Our Strategic Advantage team can help you push past the barriers of your own progress. We are community and partnership builders with proven nation-wide experience in strategic planning, project management, assessment, training, and high stakes outcomes.
We do this work for a wide range of collaboratives typically organized around the simple, yet challenging realization, "we can do better." Our work is funded by organizations such as the National Academy Foundation, Complete College America, HCM Strategists, Tennessee Business Roundtable, American Red Cross, Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Ways, 2-1-1 partnerships, and many others.
We use these skills to support successful implementations of VisionLink's Community Operating System® technology, and to help expand the reach and impact of our customers. We always ask, "so what?" and focus on real outcomes.
Strategic Advantage helps to determine and gain buy-in, improve practice, and focus on the intersection between efficiency and effectiveness.
For example: pursuing better coordination among global health stakeholders, the World Economic Forum, the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Policy and Governance engaged representatives from the private sector, NGOs, and academia to leverage their resources more efficiently, in ways that met local needs more effectively. Stakeholders included Johnson & Johnson, BD, and Henry Schein, the United Nations’ OCHA, HPIC, MTI, WEF, and PQMD, and ACCP.
Strategic Advantage helped to build this network of partners, including a summit in Haiti on the 6-month anniversary of the 2010 earthquake. We also designed and facilitated the Haiti summit resulting in a community of practice for field representatives and NGO partners working in and around Port au Prince.
We work at the “system” level, providing assistance and leverage where the rubber meets the road for decisions, policy, funding, and practice.
For example: in an effort to increase college completion rates across the United States, Complete College America (CCA) engaged VisionLink to design, coordinate and implement five national College Completion Academies. These are intensive, professionally facilitated two or three-day strategic working sessions for state teams focused on improving college completion rates statewide.
The work is all about maximizing available resources, building increasingly coherent systems, better leveraging returns on investment, and helping solve some humanitarian issue.
Unlike many consulting firms who can easily explain what they think you should do, Strategic Advantage is about accomplishing your goals, achieving your imperative, and reporting on your success. We operate in the background to support your work.
As an example, VisionLink was engaged by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to design, organize and coordinate technical assistance for Round 1 TAACCCT award winners, supporting a $2 billion investment by the U.S. Department of Labor in community colleges.
We marketed the work and effectiveness of 36 TA providers and 32 college consortia, and garnered the endorsement of additional foundations including the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Hitachi Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Strategic Advantage helps to identify and engage the partners required for success. Without this engagement, great ideas stall at a planning level. Done well, planning leads to successful action.
For example, HCM Strategists engaged VisionLink to assist with the design, planning, tools and implementation of the 2010 Lumina Foundation National Productivity Conference (NPC). We were engaged to bring depth to an established conference by applying team-centered planning, tools, trained facilitators and content experts.
The process and tools used by the multi-partner groups were created by VisionLink's Strategic Advantage team and have been the foundation for much deeper work within eight states.
When the stakes are high...
Strategic Advantage can meet the challenge. When the Ann Arbor, MI Public School Board needed strategic planning, facilitation and project management to open their first new high school in 20 years, they called on VisionLink’s Strategic Advantage.
We designed and facilitated all aspects of the new school’s opening from architectural and transportation design, to selection process and criteria for staffing, to curriculum design, to private sector engagement, and Board Meeting facilitation and mediation.
When success depends on multiple partners...
When the Coordinated Assistance Network was not yet a network of 1,000 disaster relief organizations, but a nascent concept, Strategic Advantage provided community assessment, capacity-building and multi-agency planning assistance to six pilot communities.
We developed the CAN Community ToolKit, and designed and implemented CAN’s two national Symposiums with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, National VOAD, Catholic Charities, UMCOR, Lutheran Disaster Response, and others.
Successful beginnings matter.
Cross Sector Partnerships
When you are ready to integrate sectors...
Cross Sector Partnerships
Strategic Advantage understands the discomfort when more than one sector comes to the table. However, just as most significant issues have more than one cause, solutions require more than one domain or sector.
Most people understand this intuitively. We turn that understanding into real action, real work, and sustainable results.
Call us to develop a common imperative, an initial or refined design, and to better agree on the steps towards implementation.