Anticipating and driving change
In the business world, we often talk about “strategy” as a mechanism to guide our decision-making processes. But how does strategy fit into your organization, and what does it entail? Princeton University defines strategy as an elaborate and systematic plan of action. The key word in this definition is “plan.” Every organization needs a plan, a roadmap if you will, to get where they want to go. Yet, for many organizations, planning, goal setting and problem resolution can be a difficult process.
Our clients turn to us to assist their executive teams in creating sound consensus-building and decision-making processes that foster impactful strategic planning efforts. As objective stewards of the process, we help organizations develop a common vision to drive strategic priorities, goals, and action plans that allow organizational leaders to focus squarely on the issues that matter, and make informed decisions that shape and guide who they are, what they do, and why they do it, with a focus on the future.
The result is a strong, effective organization, and a clearer, measurable path forward.
A typical strategic planning process may include an organizational needs assessment, facilitation of planning sessions, including a comprehensive SWOT analysis, and the development of a concrete, actionable plan.
To learn how SSA can specifically help you strategically anticipate and respond to change, contact us.
► The Water Institute of the Gulf | Driving the Application of Scientific and Technological Solutions
State officials and key stakeholders identified the need to develop excellent science to give local, state and federal policymakers, as well as residents, the information and options they need, not only to solve a scientific problem, but to solve social challenges as well.
SSA created the conceptual model and business plan for The Water Institute, along with leading practices research on governance, funding, staffing, and programmatic elements for 29 institutes with relevant missions. SSA also conducted stakeholder outreach and spearheaded planning efforts with vice-chancellors of Louisiana universities and research directors for other organizations around the world to help ensure early efforts of The Water Institute would collaboratively enhance ongoing activities of leading practice coastal and deltaic research institutions.
The Water Institute will create science and technology in Louisiana to inform the federal and state’s coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts, building capacity and specialism at a level that does not exist today in the United States or around the world. The economic impact of The Water Institute will be realized not only through the building of capacity in academic institutions and private industry, but through the application of such knowledge in cutting-edge technologies that can be adapted for use by state and federal agencies or commercialized to advanced private enterprise.
► Blueprint Louisiana | Creating the State We Deserve
Blueprint Louisiana is a citizen-driven effort to identify and implement essential changes to fundamentally improve life and economic opportunities in Louisiana for generations. Led and supported by community and business leaders from across the state, this nonpartisan effort aims to better position Louisiana for success. SSA designed the Blueprint Louisiana organizational and operational models in 2006 and currently serves as the project management organization.
SSA facilitates periodic meetings in nine, designated regions to gather input from business and community leaders. Since spring 2007, SSA has hosted 36 regional meetings, attracting more than 2,000 participants. The project team also conducts formal briefings for legislators and executive agencies on all of Blueprint’s reform platforms, including ethics, education, workforce development, health care, transportation infrastructure, crime, public retirement, and coastal restoration and hurricane protection. Additionally, SSA manages the organization’s daily operations, including maintaining Blueprint Louisiana’s financials and 3,000-plus membership database; directing subcontractors; coordinating board meetings; and facilitating engagements among key stakeholders. Among its many outreach efforts, SSA developed a speakers’ bureau that has supplied presenters, including project staff and board members, to discuss the Blueprint agenda at nearly 50 meetings and conferences.
During the 2007 election, Blueprint Louisiana secured a super-majority of support in Louisiana Legislature. Major Blueprint-backed legislation passed during special and regular legislative sessions resulted in stronger ethic laws, higher investments in early childhood education, a redesign of state workforce development efforts, higher education reform, and the implementation of a performance-based funding formula at the campus level. Moreover, Blueprint’s communication efforts produced more than 200 articles, editorials and letters to the editor published by print media across the state.