Establishing economies of scale for a growing nonprofit agency
“The success with Nancy Eberhardt is that she helps us with continual and incremental improvement. This is about an ongoing process to develop relationships and methods, and the success is in creating the behavior and thinking to get us to the point where we are always pursuing this. She jump-starts our continual self-improvement.”
A 110 year-old, $30 million agency with eight locations was struggling with economies of scale as it had grown rapidly in the last decade. The planning and communications systems that were once effective for a small organization became outdated as the organization had grown in scope and size. They surveyed their staff and learned that only about 10 percent of the employees had a solid understanding of the organization’s strategic direction and their role in it. Even though they had a good strategic plan in place, their pain point was really execution.
We built in metrics with financial, quality and program indicators to ensure that as the organization scales, the infrastructure and funding could continue to support the growth. We also deeply integrated the strategic plan into the organization’s culture and mobilized its staff to act on it. This was accomplished through a program in which all employees were trained to understand their role, how their key performance measures align with the organization’s larger strategic plan, and how to track their performance against these goals.
After the first year, 90 percent of the agency’s employees could articulate the strategic plan and how their role contributes to it. That involved 375 staff all rowing in the same direction and contributing their gifts toward the greater goals. High potential employees are more inspired and delivering greater results in this larger context. They served 20% more clients with a similar budget in the second year and radically transformed their culture to key metrics for a newly defined social impact.« Back to all case studies