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About The Founder

Dave Haviland: ROI with heart

Dave's philosophy centers on “ROI with heart,” emphasizing good business decisions while honoring each company’s culture and relationships.  His clients are often multi-generational family businesses, or businesses that operate in a similar fashion.

And his help is not cookie-cutter.  For clients who need more help turning strategy into action, he serves as a fractional executive, driving strategic initiatives on a weekly basis.  For others who want help making their managers more strategic, he meets with the whole management team quarterly.  And for other CEOs who just want a smart sounding board, he meets with just the CEO monthly.

Since 2001, Dave has focused on providing management consulting to leadership teams at second stage businesses. He helps: 


  • Clarify your business goals and strategies

  • Improve how you sell products and services

  • Boost internal productivity

  • Develop new business opportunities


Dave has led thousands of strategy meetings, where he uses his ability to guide conversation with great questions, and offers advice from his business and personal experience.


When he's not in strategy meetings, he leads workshops for groups of CEOs and “rising leaders” – high-performing middle managers who will become the next generation of leaders.


Dave graduated from Yale with an American Studies degree, spent a year after graduation biking around the country, and then landed in a teaching job in Louisville, KY.  He later moved to Washington, DC, where he found his way from Capitol Hill into a business career serving as an operations, corporate development and marketing leader at four telecom/media startups.  He moved to Ann Arbor in 1998, and started Phimation Strategy Group in 2007 after being a partner in another strategy consulting firm.  His time outside work is filled with 3 teens, “beer league” hockey, and a blossoming karaoke career.


Since working with Dave we’ve been able to gain a better focus on our growth plan. What is unique about his approach is the ratio of listening to talking/directing he does.  Most coaches are eager to share their knowledge, where Dave is eager to listen. His value is in his ability to listen and hear beyond our words to extract the heart of our goals.  At that point, he steps in and provides clarity and actionable ideas.  

Mickey Swortzel - Owner/CFO, New Eagle 

I started my boutique business litigation law firm about 10 years ago.  While we had some success, we weren't where I wanted us to be.  A couple of years after starting, I retained Dave Haviland to help get our firm beyond start-up and into a Second Stage stable business.  Dave helped us create a systematic marketing approach, address staffing concerns, and build a solid partnership group at the top.  8 years later, our revenues have quadrupled and we have the strong business foundation I wanted.  What started as a 2 lawyer office is now 7 people - with strong prospects for more growth.  Dave has been a tremendous advisor to me and the firm.  I am grateful to have him as part of our management team, and look forward to the next 10 years with Dave at our side.

Ken Neuman - Managing Partner, Altior Law

Dave has really helped our company tackle some tough issues that we knew we needed to face but did not have the time or energy to do so, including some issues that we did not know we had.  Issues ranging from selling approaches, Partner to Analyst compensation, organizational structure, and Marketing budget priorities.  His demeanor is perfect for our company; listening when it makes sense, being tough when that is required and overall, just getting us to take action and move things down the field. He's had a big impact on our firm!

Rick Claar - Managing Partner, Martec Group

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