Investment in Community: 2020 Strategy and Performance Management Cohort Recap

Nine communities participated in the 1st Strategy and Performance Management Cohort.
Investment in Community: 2020 Strategy and Performance Management Cohort Recap
Nine communities participated in the 1st Strategy and Performance Management Cohort.

The first ClearPoint Strategy and Performance Management Cohort, a program created and run in partnership with ELGL, wrapped up with raving reviews from participants, mentors and ClearPoint team members. The actionable steps learned to create a strategic plan and invaluable relationships formed will benefit participating communities long into the future.

Why We Created the Cohort

In June 2020, ClearPoint founders penned a letter, Matter is a Minimum, outlining actionable steps that we, as a company, are committed to taking in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. One of those steps is Investment in Community. We wanted to take our talent and expertise and deploy it to a cause that we were passionate about.

In August 2020, we teamed up with ELGL to launch the 2020 Strategy and Performance Management Cohort, a three-month program to help local governments draft and implement a strategic plan quickly. The program was free of charge to local governments serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, who wanted to invest in the long-term future of their communities but couldn’t afford it.

The Cohort Process

Following an application process, we welcomed 11 participants representing 9 different local governments across the United States. We paired each of the cohort members with mentors – passionate strategy experts from within our ClearPoint Community – and account managers from our incredible Customer Success team.

Over the next three months, we delivered a rapid-learning framework that enabled these public service professionals to quickly build a strategic plan and create the measures needed to track results. Training was held bi-monthly, and mentors and our Customer Success team provided support along the way making certain that each of the cohort members’ goals were met.

All their efforts culminated in a graduation celebration where each cohort member presented their work alongside their strategic plans, which had been built out in ClearPoint.

The Results

Cohort participants expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to participate in the program. While every organization started and ended at a different place in their strategy and performance management journey, they all made progress toward improving their community. Overall, participants completed the program with the tools they need to continue planning for their community, and relationships to provide inspiration, mentoring and benchmarking.

At the center of the cohort learning model is peer-to-peer learning and networking, powerful tools for improving our communities. We could not be prouder of the partnership with ELGL and the accomplishments of the cohort members! We look forward to supporting each local government organization for years to come.

What Participants Learned, In Detail

Athens-Clarke County, GA

Who: Adnan Aydin, Supervisor, Athens-Clarke Water Treatment Facility

Mentor: Tracy Miller, Sarasota County, FL

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Pierre Leconte, RJ Messineo, and RJ Messineo

Reason for Joining: To learn more about how to access the information and develop the skills needed for implementing a strategic plan in my organization.

Accomplishments: Used existing Public Utilities performance measures and uploaded the data to ClearPoint to better track them and link to objectives.

Key Takeaways:

  • Some of the wonderful ways that I have benefited from this cohort in my work environment are that I have had a chance to learn more about my organization, meet coworkers in different departments, and discover new ways of gathering and interpreting data that is generated outside of my department.
  • The instructors and members of this cohort have introduced me to a host of new ideas, wisdom, and real-world applications that I will reflect on frequently as I move forward with implementing this valuable skill set in my organization.
  • I have had multiple meetings with Pierre Leconte, a member of the ClearPoint support team, and he has been incredibly helpful and responsive.

City of Baltimore, MD

Serving: 64% BIPOC communities

Who:  John Kirk, Department of General Services, Change Manager

Mentors: Josh Edwards, Athens-Clarke County, GA, and Matt McKirahan, City of Raleigh, NC

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Pierre Leconte and Mara Plaud Rivera

Reason for Joining:  To work with highly engaged municipal operators to have conversations around the challenges that we face to create impactful and sustainable outcomes for our organizations.

Accomplishments: Armed with new knowledge, John will be able to support the city's newly elected administration in building an inclusive, equitable economy. ClearPoint will help with their emphasis on transparency and accountability.

Key Takeaways:

  • We can truly change anything through acknowledging our respective histories and finding common goals, and most importantly staying engaged with one another.
  • We are students of a learning process that is wonderfully challenging and appropriately ongoing and never ending.
  • What a great cohort!

City of Brooklyn Park, MN

Serving:  50% BIPOC communities

Who: Chante Mitchell, Mgmt. System Coordinator, City of Brooklyn Park, MN

Mentor: Shari Metcalfe, City of Durham, NC

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners:  Tricia Jessee, Mara Plaud Rivera, RJ Messineo, and RJ Messineo

Reason for Joining: To see what other people were doing in cities across the US to make sure the City was on the right track.

Accomplishments: Uploaded two departments' plans to ClearPoint, restructured around the Balanced Scorecard framework.

Key Takeaways:

  • Building relationships is still the highest priority to help show the importance of strategic planning.
  • Having one central location for performance measures will help Brooklyn Park tremendously and can increase our learnings.
  • We have more confidence creating measures.

City of Dublin, OH

Who: Brandon Brown, Director of Performance Analytics

Mentor: Kelley Hartman, City of Arvada, CO

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Tricia Jessee, Hannah Everett, and RJ Messineo

Reason for Joining: To centralize and bring more emphasis to City’s efforts in strategic planning, performance management and data story telling. This cohort opportunity came along at just the right time as we have been coaching our leadership team in strategic planning and performance management as well as embarking on high level council visionary goal setting.

