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Mission-driven growth strategy


An evidence-backed path to move your mission forward, including:

  • Clear definition of what beneficiaries to serve

  • Organizational differentiators to develop - and what to say “no” to

  • Outcomes to measure, & how to measure them

  • Organizational capabilities to develop

What to expect

A typical project follows this arc:





Case study


The challenge

Women Innovators, dedicated to empowering girls and women in STEM, had been established for 4 years, and had experienced great growth during that time, from serving 75 beneficiaries in the first year to over 500 in the fourth. 


WIN’s growth was primarily through 2 very successful flagship career discovery days for junior high and high school girls.


However, WIN had a dilemma: the vision was much broader than 2 events for students. In particular, there was a vision to serve girls and women throughout their entire educational and career journey - but as an all volunteer board, there was a limit to how much could be accomplished.


Major questions the organization had to answer included: 

  • Are we committed to the journey vision, or should we focus narrowly on where we’ve had success with students? 

  • There are a lot of STEM organizations - where is our biggest opportunity to make impact? How are we unique?

  • We are by nature addressing an equity problem - but also, we recognize that there are intersectional inequities within the female population. How can we be more deliberately inclusive? 

  • What can we do with an all-volunteer organization, and is it time to hire staff? 


In 2021, I engaged to develop a strategy that would focus the mission and decide our path for the next several years.


The process

Fundamental research: 1 month

Deliverable: “State of W.IN” brief  with insights about beneficiaries, W.IN's advantages and challenges, landscape gaps, and opportunities

  • 1:1s with all internal stakeholders

  • Analysis of existing events & beneficiaries to understand what was working, what not

  • Primary & secondary research to identify major barriers to girls and women entering and staying in STEM in the state

  • Landscape scan to understand what existing solutions there were & where there were gaps


Strategy workshop: 1 day

Deliverable: Outcomes listed below; a 3-month action plan with clear owners

  • Facilitated workshop with the full board to develop answers to the above questions, based in the evidence from the State of W.IN


Operationalization: Ongoing

Details here.


  • Recommitted to the journey vision - with acknowledgement that it could not be delivered without staffing

  • Chartered the executive board with creating staffing criteria and making a decision within 6 months

  • Stated a commitment to greater inclusivity, with particular attention to the state’s most underserved groups - rural, first-generation college, and first-generation American

    • This was accompanied by a recognition that the board lacked DEI skills, and led to the creation of a DEI working group.

  • Clarified W.IN's differentiated mission : overcoming the “you can’t be what you can’t see” barrier by connecting the dots between STEM disciplines, personal passion, and real-world careers.

  • Focused programming on 2 clear solution spaces to deliver the mission

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