JLR Strategic pLanning
Thanks for considering CANVAS as your potential partner in delivering your strategic plan. The Junior League is your organization, our role is simple: to provide the tools and facilitation to bring out the best thinking of your strategy team. We’ve outlined a proven approach below, but we’ll be dependent on your guidance to ensure a program is tailored to your specific needs. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, message Stinson or Kelly anytime.
Let’s start with the backdrop for your strategy session. Included in our fee is use of Canvas House - a rehabilitated complex of properties on the reinvigorated neighborhood of Woodland Heights - a few blocks from Laura Lee’s and WPA South. The property was specifically designed to create a calm backdrop for tough strategy and policy conversations. With dedicated parking, easy access to trails, an outdoor courtyard with custom furnishings upcycled by neighbourhood artist Keith Ramsey.
We can guide you to locally owned caterers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our community fridge is always stocked with sodas, beers, cider and wine as you need it to close out the working day.
Phase 1: Reason for Being
We open up with an introductory exercise that gives each participant equal voice in sharing their perspective on what the future “market” for JLR looks like and their aspirations and fears for the organization.
We then switch to our vision/mission/goals exercise (it’s critical to distinguish between the them). Using analogues of other organizations as vehicles for tough conversation and inspiration for new ideas. We grapple with what the group envisions for Richmond in five years (the vision); the role that JLR can play in fulfilling that vision (the mission); and the measures against which JLR will define success (the goals).
Phase 2: Mind-food Over Lunch
We walk half a block from Canvas House to McDonough Community Garden where we link up with Duron Chavis, Manager of Community Engagement at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and Executive Director of Beautiful RVA. Over a light lunch in the garden, we’re discussion two themes: Market Disruption and Philanthropy.
What does it take to have a disruptive strategy that responds to trends and shapes markets? Whats behind the rise in farmers markets, urban farming, homesteading? What can we learn from those dynamics in applying them to attracting members to JLR?
What does the world look like as the President of the Board of Directors of an established non-profit in a crowded market like Richmond? How do we separate philanthropy that looks good to philanthropy that has a multiplier effect?
Phase 3: Imaginary Donors
Back at Canvas House, we break into teams to ask this simple question:
“If funding were unlimited, what infrastructure would we build to deliver on our mission and goals?”
With prompts to ensure each team is covering the critical elements - technology, people, marketing, legal, finance etc -
After a period of working on the scenario, each team presents back. We identify common agreement and areas for further discussion.
Phase 4: Treehouse Talk
By now our brains are fried. Ryan Mauter of 52 Hatchets joins us to guide us on a 1.5 mile hike and discussion from Canvas House to the Trailside Treehouse. Along the way, Ryan and Kelly will pause for reflection on the days activities and any personal insights as we decompress from the strategy discussion.
When we arrive at the Treehouse (the brilliant AirBnB concept of Carrie Rogers) Claire and Stinson will be on hand to serve beverages and snacks as we reflect on the day and balancing perfect with optimal. We’ll use the setting to remind ourselves that the future is filled with the impossible and unlikely… such as the most in-demand hotel in Richmond being a backyard treehouse.
Then we shuttle back to Canvas House and return to our lives, until Phase 5.
Phase 5: The Capture
A full morning after a good nights sleep. Plenty of caffeine. We work through our strategy template. Vision… Mission… Quantitative Goals… Qualitative Goals… Brand… Marketing… Voice… Staffing… Technology… Real Estate… We’re documenting, crafting, sketching as you shape your strategy.
Phase 6: Polish and Review
You give us a week. We write, tweak, and layout into a single comprehensive, comprehendible strategic plan for JLR ready for your review and edit.
Phase 7: The Story
We regroup in the Canvas Studio where we record you talking through the strategy, how you got there and why you believe it’s right. The perfect audio compliment to the document you share with members and stakeholders.
The Canvas moderators for your sessions would be - presuming available - Kelly Madigan Beekman and Stinson Mundy. Both are partners in CANVAS.
Kelly is a negotiator and consultant working for Envoy Intelligence. Among the client initiatives she leads are strategy support to Initiatives of Change, Project Nine Minutes, and the Department of Defense. She holds a postgraduate degree from the University of Chicago focused on Islamic Studies and prior to moving to Richmond worked on peace building strategies in the Yemen for a Washington DC based NGO founded by Madeleine Albright.
Stinson is an attorney and entrepreneur. She has a particular niche in guiding fast-growth and women- owned businesses develop and execute strategy. Stinson holds graduate degrees from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom and the University of Richmond School of Law. She advises and is a board member of a number of Richmond-based non-profits. She has been a member of the JLR for almost twenty years. As the former Vice President of Membership and Board Member, Stinson understands the unique infrastructure and inner workings of the JLR.
Supporting Kelly and Stinson, and ensuring everything is captured and runs on schedule, will be Claire O’Keefe. A recent graduate in PR from VCU and formerly Community Coordinator at The Broad. As well as proving support to Kelly and Stinson, she’ll provide insights into what a next generation of women influencers might seek in the Junior League.
We’ve layered in some other characters to this outline, but this will be our core team.
We’ll work with you ahead of the gatherings to determine the best combination of attendees between staff, board members, and regular members to generate a strategy that incorporates a breadth of thinking and diversity of perspectives and imagination. We encourage you to keep the group below 18 - ideally significantly lower - as group dynamics can become prohibitive to clear decision making beyond that number.