Jump-Starting Your Strategy

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Growth and Positioning Strategies for Associations

Accelerate implementation by sharpening your organizational readiness and execution focus.

 

To accelerate the implementation of your growth and positioning goals, a strategic focus and tactical agility must permeate your organization. To help you assess and optimize your organizational readiness, we will help you:

 

  • Design organizational dashboards to track progress
  • Orchestrate leadership transitions
  • Hone your product/service development processes
  • Prepare staff to implement strategies
  • Develop compelling yet cost-effective member engagement “experiences”
  • Accelerate executive development via coaching and teambuilding

 

Organizational dashboards

Much like a car dashboard, Organizational Dashboards provide a “user” tool to focus on the most critical elements of your strategy. They help you track organizational momentum, and to some extent organizational health. Therefore, just as important as the lagging indicators (outcomes), will be your leading indicators that are predictive of future outcomes.

We can help your develop a dashboard unique to your needs at a broad organizational level, or we can also help you cascade it down through your business units to ensure alignment the alignment of their initiatives, forecasts and success measures.

 

Planning Leadership transitions

Whether initiating succession planning, getting ready for a new CEO, or even considering your personal exit strategy --- we will help you think through the implications and transition steps; providing guidance based upon lessons-learned. We work with boards to examine the most critical characteristics of CEO candidates given the organization’s current momentum, challenges and opportunities, and to create screening processes that optimize outcomes. We are not a search firm, but can work hand-in-hand with one that you engage. We will assist you in leadership assessment and will help you in construct high-impact individual and executive team development strategies.

 

New on the scene?

Working with an incoming CEO or Second in Command is one of our specialty areas of focus. No one is hired at this level to maintain the status quo. As such, your early actions will have a disproportional impact on the next few years. You face a steep learning curve, and maintaining strategic focus is difficult amidst daily distractions. Everyone is watching and seeking your attention. But they are also emotionally invested in what has come before. All of this leaves you especially vulnerable during what we call your period of Fast Drying Cement. We use this term, because creating the change you are considering will be far more difficult in subsequent months after everyone has sighed and thought: “well that wasn’t so bad” and have returned to their former way of doing things.

Your challenge is gathering and assessing critical intelligence fast enough to minimize your vulnerability and to leverage your window of opportunity. We will help you stay centered, avoid common traps, and focus on the areas of greatest impact. Together, we will examine current situations, brainstorm potential scenarios, and help you identify action steps.

 

 

Product/service development

The processes that you utilize to create any major new product or service are critical to achieving your desired outcomes. We characterize these processes as: “putting your toe in the water, before your ankle, before your shin…” — which, conducted in phases, progressively stimulate creativity while managing resources and risk. These phases build your knowledge and comfort levels about the feasibility and sale-ability/relevance to your targeted audiences of the new product or service. They also help you manage the resource impact and to assess the relative return on investment of each new major product or service. Without such processes, the chance is great that you will be throwing time, resources and pre-funding into a black hole and hoping for the best. While our clients have varying preferences for the formality of such processes, we will work with you to customize your processes and optimize outcomes.

 

Prepare staff to implement strategies

The handoff from the “strategists” to the “implementers” is never smooth, and managing change can be wrenching. We will help you design processes that engage staff early in strategy development efforts. We’ll surface their ideas and apprehensions, and help you pave the way for getting them energized about future possibilities for the organization, as well as for themselves personally.

Staff always knows when "something's up" and they want to know what it means for them. As such, there is no better time to reinforce what really drives customer/member value, how the business environment is changing the way we work, and what will constitute a future "star" performer. Engaging them early and throughout the planning process, especially in the creation of your “roadmap” will make all the difference in translating strategy to action. Implementation is about their commitment, knowledge and ideas.

 

Customer/Member engagement “experiences”

Developing compelling “experiences” for your various audiences may well be the competitive differentiation you are seeking; the critical factor that drives value and growth. Your key audiences likely have multiple sources from which they can obtain similar products and services. This is especially true when involving services that are traditionally “pushed” out at them by associations, suppliers, or educational institutions.

As research by Gallup and others support, your ability to “engage” your customers/members will likely determine your continuing success. This means developing a variety of “pull” strategies (in-person and on-line) to increase their engagement levels. Associations thrive by being the neutral integrator; the platform and facilitator that brings constituents together to share the pieces of the puzzle that each hold, and then helps them create new knowledge or solutions that benefit everyone.

 

Accelerate executive development

Today's business leaders take their game to a higher level and accelerate their impact through “real time” action-learning tied to organizational objectives. With little time for traditional executive development, they learn through collaborative problem solving, taking action, and self-reflection --- all tied to current business challenges. We provide this through executive coaching, executive team-building and our executive forums.

Executive Coaching

We will help you examine your most critical business issues—the ones that keep you up at night. We will help you brainstorm scenarios, identify obstacles, visualize successful outcomes, identify action steps and evaluate results. We will serve as a sounding board for your thoughts, ideas, hopes and concerns, and we will challenge you with tough questions. Together, we will explore ways to best leverage your leadership style and strengths. Our coaches have lived in the trenches, and bring expertise in strategy development, operations management, the alignment of organizational systems and culture, leadership development, team development, and change management.

Executive Team Building

We will work with your executive and operating management team to stimulate their development, momentum and results. This may include building greater awareness of team processes, team leadership, team problem-solving, performance monitoring, feedback mechanisms, and conflict resolution.

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During a complementary interview, we seek to understand your objectives & current momentum, brainstorming potential process approaches.

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