Strategy, development & support for coalitions, associations, organizations and initiatives

It’s hard for us to believe, but WNA will be celebrating its three-year anniversary this fall. After two and a half years of doing a variety of interesting and meaningful work, as well as growing our team, it felt like time to revisit the way we are characterizing the services that we provide and the value they offer to our clients. So, our core team and associates got together recently for a visioning session utilizing concepts from the innovative co-created book “Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers.”

We support many clients in reflecting on their work and developing vision and strategy, so it’s important for us to practice what we preach. First, we assessed the current strengths of our team and what we think our clients value about our work. We came up with the following list:

  • Navigating complexity
  • Facilitating systems change
  • Helping leaders collectively articulate their vision
  • Fostering the right environment for transformation

We also talked about what work each of us really loves doing. For instance, I have learned that I love the iterative process of convening a group to get their input; then working on my own to compile and synthesize their thoughts; and then working with the group to develop a final written product that reflects the group’s vision (I think it has something to do with my ambivert personality).

Next, we walked through the business model canvas, a great tool from the book I mentioned above to clarify an organization’s business model (ours was not as pretty as the example below!)

Business Model Canvas art

Through that process, we were able to clarify our value propositions – which weren’t dramatically different from our previous categories, just more refined:

  • Supporting Collaborative Initiatives
  • Building Capacity and Resources
  • Facilitating Strategic Decision Making

From there, we reviewed our strategic goals and discussed the activities that we want to pursue over the next year that will help to further these goals. We also made sure to assign activities to the appropriate team member to create accountability for follow-through with the activities.

The process I’ve outlined here would work equally well in a non-profit, government or multi-sector setting. Does your team or initiative need assistance developing a business model or reviewing your value propositions? If so, connect with us – we’d love to talk with you about it.

 

 

Image credits (available under Creative Commons licenses):

Value Proposition Design: Jonny Goldstein, envizualize.com

Business Model Canvas: marcfonteijn, flicker.com

 

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Woollard Nichols & Associates is a consulting firm committed to nurturing social impact through strategy, development & support for coalitions, associations, organizations and initiatives.

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