By Danielle Rocheleau
As our clients know, Laridae is a team of planners. We encourage reflection on process and engagement. We help our clients develop strategic plans that are broad enough to avoid becoming irrelevant by the following year, while still being tangible enough to be actionable.
Many of you might wonder: do we take our own advice?
Over the last six months, we have actively been in a planning process. We have been engaging with clients and partners to gather feedback, reviewing relevant market information, and considering the environmental pressures in the non-profit sector – all while continually engaging our team.
Not only has this been a process of reflection for Laridae, but it’s important to acknowledge that leaders go through deep self-reflection along the journey, too. If ever you wonder whether engaging a leadership coach is useful, let me tell you, this journey was made much more rich and much less overwhelming with the help of Raina Willick, Leadership Coach.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out, engaged, and offered meaningful feedback. You have each contributed to shaping the plan that we are excited to move ahead with.
Here’s a sneak peek into our own strategy and how we plan to implement it.
Contributing to the planning context
Laridae is in its 10th year of operation. As you can imagine, over this time, Laridae has experienced significant changes and business evolutions.
We have moved from a local to a provincial service provider, have determined what types and sizes of organizations we work best with, and have refined our understanding of which services we deliver consistently and with excellent results. Through a global pandemic, we learned that we are very effective at delivering transformational virtual service. We also know our clients appreciate the relational approach we take when engaging with them and their stakeholders. In addition, Laridae went through its first CEO succession in 2019, with a transfer of ownership in 2022.
These new chapters have brought new learnings and team members, broadened and refined our services, and demonstrated our capacity for significant resiliency.
What hasn’t changed is our commitment to our values, our clients, and to each other.
With a decade (and counting) of serving the non-profit sector, Laridae is ready to explore what’s next.
Through the strategic planning process, Laridae’s team spent quite a bit of time reflecting on what drives us to do the work we do. What lights our hearts on fire. What brings us together.
The result is a refreshed set of Mission, Vision, and Values.
We partner with non-profit leaders, teams, and communities to find clarity, build capacity, and empower meaningful change.
A thriving non-profit sector with impactful leaders, adaptable teams, and healthy communities.
You’ll notice that our values are quite a bit longer than what we would typically craft for clients. There is a reason for this, I promise.
We see our values as a strong way to communicate who we are, what we believe in, and how we choose to behave together. They articulate Laridae’s culture. As a B Corp, rooting ourselves in our values is integral for our decision making internally and externally. We want our clients, partners, and current and future team members to know as much about who we are from the moment they start to learn about us – and we know that values are a good place to start.
It’s also important to note that these values do not stand on their own. We are at our best when we live these values in concert together in everything we do.
- Culture: Because people come first in everything we do, empathy is our starting point. We believe that equitable opportunity is integral to a strong, diverse team. We know that great work and healthy group dynamics are fuelled by respect, joy, belonging, and teamwork. We believe that balance contributes to wellbeing and we respect healthy boundaries. As lifelong learners, we lean into vulnerability and continuous growth.
- Courage: We are willing to go first, to change, and to learn. We challenge our clients and ourselves with hard questions and permit uncomfortable silences. For us, real solutions need both creative space and time, encouraging improvisation to get unstuck. We celebrate trying new and different ways of doing things, regardless of the outcome. When we are wrong, we admit it. To have the biggest impact, we embrace complex work, accept uncertainty, and move forward with integrity, authenticity, and transparency.
- Collaboration: Trusting, ethical relationships are essential to us—we can’t be successful without them. We build trust by being clear, consistent, and by following through to the very end. We enter relationships honestly, intentionally, and for the long term, hoping to learn and grow together. Everyone here is trusted, supportive, and dedicated to collectively navigating the challenges and opportunities presented to our clients, to our company, and to our team.
- Community: We each engage in a range of communities. From the geographic regions we work and live within, to our social and professional networks, to the groups of people with which we work. As a social purpose organization, we believe in investing in, and adding capacity to, the many communities we engage with. Ultimately, we seek to support clients to strengthen their organizations and enrich the communities they serve.
