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Farad comments at strategic planning session

The leadership team of The Institute reaffirmed its commitment to be the premier organization for the development of diverse businesses by engaging in a strategic planning initiative, thanks to the assistance of an IBM Impact Grant. The grant will allow The Institute to plan its overall mission and objectives for 2015 in order to better serve diverse businesses through quality programs and services.

The IBM Impact Grant was used to provide valuable strategic planning and consulting services to The Institute—at no cost—by means of a team of IBM seasoned professionals. The IBM experts are experienced in guiding organizations through a process to generate a high-level, draft strategic plan with prioritized initiatives for long-term missions. The grant program is a part of a corporate-wide program that provides consulting expertise and software specifically designed to support educational and not-for-profit organizations in their efforts to serve communities. The diversity of these grants allows IBM to deliver services and technology that meet the ever-changing needs of the not-for-profit sector.

The Institute's strategic planning process began with several days of meetings with the IBM consultants to clearly identify the mission of The Institute and the goals for the organization moving forward. The goals were then used to create the actions necessary to achieve the overall objective by identifying the resources, budget, manpower, and challenges inherent in each activity. All of this information was carefully tracked and documented by the IBM team of consultants leading the process.

"I enjoy being able to get out and help community organizations in this way," said Jamal Lacour, an IBM Application Architect based in Atlanta, GA. "It good to see IBM using our skills to enhance the lives of people across the country."


Institute President Farad Ali syncs schedules with IBM Consultant Jamal Lacour to complete the strategic planning process timeline.

The next step in the planning process involves the IBM team consolidating all of the information acquired during the meetings with the Institute staff and presenting the information to Institute president Farad Ali for review. "Our goal is to get totally aligned in our three main areas of policy, education and opportunities through the Policy Center, the Center of E3, and the Procurement Center," Ali said. "Once we are aligned, everyone will have their marching orders and we'll be ready to go."

The IBM consulting team anticipates completing the entire strategic planning process by March 2015 but also expects to leave a framework for The Institute to repeat in the future to continue the progress made in January.