Practical Strategy provides executive and program level leaders with advice and assistance guaranteed to create value through creation and execution of strategies that deliver increased effectiveness and growth in the complex ecosystems within which they operate. With our cost effective, best-in-class services, including support from a carefully groomed network of outside experts, our engagements help organizations thrive. Practical Strategy has worked with a range of clients including non-profit organizations, state governments, local school districts, federal agencies, and everything in between. We help leaders focus on issues of strategic import to achieving their missions.

Strategy and Advisory

Our strategy and advisory support leads to clarity about the products and services, customers to be served, opportunities for expansion and barriers to implementation. Using a proven model that includes close consultation with client leadership and key stakeholders, we begin with the creation of a custom roadmap for refining strategic direction that fits the cultural norms and operational needs of each client. We help define a gap analysis of required infrastructure and applications—people, programs, technology—needed to implement the plans. Using this intuitive but flexible model for strategy development helps organizations establish clear strategic direction, develop sound operating plans, and ensure buy-in from internal and external constituents. We also work with Boards of Directors and leadership teams to assess organizational challenges and build shared commitment to action. Our work includes identifying external drivers of change and internal capacity needs, developing performance measurement dashboards to help assess progress and identify trouble spots, and identifying opportunities to improve customer service and employee satisfaction.

Change Management

Leading effective and efficient programs during times of constant change, frequently with constrained resources and increased demands, is the reality of the 21st Century – the new normal. While organizations have always had to adapt to changing environments to thrive, they must now accelerate their learning to understand, articulate and offer a robust response to challenges just to survive. Our change management work helps individuals and teams to learn faster, take ownership of new solutions and embrace the types of change that so often encounter internal resistance. With a focus on enabling high performing teams, aligning institutional resources and policies, improving communication—internally and externally—we provide process support and advice to help organizations optimize results and increase effectiveness.

Education and Learning

The Practical Strategy team has combined experience of many decades in the education and organizational learning spheres. This includes analysis of federal, state and local policies, programs and practices in K-12 education, as well as higher education policy and leadership, organizational change in education, and other topics. Bringing a unique multi-sector approach to education issues, we have the ability to cut across traditional constituencies to conduct fresh, creative analysis to longstanding dilemmas and public policy settings. We have worked with districts, states and national associations on a range of education policy matters, including secondary-postsecondary alignment, creating small learning communities, service learning, higher education, and integrating education and workforce development. Our work in education improvement has bridged policy and practice for national associations, state governments, school districts and higher education institutions.

Executive Leadership and Program Implementation

Practical Strategy provides non-profit leadership and management support to new ventures as well as interim executive director services. For select clients and causes, we will step into key leadership roles within an organization. Our interim or long-term management can be both cost effective and stabilizing for organizations going through periods of significant change, growth or crisis. With deep experience designing and running complex initiatives, advocacy and policy campaigns, and boutique grant programs, our clients benefit from hand selected, proven leaders who specialize in medium to longer term temporary engagements.

Public Policy and Program/Impact Analysis

Practical Strategy's public policy and program analysis practice has been devoted to program improvement, grants management, and analysis of programs and policies to improve performance and increase impact. Whether you’re a government agency administering a federal grant program or a non-profit implementing a local program, organizations large and small must be able to show the impact of their work. Funders, including the U.S Congress, the Administration, foundations and others, are demanding greater accountability from the organizations and programs they support. Our clients benefit from our core expertise in all aspects of federal grants management and program development, from development of funding solicitations and grants administration, to peer review and application selection, to grantee performance and impact evaluations. We are equipped to provide expert counsel and implementation support for your program and policy needs.