STRATEGIC PLANNING

A focused, useful, inspiring strategic plan is essential for any organization seeking to define and advance toward the preferred future.

Bridgeport Consulting offers skilled capacity in designing and delivering strategic planning processes that range from a brief, less-intensive “tune-up” of an existing plan, to a full-service engagement structured to accommodate multiple data sources, broad stakeholder engagement, and/or significant reconsideration of organizational vision and mission.

We custom-tailor our approach to each client’s unique needs and capacity, in a way that is both responsive to the moment, and resilient over the long term. Two characteristics are true for every strategic planning process we’ve ever designed, however: the inclusiveness of the process, and the grounded applicability of the results. The strategic plans we help clients develop do not sit on a shelf – they get put to work.

CASE STUDY

U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts – Ann Arbor, MI

In the summer of 2019, Anne Curzan, the incoming Dean of the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, was struck by the similarities between the mission statement of the college and the mission statement of the university. In fact, they were nearly identical. “Now, let me be clear in saying that the university has a very good mission statement,” Dean Curzan is quick to add. “And of course LSA’s mission should align with that of the overall institution in which we reside.”

Yet, it seemed clear that as the home of the liberal arts and sciences at U-M “the types of work we do at LSA, the kinds of questions we ask, the set of values we use to guide our decisions—these things make us different. They deserve to be named and celebrated.” So, with support from Bridgeport Consulting, that’s exactly what Dean Curzan invited the LSA community to do. 

The challenge? Design a fully participatory process—one that maximizes the opportunity for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other stakeholders to shape the future of LSA. Gather the inputs needed to articulate statements of vision, mission, and values that define the college’s aspirations and can serve as decision-making guides for the future. From there, identify the key strategic priorities that would clarify, galvanize, and align resources toward the work ahead. Get it all done by the end of the academic year. Oh, and one more thing: Make it fun. 

Challenge accepted. Read the final plan.

“Kerry is an impeccable and energetic facilitator and expert communicator; she and her team are exceptionally skilled at synthesizing complex conversations, data, and other feedback into legible, aspirational, and actionable strategy. They are just the kind of people you want on your side when you’re working with diverse organizational stakeholders in crafting strategy. I find myself constantly referring other colleagues to Bridgeport.”

Jim Leija

Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning, U-M Museum of Art

“With integrity, keen insight, and good humor, Bridgeport Consulting has consistently delivered for me on time and on budget! Kerry and Brittany are my go-to partners for holistic change leadership, effective team engagement, and comprehensive project management. They bring clarity, objectivity, and creativity to every engagement!”

Nancy Penberthy

Executive Director of Resource Planning & Management, U-M Office of Research

“Partnering with Bridgeport helped me put a structure around our strategic planning process and their wisdom and experience helped me to focus on the salient parts, knowing where there was opportunity for refinement and for growth. Their leadership and guidance kept me on task and we would not have gotten this project done without them.”

Kaaren Williamsen

Director, U-M SAPAC

“Kerry and her team bring their core values to bear in all their work, brilliantly combining rigor with fun, excellence with humility – and their positive “we got this” energy is simply infectious. Facilitating a strategic planning process for a college of over 20,000 people in 8 months is an ambitious undertaking (to say the least). Kerry and her team were the right people to help us get there with clarity of vision, impeccable organization, and a genuine sense of play and joy.”

Anne Curzan

Dean, U-M College of LSA

“Anica and Francine came well recommended and they delivered above and beyond my high expectations. The result was a strategic plan that reflects the input of a broad set of contributors and balances the aspirational with the attainable. In addition to their competence and valuable experience, they are a great pleasure to work with!”

Emy Brawley

Associate Director, The Conservation Fund

“Anica and Francine brilliantly organized our board’s strategic planning sessions around what they heard in their interviews with directors and staff. They listen well and value the diversity of our experience, perspectives, and personalities. It truly is a pleasure to work with Bridgeport Consulting.”

Paul Hillegonds

CEO, Michigan Health Endowment Fund

“My team eagerly anticipates our strategy sessions with Bridgeport. Besides being high-level professionals, they also have a heart for our mission and are people of the highest integrity and compassion. Their mix of “head and heart” have made them perfect to work with Gleaners.”

Gerry Brisson

President & CEO, Gleaners Community Food Bank

“Kerry and the team at Bridgeport have expertly shepherded the Chelsea District Library through two strategic planning processes (they are so good that we keep coming back!). With experience, warmth, insight, and humor, they facilitated the creation of thoughtful, responsive, and actionable roadmaps for library service to our community. We are a better library, thanks to Bridgeport!”

Lori Coryell

Director, Chelsea District Library