Helping organizations align strategically for the future
In moments of change, organizations face both great risks and the potential for significant rewards. Such changes—shifts in policies, markets, or donors; new opportunities or frictions with external stakeholders; transitions in leadership or governance—can raise hard questions. What are the organization’s goals? What’s the best way to pursue them, and who makes that decision? When the situation calls for joint leadership and engagement with staff and stakeholders, CBI’s facilitators can turn diverse views into the fuel for shared solutions.
Examples of CBI’s contributions include:
For organizations and groups reimagining their purpose, we facilitate deep reflection and creative visioning at board, leadership, and staff levels. We ground this process in a realistic review of the organization’s strengths and limitations, making the vision a guiding star by which to navigate.
From business-NGO collaboration on voluntary global standards to integrated social service partnerships in cities and states, we help leaders clarify shared and complementary goals, define roles and responsibilities, draft strategies and work plans, and create the structures for mutual accountability and progress measurement that can enhance collective impact.
Within organizations, we facilitate collaborative goal-setting and strategy development. We maximize the diversity of perspectives considered, while distinguishing carefully among consultation, negotiation, and decision-making roles and responsibilities. We support joint drafting of strategies and plans, and we ensure that leaders and staff responsible for execution have full ownership of what they produce.
We help leaders assess practices, including forms of representation, procedures for deliberation and decision-making, and lines of accountability. We work with stakeholders to identify options for shifts in these areas, and examine potential benefits and trade-offs from the standpoint of the organization and its key constituencies. Where appropriate, we help stakeholders test options using simulations or trial runs.
Our facilitators can also apply our public engagement tools to organizational development. We reach out to stakeholders and the public for feedback on processes, procedures, and perceptions of an organization from its users, customers, and stakeholders.
Convenors/clients and stakeholders consistently note our facilitators and mediators' ability to:
We facilitate collaborative planning by ensuring mutual understanding among stakeholders; promoting an open mindset in exploring threats and opportunities; and helping leaders balance goals and address tradeoffs.
We strengthen partnerships by helping parties find constructive ways to measure success, align strategies, and allocate responsibilities and resources; and we facilitate transparent, evidence-based, joint decision-making.
Consulting with diverse internal and external stakeholders lets an organization learn from their experience, knowledge, and perceptions.
To ensure that strategies can be implemented, we engage staff in developing both strategies and implementation tactics; we also outline goals, objectives, actions, indicators, and metrics.