Leaders of this San Francisco housing and social services organization faced key challenges as they prepared to launch a major capital campaign. Needs in the city’s LGBT population were growing as these residents aged and became more vulnerable; Openhouse's small dedicated staff were hard-pressed to keep up with the demand. Working with a team from Dilan Consulting Group, I conducted community stakeholder research, an organizational assessment, current and prospective customer focus groups and interviews with diverse groups of LGBTQ seniors and other key stakeholders. I co-facilitated the Board strategy retreat and co-authored deliverables, including a detailed Year 1 implementation plan.
The robust planning process led to consensus among Openhouse leadership about the way forward, including decisions for the size and design of the group’s new headquarters and strategies to shore up internal infrastructure before undertaking a sustainable plan to grow programs and services.
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Leaders of this hybrid international membership and research organization in 2015 developed a highly aspirational strategic plan, but had not implemented it a year later. Important challenges to the group’s long-term sustainability now needed to be addressed. In collaboration with consultant Regina Neu, I engaged a board-staff client team to guide the “Strategy Alignment” and implementation planning project. We interviewed and surveyed board, staff and committee members, then designed a highly participatory retreat where board and staff considered the background research, weighed various options and came to consensus on their priority strategies to sustain the organization’s financial and programmatic health in the coming years. After the retreat, board-staff teams developed detailed action plans to implement their key strategies.
“The EERI board and staff appreciated all the time and energy Eleanor and Regina put into our Strategy Alignment project. They clearly did not phone it in. We were kept on track and they really listened and learned about us. We were very satisfied with the overall process and their commitment to our project.” –Jay Berger, Executive Director, EERI