Operational Planning: The Key to Building a Culture of Implementation and Focus

Ever wonder why organizations lose focus as their strategic plans gather dust on the shelf?

Ever wonder how to keep everyone on the same page during implementation, and preserve the energy and excitement generated during the strategic planning process?

Want to build a culture of focus that can knit together key organizational processes (planning, communications, evaluation and organizational learning) for sustainable high performance?

Tired of that “flying by the seat of our pants feeling?”

Successful organizations make the shift from “what” (visioning) to “how” (implementation) by building the infrastructure of implementation.

Join me in a practical discussion of what you can do create a focused, effective organization.


  • Organizational life cycle phases and how to shift from an exclusively entrepreneurial culture to an Institutional/Maturing organizational culture
  • Key processes that undergird organizational culture
  • Tools for operationalizing the strategic plan
  • Tools for grounding budgeting and other annual processes strategically

Anthony ReeseAnthony Reese is Olive Grove’s Chief Finance Officer and Vice-President of the Financial Management Practice Area. This position is the latest incarnation of a life spent building capacity in the nonprofit sector. Anthony is a graduate of UCLA, and the Coro Foundation’s Public Affairs Program in Los Angeles. He holds a Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where he specialized in urban economic development. It was there that Anthony was first introduced to the work of nonprofits, joining a group of friends from Harvard’s business and law schools to create City Year, an urban youth corps that grew to international prominence and became a model for the national service movement.

Anthony’s deep interest in the sector drew him to New York City’s Robin Hood Foundation, where served as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Management Assistance. There he helped channel financial resources, technical assistance and other services to community-based nonprofits. The satisfying experience of helping community entrepreneurs build institutions under their ideas led him to serve in a variety of management service organizations from LA’s Center for Nonprofit Management, to Oakland’s National Community Development Institute. Love for this type of service also led him to create his own nonprofit consulting firm, Mananson Consulting, in 1992.

As the former Associate Director of the Greenlining Institute, Anthony managed the finance function while creating corporate/community partnerships to implement a number of community-based economic development and technology projects.

Mr. Reese served as Associate Director to the National Community Development Institute (NCDI), an intermediary created to provide culturally-based capacity building services to communities of color. He helped build NCDI’s fiscal and administrative systems, and provided facilitation, training, coaching and implementation support to community boards and neighborhood collaboratives engaged in comprehensive community change initiatives.

Most recently Anthony served as the Principal Financial Analyst of the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where he was responsible for developing and monitoring a $30m annual budget, implementing automated financial systems, and providing advanced financial modeling and analytics to the chapter board and executive staff.

Process Work ConsultingOlive Grove Consulting President, Emily Hall, planted the first seed in the grove in 2002, when she founded her own firm to continue her focus on helping organizations and individuals in the nonprofit sector realize their full potential. In 2007, the firm was re-branded Olive Grove Consulting. Through great work with clients and collaboration, the brand quickly grew. In 2009, Olive Grove began developing the network structure that’s unique to our company. This grove of trusted consultants and firms with diverse specialties and deep knowledge continues to grow and evolve in order to meet the changing needs of an equally diverse client base.

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