America Succeeds established an enduring relationship with Insignia Partners, including year-over-year evaluation for the national organization. Based on those evaluation results, Insignia also provides executive coaching and strategic consultation on leadership and team development to state-level affiliates.
America Succeeds was founded in Colorado on the idea that our economy thrives when public schools work for all kids, and quickly grew to serve seven states. Like any membership organization, America Succeeds sometimes struggled to articulate its value proposition to affiliates. The nonprofit originally tapped Insignia Partners to conduct an organizational evaluation, led by Marisol Rodriguez, to assess its effectiveness as a national team as well as its direct service to affiliates.
“Like the business leaders we engage, we’re working to get better every week, every day,” says President Tim Taylor. “We need candid feedback from our state-level partners about how we can improve. And Marisol brings that information back to us in a way we can use.”
Armed with insights from the evaluation, Insignia facilitated a strategic process that helped America Succeeds refine the structure and capacity of its national team, hone its priorities, and provide more meaningful technical assistance and capacity-building support to its affiliates. As a result, America Succeeds clarified its value proposition and strengthened its relationships with members.
Today, America Succeeds trusts Insignia to continue that evaluation process each year, surfacing growth areas for affiliates and for the national organization. In addition to sharing the results with his Board and team members, Taylor engages Insignia Partners to respond to many of the needs affiliates identify.
Just one example of direct support following evaluation work began in North Carolina with affiliate organization BEST NC. Insignia Partners worked with CEO Brenda Berg to stabilize and strengthen her team after significant staff transitions. That work included executive coaching and team development, and specifically personality assessment, that helped ensure a new leader and new team could hit the ground running from day one.
Berg highlights the importance of discovering and sharing each person’s leadership and work styles. “As a team, we thought we knew each other,” Berg says. “Going through the process with Insignia made us realize we had a lot to learn about how best to work together.”
Based on those rave reviews, Taylor engaged Insignia Partners to lead similar personality-assessment work with the national team. “My style with my own team is pretty hands-off: I believe in finding talented people, and letting them do their job,” Taylor says. “Marisol fits with that culture very well… We turn to her repeatedly because she’s demonstrated such success.”