The Anchorage Downtown Partnership (ADP) manages the Downtown Improvement District (DID) of Anchorage, Alaska. The ADP provides clean, safe and vital services throughout the DID, markets and promotes events throughout the DID, and advocates for the business and property owners within the DID on issues affecting downtown. Professional Growth Systems has completed Vision Navigation® strategic planning and reorganization work with the ADP. The case study below was written by Chris Schutte, CEO of the ADP from 2008 through 2015.
SituationMy first experience with Bill Dann, CEO of PGS, and the PGS Vision Navigation® strategic planning process came during my service as a board member for the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, where I experienced firsthand the way in which Mr. Dann and the and the PGS Vision Navigation® process helped that organization articulate its strategic vision, craft its implementation plan, and measure its successes (and failures.) That experience encouraged me to bring the tool into my own company, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd.
Critical IssueAt the time PGS began strategic planning with us, we were a successful company with nearly $2 million in annual revenue but lacked a sense of long-term direction and effective tools to manage our journey. While our organization had used strategic and annual planning practices for years, the process had always felt arduous and the results lacked pizazz. The company continued to find financial success but never found its true calling until we began using the Vision Navigation® process.
- Organizational structure issues
- Staff retention
- Strategic planning "fatigue" that resulted in a lack of vision and purpose
- Unclear staff responsibilities and low morale
PGS ProvidedWhile our board initially declined to re-examine the Purpose, Vision and Core Values of the organization in the first year due to “strategic planning” fatigue that lingered from previous exercises, we dove into the implementation phases of the PGS Vision Navigation® strategic planning process. In our second year, Mr. Dann observed that our competent team lacked passion for the existing long-term vision of the company. Staff concurred and we approached our board leadership with a request to revisit the Purpose, Vision and Core Values of the organization. That process was successful and lead us to a strategy that renewed the staff’s commitment to the future and brought new energy to the organization.
My experience with Vision Navigation® is that it uncovers and confronts the true condition of the organization and challenges leadership to provide a compelling vision and set of targets for the future. Both contribute to significant improvements in organizational performance. The PGS methodology for clarifying organizational structure brings clarity to roles, increases self-management, and frees up management time for high-leverage activities. In our first year alone, we successfully identified and solved organizational structure and staff retention challenges that had stymied our company for years; clarified staff responsibilities; and boosted staff morale and productivity. Throughout, PGS consultants placed a premium on maintaining the relationship, assuring that we got value from our investment in their services. They consistently went beyond contractual commitments to assist us in being successful.