a much deeper understanding of our value proposition and the business segments that warrant our focus as well as those that do not. Most importantly, we have a strategic planning process that we can continue to employ.  While there was significant work required from our leadership team, the end result is a strategic plan that we all believe and understand."



AMPAC has been experiencing amazing results in a short period of time. As with many processes, the moral of the story is: planning upfront builds a stronger foundation for success tomorrow!


Partners in Change can customize a strategic planning process for your company much like it did for AMPAC or you can choose to attend our public training sessions to learn more about running the process yourself.    

divider full width
Get Certified and Run Your Company's Strategy

Join our group training sessions in October and November. Dates will be finalized by the participants. 
Each session is customized to the group, follows the ISP certification curriculum and engages in critical thinking for strategic planning alignment in order to foster greater return on investment. (No competitors allowed!) 
Private 1:1 sessions are also available, contact Darcy Bien for more information.

Resources Worth Sharing
divider full width   *   Partners in Change, LLC   *   150 East Fourth Street, 3rd floor   *   Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 369-1495   *