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What is the StratOp Process?

StratOp is a 3 day guided process, that:

  1. Gives you perspective on all of the strategic, financial, and operational parts of your organization;
  2. Helps you know where you stand;
  3. Clarifies where you should go; and
  4. Gives you a customized plan on how to get there.


StratOp clients get more than a plan; they get tools to help them manage, renew, and succeed in their plan. For your team - those who make things happen - they are brought into the StratOp process; planning isn’t something done to them. It is something the whole team does together. The process can be used for all kinds of team problem-solving and strategic efforts, either in business or in not-for-profit organizations like churches, educational institutions and social service enterprises.

The word “StratOp” blends two words vital to a successful strategic planning process. “Strat” stands for strategic, the art of planning for tomorrow, today. “Op” stands for operational, the discipline of managing today, today. All of that is built upon the financial – for both today and tomorrow must be strategically financed.

The Founder of StratOp: Tom Paterson

Tom Paterson, the founder of StratOp, is a master strategic thinker. Tom’s accomplishments are too many to number, but a few of the highlights include: holding the first patent on the ATM pin technology; working with Disney on developing Space Mountain; and serving as an honorary consultant under President Reagan to the People’s Republic of China. Tom had a successful career with IBM, RCA, and others, before launching his own consulting and facilitation business. Tom is a master at Process, and has received a Noble Laureate and a Presidential Seal of Honor.

What should we expect?

StratOp is customized to your specific needs, but here’s what Year 1 may look like:

  • We kick off Round 1 – a 3-day installation of StratOp. You’re guided through 25 tools, drawn on flip-chart paper around the room. By the end of the 3 days, you’ve identified your internal plan “Champion” and your first-draft action plans. We then spend a few hours over the next 8 weeks refining these action plans with more analysis and perspective. 
  • We return for 2 days in Round 2, where we finalize the action items and create dovetailed timelines of every action, so we can launch the plan and start moving forward towards our vision. This can be accomplished via Zoom or in person.  Can be shortened to two half days.
  • Every 8-12 weeks thereafter, the team gathers for 1 full day to manage and review the plan, to ensure we stay on track. (I will not anticipate being there unless special requested. Request can take the form of onsite or to Zoom/Skype in for part of the meeting)
  • It is recommended that every 12 months, we gather for 2 days for the annual renewal of the entire StratOp process (not included in fees below).
  • We build in a monthly Zoom call between me and the senior pastor for 12 months.  
  • So, in Year 1, we’re on-site together for 5 days, with coaching in between visits, to ensure StratOp is successfully installed and helping you to win.

Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the process:

We begin with Perspective, and spend as much time here as needed. When we have clear perspective, the plan almost writes itself. We’ll talk a lot about the “Chinese Spiral”, where we gather perspective from all areas and ascend the spiral together to achieve a breakthrough. This is a distinguishing feature of StratOp. In Planning, we ask: “where are we headed?” We build our core plan based upon the breakthrough perspective gained in Phase 1. In Action, we ask: “what’s important now?” We develop an Action Initiative Profile, with clear objectives and deliverables – to ensure we move towards our vision with action and accountability. In the Structure phase, we ask: “what form best facilitates our plan?” We want our structure to help us live out our core plan, both now and in the future. In Management, we ask: “how are we doing?” StratOp has built-in feedback loops to ensure we’re always learning how we’re doing, in light of what we set out to accomplish, and adjusting as needed. Finally, in Renewal, we ask: “what must change?” We embed renewal into StratOp to ensure constant adaptation in response to tomorrow’s realities. 

Your role and my role

My role is to serve you as a strategic facilitator. You will be adding a true partner to your team, not merely someone dispensing information. I am process; you are content – and I am here to guide the team to breakthrough and growth. 

Copyright Notice

The copyright and title to the StratOp process, and any trademarks or service marks relating thereto, remain with the Paterson Center. I am certified by the Paterson Center to facilitate you through the StratOp process.

The Strat-Ops process moved our church further in three days than we have gone in years.  We started with the 30,000 foot perspective and landed with practical and realistic outcomes to achieve in six weeks.  Bruce Hopler is an AMAZING systems thinker, facilitator, and organizational guide.  Thank you, Bruce!
— Duane Cox / StratOp Champion, Seaside Community Church, Hunting Beach, CA