Seeing the decline in traditional manufacturing, the City of London and a non-profit organization were looking to explore other areas of industry focus in an effort to further grow the London Economy. One of the sectors of interest was the Medical and Assistive Technology (MAT) sector. The Medical Devices sector was identified as an area that could materially improve both the local economy and the community’s national profile.

The MAT sector in Ontario is the largest in Canada, accounting for 57% of the total Canadian market; and the majority of MAT companies are concentrated in Southern Ontario. Within the sector, Ontario boasts several strengths, but also faces challenges. Despite these challenges, there had been recognition for the need for greater investment in medical technology. The City of London, with its strong medical history and strategic location wanted to explore how it could invest in the Medical Devices Sector to create the maximum economic return.


Within this context, the organization needed a detailed action-oriented business plan that included the following:

  • A brief quantitative market overview of the medical device sector’s current contribution
  • A brief comparison with other similar sized Canadian communities
  • A detailed list of promising sub-sectors and technologies that represented the strongest growth prospects for London’s medical device industry
  • A list of action steps and target sub-sectors, including timing, and the financial and human resources requirements needed to deliver on these sectors
  • The forecasted benefits from a fully realized plan (jobs, investments, research dollars, new companies, etc…)
  • A budget


The main challenges we faced in conducting this project related to:

  • Complexity – relating to the overall business process and required solution

Our consultants conducted a series of 7 activities to provide the City of London with a detailed business plan designed to establish a roadmap to accelerate the growth of its MAT sector.

The 7 activities were:

  1. Background Research and Preparation
    In this activity, our consultants met with the organization to confirm and approve the deliverables, objectives and project plan. Our team then analyzed any initial information and documentations relevant to the deliverables.
  2. Review of Existing Work
    The objective of this activity was to review the existing Medical Device Sector work that had been done to extract the desired relevant information for the Business plan. Some limited research based on websites and literature reviews was also conducted to fill in any key missing information.
  3. Creation of a First Draft Report
    Key findings of the document and literature review were then compiled and a preliminary draft created.
  4. Key Informant Research
    The first draft report was designed to communicate key findings to relevant stakeholders and gather initial reactions/feedback early on in the project. After the review of the first draft, our team conducted various interviews with key informants to supplement information obtained through the prior research on the project.
  5. Activities 5, 6, & 7: Analysis and Report Development
    After the interviews, our consultants analyzed all the data and created a full and final report.

Role of Art and Science

Our approach to this project was conducted within the context of 2 phases: strategic planning and operational planning.

Traditional strategic planning conducted by other firms focus heavily on phase 1 and largely on “technical” aspects. Our approach not only focused on the vision and positioning of the organization, but also what it meant in clearly defined operational terms. In addition, we placed a heavy emphasis on “art” throughout the project, bringing in stakeholder opinions and concerns and change management, to ensure that our clients ended up with a final plan that all relevant stakeholders could buy-into and was primed for success.

Our Art & Science approach in this project allowed us to produce a positive result and a strong strategic plan for the organization.


The end result of this project was highly successful. At the end of the project, the organization had a strategic plan that:

  • Provided strategic direction that would guide the City’s activities over the next 3 to 5 years
  • Attained a shared understanding and consensus between key stakeholders on the direction for the economic development of the MAT sector
  • Provided the basis of a message to the City and others on the perspective of the City’s economic development
  • Confirmed the City’s strategic vision, goals, and objectives with respect to the economic development of the MAT sector
  • Obtained consensus on the future vision of the MAT sector and how it pertains to London
  • Helped the client gain an initial understanding of London’s current core competencies and proposed direction
  • Provided the basis for the development of an “operational strategy” – including potential projects and related implementation plans
  • Provided an implementation plan for specific strategic change projects and the development of an appropriate measurement system
  • Helped to ensure that the City actually delivers on the promise of the developed plan