Non-Profit Notes: Engaging Stakeholders in a Vision of Success

The Board of Trustees for St. Joseph’s Academy (SJA) set out to build a compelling vision and plan that ensures long-term success of the all-girl Catholic high school’s mission. They formed a strategic planning committee to engage the entire SJA Community in the process.

Working with Congruence, the board engaged stakeholders using a variety of tools including questionnaires, surveys and focus groups and one-on-one dialogues. Constituents were invited through letters, emails and personal conversations to shape the vision by offering their perceptions of SJA’s strengths and areas for improvement. By clearly communicating its goals from the outset, the committee’s set an expectation for dialogue among all contributing groups throughout the vision setting and three-year goal achievement process.

What emerged was a clearer sense of the school’s unique opportunity to be a place that develops values-driven women leaders. While the St. Joe Mission has always centered on a commitment to education, empowerment, and development of young women, the Planning process enabled the board, school leaders, and faculty to be even more intentional about how every dimension of the St. Joe experience could reflect a commitment to developing the world’s next generation of women leaders.

Last month, St. Joe received great affirmation about the implementation of their strategic plan. The school recently completed the Advanc-ED Accreditation Process. During the final debrief of the school’s results, the evaluation team specifically commented that they were impressed with the extent to which they could see the Mission and Values alive in every dimension of the school’s environment.  One student explained to the evaluators the Mission inspires her to “live your best self” and to be “St. Joe worthy.” Students spoke enthusiastically about the Mission and positively about serving “the dear neighbor,” one of the school’s Guiding Values, through community services opportunities.

While many leaders may strive for this type of feedback few achieve it. Clearly, the St. Joe team is achieving great results “On Purpose.” When was the last time you shared your goals with key players in your organization? Does each team member understand his or her role in achieving those goals?

YOUR NEXT STEPS: Talk to Congruence, Inc.

Call Congruence, Inc. or email Jan to learn more about Achieving Results on Purpose.