Girls Inc. of Tarrant County, like many organizations, found it challenging to deliver its mission in such a turbulent year. However, they decided to turn these challenges into opportunities for the long term and teamed up with Jabian Consulting, a local management consulting firm, to create a new strategic plan through 2025 that would focus on making a bigger impact for more girls currently served by the organization.
The mission of Girls Inc. of Tarrant County is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. This is translated into programs that encourage health, education, career readiness and independence. Through advocating for girls and their futures, Girls Inc. reduces barriers in their lives that stem from violence, poverty and inequity they encounter at home, at school, in relationships, online or in their community. Their unique combination of life-changing mentoring relationships, a pro-girl culture, and research-based programming equip girls to be healthy, educated and empowered.
Girls Inc. of Tarrant County President & CEO Jennifer Limas said “we knew in order to continue delivering on our mission and helping as many girls as possible that a strategic plan was required to keep us on a path. Leveraging our relationship with Jabian Consulting allowed us to accomplish that.” After a five-month research and insights period, Jabian Consulting led a virtual two-day strategic planning session, outlining goals and a vision for the next five years, and provided a roadmap on how to make it happen. Sean Woolley, Jabian executive director, added, “Jabian is uniquely positioned to help make a real and immediate impact with Girls Inc. because our consulting model blends strategic thinking with project execution to quickly assess, plan and execute on ideas that make a difference. We call it ‘A Strategy that Works’ and we are proud to be able to offer this during such uncertain times.”
What were some of the struggles?
Setting our strategic direction in the midst of a global health pandemic presented some challenges, such as predicting economic recovery. However, it also allowed our team to take a deeper look at the strengths we leaned into during this crisis and how these strengths could be further developed in the future to generate opportunity and growth. Some of these strengths included collaboration with local businesses, corporations and other nonprofits and virtual program delivery, which can be used to safely deliver programs during a pandemic, and reach more clients throughout Tarrant County in the future.
Were all of the struggles related to Covid-19?
Not at all. After a period of significant growth, Girls Inc. identified that for continued increase of impact in the future, it was important to scale the organization and our capabilities for growth, allowing the systems and structures to support consistent service and revenue growth in the organization.
How is the strategy for the new plan different from the previous strategies/plans?
Our strategic planning process was led and strengthened by the team at Jabian. Additionally, the strategic planning committee included members of Girls Inc. of Tarrant County’s board of directors and various staff perspectives. Input was also sought from community stakeholders including Girls Inc. girls and their families,educational partners, funders, corporations and potential future employers of Girls Inc. girls. The team at Jabian guided our group through this research and insights that led to an aspirational vision of how Girls Inc.’s mission could be achieved in the next five years. In previous years, without the support of Jabian, we have had a focus on how Girls Inc. could increase services for girls through expanded partnerships and fundraising. Jabian encouraged us to aspire for this while also keeping a focus on Girls Inc.’s infrastructure, which would allow the organization to scale for growth.
How does the new strategy/plan work if Covid-19 resurges in 2021?
Our team, along with Jabian, discussed how Girls Inc. can stay agile and responsive to changes in our environment while still achieving the impactful goals set forth. Obstacles that Girls Inc. may encounter in the next five years, including a resurgence of Covid-19, are inevitable and our leadership has planned for a strengthened business model to confront and build upon these obstacles.
Can you share a bit of the outcome for the new strategic plan (a tease of the plan)?
Girls Inc. of Tarrant County’s strategic plan, which will be published in January 2021, will focus on making a greater impact for every girl, scale for organizational growth, and improve brand recognition throughout Tarrant County to better serve more girls.