The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized tribal entity, is a vast and diverse organization. Spanning over 10 counties with 12,000 associates across the reservation, the tribe is deeply committed to strategy execution and performance management.

Brandie Holloway, Director of Strategy and ClearPoint advisory board member, gives insight into how ClearPoint creates an environment of transparency and efficiency.

"This system keeps you finding operational efficiencies. Several of these opportunities have resulted in millions of dollars in savings!"

Watch the in-depth conversation about all things organization, automation, and implementation with ClearPoint co-founder Ted Jackson here!

The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nations’ business focuses are split between seven main divisions:

  • Commerce
  • Strategic Development
  • Tribal Services
  • Integrated Services
  • Finance
  • Communications
  • Legal and Compliance

Within these divisions live several departments, like health, housing, education, outreach services, cultural services, and even casino gaming! However, the sheer amount of projects - hundreds across departments, thousands across the entire tribe - became difficult to manage. Holloway recounts: “It’s so difficult to keep everybody aligned and focused when there are that many things happening across 10,000 [projects] at a time.”

“One Tribe, One Focus”

Restructuring of the organization’s strategic planning approach occurred in 2019, when the Strategic Development department was formed. Leadership saw the value in having a strategic management process and shifting from individualized departmental plans to one overall tribal plan. Comprised of five tribal strategies, Choctaw Nation’s strategic plan and development team of 18 now keep things aligned around common goals and resources.

“Other departments are now able to see the transparency of what’s on the entire strategic plan.”

Strategic plans were implemented across divisional and departmental levels. What was once a granular and bottom-up approach became a “wide-up,” or “departmental-up” approach. Having a centralized office of strategy resulted in more internal communication, and commonalities across different strategic planning processes became transparent. Choctaw Nation was able to reallocate resources and turn 10,000 projects into around 200.

Choctaw and ClearPoint

“ClearPoint really changed the way we look at our own organization of the strategic plans’ initiatives,” says Holloway. The Choctaw Nation’s new strategic plan was great - centralized goals were now cascading down into consolidated efforts. What was even better, was that it could all be managed in one place. ClearPoint software would both automate processes and be tailored to the tribe’s wants and needs.

Choctaw Nation organizes their strategy in ClearPoint within several different scorecards. The main scorecard is where the overall strategic plan lives, organized into five tribal strategies at the category level. Next is focus areas, followed by strategic objectives, where the “bulk of the work” is done. The scorecard houses project management capabilities - including over 200 strategic objectives across hundreds of businesses, programs, and services. Supplemental scorecards exist for monitoring certain items and also for the organization’s legislative agenda and partnerships with government relations teams. A Strategic Projects scorecard exists as well, containing “baby objectives.” These “mini departments” of strategy monitor smaller efforts, such as marketing, business, and operational plans, organizational restructures, and relationship-building processes. The Choctaw Nation adopted an Extended Rasci Matrix for their strategic plan, and ClearPoint’s custom fields allow the organization to use the nomenclature they know and understand well.

“It is game-changing… you can really do a lot with your reporting customization.”

Another ClearPoint capability the organization widely functions on is tagging across the platform. Each month, 60-70 individualized reports are generated within ClearPoint and are sent out to specific leads within the tribe. Specific tags allow for standardization processes to stay organized across teams, and by generating filtered Briefing Books, leads are able to see not only what they need to know, or what might be helpful to know, but only see what might bring value to them. According to Holloway, these customization options, even as trivial as a personalized cover, result in a “very personal strategic reporting experience for our leadership.”

“We’ve really taken advantage of multiple functionalities of what ClearPoint’s capable for to customize how it’s going to make us more successful.”

The combination of having a centralized office of strategy to perform strategic management efforts and leveraging ClearPoint software revealed countless opportunities for the organization. Transparency among departments and a centralized location for data and management revealed projects and resources that were able to be combined. Holloway remains inspired, noting changed mindsets of leadership.

The Future with ClearPoint?

Holloway’s present goal in partnering with ClearPoint is to further automate Choctaw Nation’s monthly distribution process, taking full advantage of briefing books and HTML briefing capabilities. While buy-in across the entire organization was achieved through internal awareness campaigns, the tribe is excited to make things more of a community focus in the future.

Special thanks to Brandie Holloway for sharing Choctaw Nation’s strategy efforts and the resulting (and impressive!) downstream implications. Check out other members of the ClearPoint Community Advisory Board.