Need: Developing a “realistic and workable” strategic plan
Service: Strategic planning
Timing was right, with a new Board leader and Executive Director, to update the strategic plan of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati. Wanting a working, living document to guide the organization’s programs and activities, Smith Beers Yunker & Company was chosen to guide the Board and senior staff in a thorough planning process.
“After interviewing a few other consultants, we believed that Smith Beers Yunker offered the most balanced, reasonable approach to the strategic planning,” explained Executive Director Jim Hudson.
Board President Lucinda Hurst admits significant trepidation going into the strategic planning process, but says her fears were quickly allayed: “I am not a strategic planning person, so this was one of the tasks I was most concerned about when I agreed to become president. I just didn’t know how I could personally do it, plus I had participated in two prior planning sessions that didn’t yield anything very usable for the organization.
“Fortunately, Jim Yunker was expert at guiding us through the process, and of making us feel like we were in charge, despite his skillful facilitation. Even I loved this process – and I loved what came out of it. I feel that we ended with something that is actionable, attainable, measurable – something that’s going to help keep us on track. We just couldn’t be more pleased.”
Jim Hudson concurred, feeling that the process yielded a strategic plan “that really has some teeth, that isn’t just a set of pipe dreams,” an achievement attributable in part to a tailored, personalized approach. “There was a great deal of flexibility around the process. It was really designed to meet our unique needs and objectives.”
Both Jim and Lucinda were extremely pleased with the level of Board and staff participation, as well as the follow-up they and the organization received from the Smith Beers Yunker team. Says Lucinda, “Jim [Yunker] didn’t just help us write a plan and then ride off into the sunset. He’s taken the time to meet with us since then, and I feel absolutely confident that he will continue to be there as a resource for us as we work to implement the plan Smith Beers Yunker helped us create.”
Pleased with the service provided, Jim Hudson offered this endorsement: “We would highly recommend Smith Beers Yunker to other organizations and will certainly consider them for similar needs in the future.”