Our strategic directions
The following strategic directions consider our key priorities for 2023 – 2025 as we continue to move towards fulfilling our purpose.
1. Expanded Reach, Focused Impact
Moving ahead, we will lean into our strengths, moving beyond geographical bounds and intentionally expanding our services across Canada. We will do so while focusing on the things we do best – serving small to medium-sized non-profits who deliver meaningful human services and strengthen communities – by supporting strategy and building capacity for effective leadership. By engaging our values and embedding equity, diversity and inclusion principles throughout our approach and offerings, we aim to strengthen organizational adaptability and workplace cultures. We will be mindful of adding services that matter, align with our purpose, complement our existing offerings, and increase our ability to make a positive impact.
Not only will this help to build impactful leaders and non-profit organizations, but it will broaden our relationships and enhance the overarching impact we have on the sector, while ensuring Laridae remains strong and resilient itself.
Over the next three years, we commit to expand reach and focus impact by:
- Expanding our reach to small and medium sized non-profits delivering social and community-based health services across Canada.
- Strengthening leadership capacity and commitments to EDI outcomes in the non-profit sector.
- Prioritizing our ability to have intentional and meaningful social impact.
2. Trusted Partner, Exceptional Service
Relationships are at the core of who we are and how we engage with others. At the end of the day, we are people, who help people, to help people.
We do so by being a trusted partner in planning and capacity building. We understand how organizations strategize and are structured, and also acknowledge that our clients know their services best. Together, we can effectively build strong, adaptable organizations that meet their mandates and continue to have meaningful impacts in their communities. We also know that people like to know what to expect. Laridae achieves just that. We deliver consistent, excellent client experiences that reflect the realities of the non-profit sector, are rooted in empathy, and take a human-centred approach. We do so while considering leading practices, effective change management, culture and dynamics, and ultimately positive impact. Through meaningful engagement, we will make sure that our services are responsive to an ever-changing environment so that our clients can continue to soar.
Over the next three years, we commit to being trusted partners and delivering exceptional service by:
- Supporting the client journey to maintain consistent, excellent client experience and establish long-term relationships.
- Partnering with clients on intentional capacity building, supporting accountability, and adaptability to change by establishing multi-year service agreements:
- Establishing a diverse group of referral partners who align with our values and social purpose, ensuring clients continue to have an excellent experience beyond our work together thus reinforcing the trust they have in Laridae.
3. Strong Remote Team, Healthy Culture
As a service agency, our people are our biggest asset. Over the last few years, we have learned that we can successfully work remotely as a team, while delivering exceptional service and attracting great people from outside of the community from which Laridae began.
In the coming years, we will build on what we have learned—together—driven by our collective purpose and values. Internally, we will continue as a remote team, while offering flexible, hybrid services for our clients. Our goal is to build a strong, diverse, and consistent remote team with transferable skills, while ensuring team cohesion, continuous learning, and a brave environment for creativity and trying new things. By exploring and implementing new team and workplace structures, we will aim to offer flexibility, meaningful engagement, and long-term security.
Over the next three years, we commit to building a strong remote team and healthy culture by:
- Enhancing team diversity and actively ensuring our internal approaches to team cohesion reflect our values, resulting in a team that can best support each other and those we serve.
- Reinforcing a responsive organizational structure, with clear roles, and a consistent, cohesive team.
- Prioritizing our healthy workplace culture and team dynamic that supports remote work, offers team building and continuous learning.
What’s Next for You?
As we move forward into the Fall, we encourage you to reflect on what the next year looks like for your organization.
- Where are you in your strategy cycle? Are you planning your next strategic planning process?
- Do you want to strengthen your governance policies and/or offer professional development to your board?
- Are you thinking about developing an internal communication strategy that enhances your team and workplace culture?
- Should you undertake scenario planning to prepare for changes that could impact your organization?
Consider the tasks ahead by determining your internal capacity to move them off your desk and into action.
Be sure to let us know how we can help, by filling out the form below. We would love to support your efforts in 2022 and beyond.