As the season approaches for firm summits (or retreats, if you focus on the past), the following list of topics will or may appear on your agenda. Many firms use these meetings to focus on the results of the current year and plan for the coming year. While this sounds logical, it doesn't always produce strategic results. The tendency generally is to gravitate toward tactical rather than strategic thinking.

Smart firms are managed with their future in mind. They don't mind taking a current hit to financial performance if it involves investing in the long-term success of the firm. Smart firms also value their people and their involvement in the strategic planning process.

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