Organizational Change and Development
Industry: Information/Communications Technology executives and professionals
Audience: Local, state, and national ICT community, board of directors, vendors, partners, funders
Stumbling Block: NTEN went through a nearly 90% period of turnover, including an executive transition of its CEO/lead fundraiser, Marketing Director, and Publications Director, three-five months before its largest annual event, the organization’s largest revenue stream.
Strategy: As the director of programs, I needed to shore up organizational and community morale through strong networking, while ensuring that that the large event as well as the many other, diverse programs this organization offered went off well. Moved many services internally so that staff had a large, front and center customer oriented role. Automated processes and hired staff with long-term objectives for scaling the event. Developed short and long-term operational cash plan to help offset the slower cash flow with out incoming grant programs. Realigned strategic objectives to focus on 3 core audience groups of individual, organizational, and internal staff so that everyone felt a strong part of the community while managing through the change.
Success Story: Staff and community banded together to ensure that our largest community gathering was both impactful but also fun. I created a new networking event, the Geek Games, forecasted and delivered an inherited budget with a higher profit margin and lower expenses than expected, with a cost savings of nearly $35,000. I grew our exhibit hall floor and exceeded the corporate sponsorship goal by 20%, respectively. I also differentiated the learning opportunities to provide greater outreach to the many elements and skill levels of our community.
Audience: Pre-K-20 educators, pre-service college students, administrators, and consultants
Stumbling Block: Outdated marketing and communications messaging for an event that touched an international audience whose tastes were a broad range of communication consumption. The client was playing catch up while teetering on the cutting edge, balancing competing interests due to a generation gap that was clearly evident from the market research, and trying to save money because the industry was heading towards tough times.
Strategy: Craft a long term and a short term roadmap for where the client wanted to be and how to get there. I collaborated with the in-house marketing and communications team, envisioning a future where the print and digital collateral work with the same look, feel, and content but with a twist. Beginning in 2009, I planned one year, three year, and five year strategies, contributed to copy for internal and external stakeholders, and developed marketing and communications messaging that reached eventually more than 10,000 attendees annually.
Success Story: For a yearly cost savings of nearly $25,000 and a green outlook guiding collateral with a shift towards digital, I guided the client towards an integrated strategy that continues to model successful outreach through an online program guide, a complementary print guide, and an interactive marketing campaign that effectively communicates personalized conversations through Facebook, Twitter, personalized URL (PURL) campaigns, FourSquare, direct mail, and an online planning system.
Ripping Through the Red Tape
Audience: Local, state, and federal government decision-makers, insurance senior leadership and mid-managers
Stumbling Block: Government and corporate red tape. The client had an aggressive plan to open ten new clinics in one year, in four different states, with an average timeline of 45 days per clinic. Each office would have four to eight doctors that would need privileges to practice in that state as well as being recognized by the insurance groups. The timelines for credentialing ran from one day to one year, and each application had to process uniquely.
Strategy: Move from paper to online applications. Develop deep relationships with all contacts within government and insurance offices. Implement project management system through Basecamp to monitor milestones and stay aware of issues, with added bonus of being able to pull reports and monitor market research.
Success Story: Due to increased effectiveness from the project management system and shift from print to digital, we were able to implement an efficient and speedy turnaround for 75% of the applications submitted. Kentucky was the holdout state, where we were certain there would be an unnecessary 90 business day delay because of bureaucratic red tape. Through my networks built from a former organization, I was able to bring my client’s senior leadership together with the state decision-maker over our applications and halve the processing time, enabling us to meet our office opening deadline. Additionally, with the success of the new processes, the client was able to develop and implement a more aggressive plan for the next fiscal year, eventually opening 12 new offices.
Creating Music Out of Nothing
Industry: Community nonprofit
Audience: Board of Directors, community members
Stumbling Block: Performing artists without an outlet. The client had several people expressing a desire to perform music. However, none felt they had the ability or inclination to perform vocally, and there was incredibly limited financial backing to begin a new program.
Strategy: Find a team instrument. Develop donors who love a joyful noise.
Success Story: I created program strategy and operations plans, created and led fundraising plan, and pitched and received board approval. Met and exceeded original goal by 50%, allowing the client to purchase an additional two (for a total of five) octaves of handbells and handchimes, plus all the fixings that make for a complete team instrument experience. The performing artists show off their skills (fully practiced at five years and running) by performing once a month to a crowd of faithful groupies; give back to the community by sharing their talents at local events and locales such as the local assisted living center, the annual Community Relations Celebration, and the Christmas Village; and meet weekly to keep on the cutting edge of fantastic fun.