Many organizations have the data needed to move straight into visioning and planning retreats, but others need more time to collect key inputs on their organization's strengths and weaknesses, understand how others view them, or better analyze their niche and external needs. Aligning Visions works with clients to gather key inputs through field visits, external interviews, and surveys of key stakeholders. Often times this is tied into a program assessment to lay the groundwork for future planning.
Prior to facilitating a new planning process, I will often interview a full group, or a subset, to explore their expectations and ensure that we address the challenges rather than have "elephants in the room". I also often use Survey Monkey to survey a wider group in a confidential format and then share the non-attributed information back during a retreat or in a written report. This helps ensure that needed inputs are shared and critical issues are dealt with during the facilitated process. It also brings new ideas into the planning process. In many cases, with client permission, I will gather outside input from other organizations and leaders in the field on the strengths and challenges facing my client:
Paquita, your in-depth interviews and exchanges with our board members and partners have resulted in great recommendations for our institutional growth.
Chris Fagan, Executive Director, Upper Amazon Conservancy
We are delighted to have
engaged Paquita Bath of Aligning Visions, who did an extraordinary job of
compiling a vast quantity of raw material into a cohesive whole. Paquita is a
bloodhound; she unearthed resources in the unlikeliest places to ensure that
the Center is truly comprehensive. If anything has been omitted, it surely is
not for lack of sleuthing on Paquita’s part. Paquita then undertook the
Herculean task of putting all of the material she found into sensible order,
and giving it flow and cohesion. She jumped eagerly into the fray to lead this
project from the initial formation of the Conservancy’s Global Partnership
Practice Network, and she never flagged during her six month consultancy –
keeping all of us on track and facilitating a truly collaborative group
Olivia Millard, Asia-Pacific Program, The Nature Conservancy
When developing business plans and operational plans, high-levels of attention are needed to develop realistic and detailed next steps and budgets. I will work with the client on budget scenarios, past histories and future funding expectations. Plans lay out detailed strategies, incorporate attainable time frames and budgets, and engage the organization in defining its role vis-a-vis other organizations in the area. By fully engaging key stakeholders and staff in the design and collection of the needed data, clients get the added bonus of getting staff commitment and buy-in for new areas of investment and fundraising.