Guiding Philosophy


While experience has taught us that following a particular order and employing certain tools allows us to develop the best solutions with our clients, our approach is much more than a series of steps. We come to every project with bold curiosity and a collaborative spirit.


Deeply inquisitive, we ask tough questions and explore the implications of the answers. As partners, we augment our client’s team yet maintain an objective perspective. At the same time, we work to build consensus within an organization, bridging any existing divide among disparate stakeholders.

Recognizing their experience and opinions, we marry our client’s expertise with our own to ensure the best outcome. We keep our client fully engaged in their project, encouraging mutual accountability. In the end, our client owns the solution we have created together.  No project is complete without an action plan.


We know that change is hard and very uncomfortable. We earn our client’s trust because we actively listen and establish an atmosphere where all questions and inquiries can be considered. Underlying each stage of our work, and fundamental to any project’s success, is the relationship we foster with our client. 

Above all else, we share our client’s tireless enthusiasm to make a positive difference. We consider it a privilege to do our part in helping them improve and enrich the communities they serve.


Technical Approach

Since our founding in 2003, we have diligently tested and refined our approach. Using trusted business principles to guide our work, we begin every engagement by asking three critical questions: 


Where are you now?

Where do you want to go?

How do you get there?

The answers help us get to know our client, revealing their unique circumstance. With their context in mind, we construct an optimal project plan that is customized to serve their needs. By listening carefully and adapting trusted business principles, we identify and implement realistic solutions to the complex problems our client faces. Everything we do during the three stages of our engagement — our research, the direction we determine and the action plan we follow — is done to deliver the best outcomes. 



Assess the situation

We begin every engagement with a rigorous, holistic examination of our client’s organization, internal and external audiences, and sector. To fully contextualize a challenge, we consider it from multiple perspectives: programmatic, human and financial. We use fact-based, objective methods — financial analysis, survey results, market research data — to unearth critical insights.


Set direction and priorities

We evaluate the uncovered data to get an accurate view of our client’s state of affairs. Sifting through, we explore the implications of this information, “connect dots”  and highlight the key issues. We articulate different ways to address existing challenges and assess the trade-offs and sustainability of each alternative. Together with our client, we decide on the right path forward.


Design the solution

We collaborate with our client to establish consensus and define a sound vision for the future. To achieve this vision, we suggest a clear action plan that articulates the exact steps our client must follow to create real change in their organization. With established criteria to measure their results and a clear monitoring plan, our client has the tools, knowledge and resources necessary to succeed independently. This action plan also serves as guide for evaluating opportunities that may arise in the future.

stage one 

Mission and program review

Internal and external client research

Financial analysis

Landscape analysis

Stage Two

Scenario planning

Budget modeling

Outcome modeling

Risk/reward analysis

Stage Three

Action plan

Multi-year budget

Metrics development and agreement

Formal monitoring protocol

Ongoing decision making tool