Elizabeth Crook – CEO & Founder

I help companies grow their profitability and value through strategic clarity and effective execution.

My clients value the insight, skill, authenticity, and ability to ask the hard questions gently, that I bring to each interaction. They count on me as a skilled business strategist — the go‑to person for those “what do we do with this” moments. I use my gift for making sense of complex situations, so that creative and practical approaches emerge.

I am a curious person. Learning about new people, ideas, places, and businesses keeps me energized and looking forward to each day. Whether it’s a new business approach, a new way to make healthy lasagna, or planning my first trip to China and a cruise down the Yangtze River, I love crossing new frontiers. Moving to Latin America at age thirty (for twelve years) gave me the opportunity (and challenge) to become bilingual. Having clients in British Columbia inspired me to take up downhill skiing in my fifties – what a thrill. Hiking in Patagonia in my sixties opened my eyes to new vistas.

My curiosity benefits my clients too.

I want to know about them, not just their businesses, because I don’t believe that one size fits all. It’s the difference between buying a suit off the rack and having one custom tailored for you.

I seek out the best thinking and practices from business thinkers and leaders, including classics like Jim Collins Michael Porter, Verne Harnish, and Patrick Lencioni and more recent ones like Shannon Susko. However, early in my career, I realized it wasn’t just about the content I could bring to clients, but about skill in facilitating their thinking and their decision-making. That lead me to study and practice facilitation skills including completing the Master of Technology of Participation.

I was a Gazelles/Scaling Up Certified Coach for fifteen years and am now a 3HAG Certified Coach. This approach has allowed my clients to build on the well-known One Page Strategic Plan, but goes even further in helping companies create a truly differentiated position in the market and a plan that gives them clarity and confidence.

Before founding Orchard Advisors, my reputation as someone with “a record of success doing things that had never been done before,” created opportunities to drive growth in new markets and new products as an executive in the US and Latin America, including successfully raising venture capital.

I also have over a decade of creative work as a personal strategist and thinking partner to successful individuals who want to explore the next phase of their life and leadership, which is the basis for my book Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next (Greenleaf, 2017).

Believing in making the world a better place fueled my decades-long involvement as a member and presenter to the Social Venture Circle (previously the Social Venture Network), my company being the first B-Corp in Tennessee and my leadership work with the YWCA serving as member, Board Chair and instigator of a partnership with the Dollar General Corporation.

My credentials include a BA from Vanderbilt University, MS from Tennessee State University, plus having had a broad career in many sectors.

What I Do

As a strategic advisor, I work with CEOs and business owners of small to mid‑sized companies, entrepreneurs, CEOs, leaders, connectors, and people making a difference for their clients and their communities.

I believe that business is a force for positive change and that business success contributes to the economic vitality of a community, and beyond.

As I work with you and your team, I will:

  • GET RESULTS – that’s the bottom line
  • Listen deeply
  • Elicit your best thinking
  • Ask the right questions
  • Facilitate challenging conversations
  • Find the bright spots
  • Gain consensus and alignment
  • Use fresh approaches
  • Honor confidentiality

I would love to learn about your business and explore how I can add value. Email me and let’s talk.