Helping a New Leader Assess Organizational Needs and Opportunities

The Challenge

In 2021, a new Vice President of Community and National Initiatives started at the Knight Foundation. In her first 90 days, the VP wanted to better understand the needs and improvement areas within her department to inform how to focus her time.

The Project

The VP of Community and National Initiatives engaged Bloom in order to conduct anonymous candid interviews. The goal was to deliver summaries of the department’s strengths and challenges and to identify strategic areas for her to focus her efforts going forward. To inform our recommendations, we:

  • Worked collaboratively with the client to develop an interview discussion guide and list of interviewees
  • Interviewed over 30 stakeholders, including leadership and staff from across the foundation

The Result

We synthesized themes from our research into a final report providing insights and recommendations. We also created a slide deck that we used to present our findings.

We grouped our findings into strategic focus areas — strategy, communications, and roles and responsibilities — and then outlined the top insights from those areas as well as our recommendations for improvement. Our role was to listen and objectively reflect the answers we heard. Our final report reflected the diversity of viewpoints and where the majority of opinions lay, using direct quotes where appropriate to highlight particular insights or recommendations.

With the succinct and actionable recommendations, the foundation’s leadership was able to use the report to address existing challenges and refine their vision, mission, and team structure in order to move forward.

Leadership changes are key inflection points for an organization, and Bloom’s support was critical for me as a new leader joining a distributed 20+ person team amid the pandemic. Their fast engagement and rigor in interviews helped to identify what deeper concerns and challenges were being missed in everyday dialogue and helped me prioritize what to focus on near-term as well as long-term for success.”
Kelly Jin, Vice President/Community and National Initiatives, Knight Foundation

Services Used

  • Discovery Sprint
  • Organizational Strategy

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