IBCF and ISBVI Team Up with Mapt Solutions for Strategic Planning Process
By: Seth Johnson
The Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation (IBCF) and Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) are currently in the joint process of putting together carefully crafted strategic plans, with the help of locally based strategic consulting firm Mapt Solutions.
Having experience with several other education-related organizations, Mapt Solutions focuses on working with ambitious leaders who see the potential for better. Headed up by Brittany Krier and Steven Tyler, the firm was approached by IBCF and ISBVI in early 2022 to begin constructing separate-yet-aligned strategic plans for both entities.
“Both recognized the need to do strategic planning for their own organizations, and they also recognized the benefits that could come from aligning their planning processes together,” Tyler says. “Because while they are two organizations that have their own plans, their missions are complimentary and reliant on each other in many ways.”
To facilitate the planning process, Mapt Solutions is using a three-phase approach with IBCF and ISBVI, beginning with what they call a landscape review.
“A landscape review is used to fully understand the current situation that the organization is in, both their internal operations and their unique position in their field,” Tyler says. “So how they compare to other similar organizations and how they fit in as one nonprofit in their community.”
To gather information for this review, Mapt Solutions conducted over 50 interviews with ISBVI board members and staff, as well as ISBVI parents, students, IBCF board members and staff, as well as stakeholders. This information was then synthesized into a written document, known as the landscape review.
“The document helps everyone involved in the process build a shared understanding of where the organization is and what opportunities are in front of them.” Tyler says. “Then, we can collectively make choices on how to move forward.”
Now that the landscape review is complete, Mapt Solutions will begin the second phase of its strategic planning process with IBCF and ISBVI. Tyler refers to this phase as “an exercise in making choices.”
“You’re saying, ‘There are many options on the table. But where do we think we can make the biggest impact? What’s most aligned with our mission, and where are we uniquely positioned to succeed.’ To help answer these questions, we work with leaders through a series of exercises.” Tyler says.
Lastly, Mapt Solutions will guide IBCF and ISBVI through phase three of their strategic planning process, which focuses on implementation.
“In phase 3 we help organizations create an implementation plan to jumpstart the rollout of the new strategy,” Tyler says. “Generally focused on the first 6-12 months, the implementation plan sets the organization up for success to build momentum behind the new strategy and not let it become a dusty document on a shelf.”
As Mapt Solutions continues working with IBCF and ISBVI through this three-phase strategic planning process, Tyler says it’s been awesome getting to know all the passionate people affiliated with both entities.
“Every person that we meet is dedicated to the kids, cares deeply about the mission and only wants to see their impact expand further,” Tyler says. “No matter how good it is, they want to see it get better and are invested in making it better. There’s no one here coasting — everyone is here to push forward.”