Accomplishments: This has been very beneficial as I have been able to see and share potential ways that we can move forward. I used our internal Strategic Operations Plan to create samples to share with our leadership team to show them how we may present and talk about their performance metrics in a more succinct way. I have used our City Council Visionary Goals to demonstrate how we can keep track of the initiatives that have been started to meet those goals. I have used our own PIEworks project portfolio as an example of how to track and update project status and milestone progress.

Key Takeaways:

  • The importance of defining a metric.
  • Even if you have a plan, other things will be pushed ahead.
  • Sharing is caring.

City of Long Beach, CA

Serving: 35.8% Latinx, 14.5% Black, and 11.9% Asian populations; home to the largest Cambodian population outside of Cambodia

Who: Estefania Zavala, Digital Innovation Program Manager

Mentor: Christina Coniglio, City of Vaughan, ON

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Pierre Leconte and Arah Kang

Reason for Joining: A failed attempt with a performance management program in the early 2000's left the city resistant to implementing a citywide strategic plan or any type of performance management system. With the city’s troubled history with performance management, I wanted to learn about how to do it correctly.

Accomplishments: Built out a Balanced Scorecard strategic plan and uploaded it to ClearPoint.

Key Takeaways:

  • Buy-in from ALL levels of the organization is critical.
  • We must be able to translate community needs into themes, goals, and measures that City employees can act on.
  • Outcomes in local government are harder to track than in the private sector because we’re not measuring profit.

City of Northglenn, CO

Serving: 33% Hispanic and a small Afghani refugee populations

Who: Rupa Venkatesh, Assistant to the City Manager

Mentors: Kelley Hartman and Barb Morger, City of Arvada, CO

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Tricia Jessee, Hannah Everett, and RJ Messineo

Reason for Joining: We’re expecting a $2M in revenue loss this year due to COVID-19 and needed help with budget discussions and implementing diversity efforts across the city. "By being able to identify and track appropriate performance measures, we will be able to track results and identify room for improvement."

Accomplishments: Northglenn already had a 5-year strategic plan, but no formal way of managing it and tracking progress. Now they have ClearPoint for that!

Key Takeaways:

  • The importance of Strategic Plan management.
  • We all have similar goals…..
  • ..and we’re all in it together!

City of Pearland, TX

Who: Carla Campbell, Management Assistant

Mentor: Ingrid Kindbom, City of Fort Lauderdale, FL

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Rachel Smith and Mara Plaud Rivera

Reason for Joining: “Voluntold” to participate as a way to jumpstart the City’s strategic planning process and reignite the City’s performance measurement initiatives.

Accomplishments: Refreshed the city's strategic plan, complete with fun mottos for each objective, and uploaded it to ClearPoint. Ready to dive back into ClearPoint and keep up the momentum!

Key Takeaway: “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress” - Mayor Sorace

Jefferson County, CO

Who: Zoe Jenkins, Budget Analyst; Stephanie Corbo, CFO; Mary O'Neil Director, Strategy, Planning & Analysis

Mentor: Lawrence Pollack, City of Fort Collins, CO

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Tricia Jessee, Hannah Everett, and RJ Messineo

Reason for Joining: We are starting our strategic planning process in the beginning of next year. We felt this cohort could teach us how to properly execute a strategic plan. Most importantly, to learn about the key components that makeup a plan.

Accomplishments: I am already implementing so much of what I’ve learned. I have an amazing mentor who has helped amplify the lessons that have been taught in the cohort. Lawrence has really tied things together for me, in a way I didn’t understand before. I am learning about documents needed for the groundwork and everyone’s role in the process. I have taken this information and have tasked myself with creating materials needed for our kickoff. I feel prepared.

Key Takeaways:

  • That sharing is caring in government.
  • The importance of planning meetings.
  • How to effectively create benchmarks.

Town of Amherst, MA

Who: Brianna Sunryd, Communications Manager & Community Participation Officer

Mentor: Laura Karpaviciute, City of Tamarac, FL

ClearPoint Customer Success Partners: Rachel Smith and Arah Kang

Reason for Joining:  To jump start efforts within my organization to formerly track and manage our strategic goals and their performance. The timing was right due to our recent change in form of government to a City Council format and Council has just adopted their policy and management goals for our organization.

Accomplishments: Developed six main goals for the Town of Amherst, built them out in ClearPoint and hoping to use the tool to report out to town councilors and the public.

Key Takeaways:

  • What gets measured gets done!
  • You have to start somewhere; it may take years to get to the desired level and that is okay.
  • Try to approach the work as a change process, not simply a metrics project.

Check out our Events page to see what we currently have planned! We hope to see you in a cohort, at a webinar, or downloading our resources soon!

Investment in Community: 2020 Strategy and Performance Management Cohort Recap

Tricia Jessee

Manager of Implementation & Services & Pizza Aficionado

Tricia manages our implementation and onboarding team to ensure the success of ClearPoint customers.

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