Gray Stone Advisors Helps Business Aviation Organizations Become Strategic Business Partners to Host Corporations

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Two recently launched innovative processes have helped over a dozen business aviation organizations to this point.

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Gray Stone knows how to dig out what's vital to your operation and set a course toward actionable items you can take back to your team. This was the best leadership seminar of any kind that I've ever been a part of.

Business aviation leadership teams from more than a dozen aviation organizations have undertaken a comprehensive assessment of their operations and are transforming the way they do business, thanks to two recently launched innovative processes developed by Gray Stone Advisors (, a leading business aviation advisory firm. In an effort to help aviation directors and their teams become more aligned with their host organizations, two of Gray Stone’s offerings—called the “Current State Assessment” and “The Way Forward”—are helping operators communicate their value more effectively, increase organizational effectiveness and significantly reduce operating costs.

While the “Current State Assessment” and “The Way Forward” processes are valuable as standalone offerings, combined they become “what I think is the most comprehensive, far-reaching business aviation assessment and strategy tool out there today,” said Steve Brechter, senior advisor of operations, Gray Stone Advisors. “The positive impact has been remarkable as flight departments pull together to improve their operations, processes and become totally aligned with corporate expectations.”

The “Current State Assessment” offers an objective assessment of a flight department’s operational status. Completed onsite in two to four business days, Gray Stone Advisors offer an objective, fact-based assessment of a business aviation operation, assessed from the perspective of industry “best practices.” The assessment identifies areas of strength and opportunity from one end of the flight department to the other. Aviation directors receive a comprehensive (and confidential) business review of their organization.

"The Way Forward” is a two-day offsite session, which brings together a flight department’s operational leaders and focuses on defining their path ahead. The objective is to achieve the next level of operational excellence, robust performance and effective fiscal management. Facilitated by Gray Stone Advisors’ senior leaders, The Way Forward leverages what is gleaned from the Current State Assessment, if applicable. The outcomes include a newly defined vision, mission and values for the organization, a one-year operating plan and the definition of key leadership competencies—all of which will be aligned with the department’s host company or enterprise. A business aviation organization’s leaders emerge from the offsite with a “new arsenal of skills to help them become better, more tightly aligned performers,” described Brechter.

“Jim [Lara] and Steve [Brechter] are expert facilitators and have keen insights into both aviation as a whole and the business world,” according to an aviation director of a leading U.S.-based electric and gas company. “From the day-to-day workings of a flight department to the critical interactions that must take place between aviation leaders and the corporate executives, Gray Stone knows how to dig out what's vital to your operation and set a course toward actionable items you can take back to your team. This was the best leadership seminar of any kind that I've ever been a part of.”

One of the most significant results of these experiential processes is that business aviation organizations cease to be viewed as an “appendage” of the corporation. Instead, Gray Stone helps flight departments become integrated strategic business partners or strategic business units, according to Jim Lara, founder and principal, Gray Stone Advisors. “In many cases, the flight department becomes redefined as a ‘success enabler’ for the corporation or host organization rather than a cost center,” Lara explained. “It’s really a strategic repositioning of perceptions and deliverables.”

For further information and the opportunity to meet with Gray Stone Advisors on October 21-23 during the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (, please contact Gray Stone Advisors at +1 865-357-5077 or visit

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Jill Henning

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