Knowlan Group Testimonials


James Wright, ICD.D (client – General Director, Vancouver Opera)

Top qualities: Great Results, On Time, High Integrity
“I am happy – in fact, enthusiastic – to share with others the excellent strategic planning process the Vancouver Opera experienced under the guidance of Rick Knowlan. Rick is a thorough planner and executor of the planning process and a stickler for forcing management and board members to be specific and goal- and outcome-oriented throughout the process. I can state unequivocably that the strategic process Rick took us through bore fruit for years to come – and is still bearing fruit for the company. As a result of that work the company planned for and successfully carried out fund raising and governance goals and, even more exciting, commissioned and produced – within budget and adhering to the original vision – two world-premiere operas: Naomi’s Road, a work for young people, and 2010′s Lillian Alling, the largest project ever undertaken by the company. I heartily recommend Rick Knowlan.” November 5, 2010

Lyndon Friesen (client – Executive Team member, Creation Technologies)

Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert
“Rick Knowlan provided leadership and direction in the building of our annual Strategic Plan at Creation Technologies. Rick’s involvement with the Executive Leadership Team went well beyond the role of facilitator. Rick was able to provide structure and discipline in adhering to a process in building our Strategic Plan. Over several intense days, Rick demonstrated the ability to ask the tough questions enabling our team to align and fully commit to key strategic decisions. The result, with our strategic direction and objectives established, our team achieved quantum leap growth at a time when our competitors struggled.” November 20, 2010

Roy Osing (client – Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP, TELUS)

Top qualities: Great Results, Good Value, Creative
“As an Executive Leader for Canada’s second largest Telecom Company I was challenged to create Business Strategies that positioned the Company to win in a highly dynamic and competitive environment. I could ALWAYS count on Rick to help us develop a practical and DiFFERENT direction to take with intimate detail paid to EXECUTION. Rick challenged my Leadership team to create the best plan possible and was instrumental in bringing everyone together to believe we could achieve what we were setting out to do. Need someone to help move your organization to the next level? Talk to Rick.” October 28, 2010

Milford Sorensen (client – President and CEO, Thrifty Foods)

“For the past four years, the Thrifty Foods executive team has had the opportunity to be guided through the annual business planning process by Rick Knowlan. Rick has an ability to take a team’s diverse ideas, and lead them to a place that is focused. He doesn’t spoon-feed the strategy; rather his facilitative approach allows the strategy to be readily uncovered by the stakeholders around the table.

Rick introduced the notion of Balanced Scorecard to our team. This approach to business planning puts the employee at the foundation of all business outcomes. This approach was consistent with our existing culture and allowed for a much flatter learning curve for the whole team. His ability to work with C-Level executives in a calm, empowering and directional manner has also impressed me, but importantly, that manner has enabled the crystallization of my team’s strategic priorities. Business planning has always been important to me – with Rick’s help, it is now part of our culture.” December 10, 2010

Diane Robinson (client – Chief Executive Officer, Parkinson Society BC)

“I have worked with Rick Knowlan since 1994 when he was contracted to develop a strategic plan for the Vancouver Symphony which he did very successfully.  After my employment at the VSO, I joined the Vancouver Art Gallery and recommended Rick to come in and again assist in the development of a strategic plan and then contracted him in 2006 when I became CEO of Parkinson Society British Columbia.  I truly enjoy working with Rick as I find him extremely knowledgeable, efficient and thorough, easy to understand, and very logical.  Staff and Board members alike have also enjoyed their sessions with Rick tremendously as he made everyone feel comfortable and he is a great listener.”  July 20, 2012