MCIS Team Brainstorms at Strategic Planning Session on March 11

By: Jack Xu

Video Courtesy: Martin Jimenez, Testing and Training Assistant

On Saturday, March 11, 2017, we had an energetic and invigorating strategy session, facilitated by Mark Ellwood, a volunteer Consultant from Management Advisory Services – a wonderful organization that does great work.  I did not know how we were going to accomplish our set objectives within the 3 hours we had set aside for this purpose.  However, I was not disappointed.  17 people came together with the sole purpose of agreeing upon our three-year goals and objectives and the framework for a 12-month operational plan.  Mark organized us very well and got us all to participate and engage, to great effect.

We were divided into 5 groups, and each of us worked on a goal and objective and then rotated to work on strategies and tactics for others’ goals and objectives.  By moving the themes around among the different groups, Mark gave us each an opportunity to confirm or modify what others had done and to provide our input to strategies and tactics for a different set of goals and objectives.  The result was an extremely fast paced session with broad strokes for a viable 12 month plan which will see us growing existing revenue and pursuing new market segments with creative pricing strategies, and investment in technology which will reduce cost, the complexity of our business processes and duplication.  Over samosas, salads, sweets and beverages we also agreed on the importance of our social purpose permeating everything we do.  However, we could have done better on articulating our strategy to consolidate the “social” in our social enterprise and also been clearer on our eLearning goals.  The pre-work ahead of the session helped to get us as far as we did and the post work will deliver us to our final destination – our three-year goals and objectives and our comprehensive one year Operational Plan.

At a high level, we said we wanted, over the next three years, to grow revenue sustainably, reduce the unit cost of service, consolidate as a social enterprise, establish our leadership in eLearning and explore multilingual talent recruitment.  I want to thank our amazing Marketing and Operations Committee members Tezbir, Rick, Shash, Svetlana and Carl and Board Chair Gautam for coming out on this frigid day with their thinking hats on and their caring hearts.  Our Managers, as always, were enthusiastic in their participation and are looking forward to the year ahead.

Latha Sukumar, Executive Director|Toronto, Ontario|March 15, 2017