The Situation

An international nursing society had undergone tremendous growth and success partnered with their management company. The professional services contract was due for renewal, and even though the relationship was on solid footing, the board felt that it was part of its due diligence responsibilities to comprehensively assess the relationship with the management company. Several board members also thought it was important to better understand how the culture of the organization had developed since partnering with the AMC, others thought it was important to assess the professional services fees against financial benchmarks. Everyone thought an assessment was a great opportunity to gain perspective on the relationship and identify ways to improve how the two organizations work together.

The Approach

Working with staff and volunteers, a modified Appreciative Inquiry (AI) model was used to collect data through interviews and focus groups. The AI model framework allows staff and volunteers to work from a place of strength and success. Additionally, survey data was developed to allow for anonymous input to the process. Benchmarking data was analyzed to determine the management fee as a percentage of the budget.

The Results

The result of the culture and management assessment was that the society and the management company had a platform to successfully complete their contract negotiations. The board had the opportunity to reflect on the current state of the organization’s culture, and the entire organization had the opportunity to reflect on the state of the organization prior to a volunteer leadership change. The assessment also helped to inform a subsequent strategic planning process.