Making this up, there’s, uh, a youth organization that does really great. Job development work and the boys and Girls Club of Worcester doesn’t do great on making this up. Doesn’t do great job development work, so the organization that is small is failing financially, but they have great programs that might make sense if possibly talk about merging or being an alliance because it’s value added for the organization that is financially. Strong. Does that make sense? But you, you, you you need to make sure you’ve really done a financial scan and organizational scan. Have a good understanding from their constituents, from their team members about the strengths of that other organization and the challenges ’cause all nonprofits, all all for profits, all have challenges to before you enter into anything, so I think. That can be something that could pull if someone is organization is really struggling financially. It could actually hurt your organization if you take them on ’cause you had to still raise money for them. Does that make sense? So. I think it to look at all of that. It’s not as easy as it’s being like, wow, they do good work. We do good work. We should merge. You know, you have to be careful because it could actually hold you back. For sure. You know, I think. Um. And I think you also have seen how? Well, some of these big companies for profit companies. UM, the bigger you get, sometimes you lose that local feel. And that you don’t actually know the communities that you’re serving and that I think is very devastating for your community if you’re no longer really about your community. So I think you have to be careful with that too. You still wanna make sure that even if it helps you financially to merge with a company that you’re still able to. Make sure that your communities that you’re serving feel like that there your top priority, and I think it can’t be just based on finances, but also if you grow too big. I think there can be that concern that you lose that. Personal feel that I think we all like having that we all want to feel like we know people at that organization that we can go to. We don’t want like this one 800 number you know, so I think. You have to make sure that when you merge that you’re still able to provide the services and the communication that your constituents that the people you serve, the community you work with are used to, and if anything, it might be an opportunity for you to even improve communication. But something else I’ve learned is it’s so important to make sure that your board of directors is communicating. Any of these type of decisions, not just with the executive director CEO’s involved with it completely as partners with the board, but you need to make sure that your management team, that all of your team members are aware and you might not be able to tell them everything right away. Certainly if you’re just saying we’re having talks that doesn’t, but it. Once you think this is gonna happen, you wanna make sure that your team members know what’s going on, that they’re able to provide you with feedback that they’re able to talk about what they’re worried about, what they’re excited about, or whatever. I think you’re gonna fail. I really think you could fail. You know, I think to be very careful with that and again. Decisions have to be made and often by the Board of Directors and the CEO, but those decisions should also be made by getting input and feedback from the people you serve and from your team members. You’re not an organization without the team members. You’re not an organization without the people you serve, so they best be involved. Any questions on that? I have a question, yes. You were talking about code. Doesn’t make sense. Silly merge with someone who’s going under, and I thought a lot about the Clark Becker type of merger. And Mike Becker was already like, completely broke and then took some of their programs like that. Common in institutions and have, like large endowments and like, but they also had programs Clark wanted. And remember, I talked about that, that that sometimes if they have something that you think will benefit your students, for example, for this, that makes sense. Becker has some wonderful buildings. So there were some positive, certainly out of that. Yes, Becker was struggling. Certainly a lot of small colleges, a lot of small nonprofits can struggle in this environment, for sure. But Becker still had some strengths. For sure, that was a really good question ’cause. It was very topical. What’s happened here for sure. and we’ and it’s not. It’s not typical, I guess sort of back in the day, it wasn’t as difficult as it is today. But I think just being transparent really results in incredible. Add an increased level of trust. And motivation for our employees and our team members so. I built a culture at the organization that is very transparent. I think. Uh, clearly another category, another quality as a a leader is empathy, especially nowadays. Being apathetic, I I spent an hour. With a colleague today, one of my Vice President, she came in and said I hope you don’t have a lot of questions for me today. And um. I thought, well, do I always ask her a lot of questions? I probably do. But she clearly didn’t. She wasn’t in the space where she she wanted to talk about what was going on in her life. And what was happening with her? Her at work? And so we had a great we we talked for an hour. Just supporting some of the challenges she has at home with her son, unfortunately. And me just being there for her was what she needed. It was the most important thing I I think that we could have done today in our work. She needed a lot of my empathy, for sure. This is making mistakes trying to prevent. I tell myself all the time that we really we we have to expect there without fail. We have to look forward to it and we have to learn from it. Most importantly, we have to learn from it. So. I spent a lot of my time just coming back. I’m worried. What’s the worst thing that could happen? On the one hand, the worst thing that could happen is someone could die like we do not want that, or someone could get hurt. We don’t want those things to happen, but most of the decisions that our organization have, something are not directly related to client safety. And so what’s the worst thing that can happen? We’ll learn and we’ll get through it. And so freeing people up to make decisions is really critical. This idea about growth. It’s one of the core values in our organization is that everyone can grow. Everyone should grow. Personal growth is incredibly important, and again for me it’s an important. Thing that keeps me moving as well. And I mentioned innovation. It’s also something I really love to do. So I think in terms of leadership, we are. I forget which of the business gurus said we’re over managed and under LED. And I think. I think that’s very true. I think we we often know how to fix things. We know how to keep the things running. But in terms of how we actually meet people through change. Through motivation, through communication, removing barriers for folks, I think all of those things. Are important in leadership. So I will pause there before we move onto open sky. If there are any questions that you want to have. Alright. So open Sky is an organization that. You can go right to the next slide list. Our mission is blending best practices with the power of community. We partnered with individuals and families to see beyond. And live beyond those perceived limitations, right? That’s underdog. You can’t do this. You can’t do that. We help people see beyond those to pursue fulfilling lives. That’s our mission statement at open Sky. We are really proud. We spent the year going through the organization, talking to our employees. What is it that we do that helps people lead fulfilling lives? And we lived in three areas. We landed with opportunities. Wellness and relationships. Um that? Opportunities for people are critical opportunities to grow and learn. That Wellness in both physical, mental, social, spiritual. Is incredibly important to helping people lead fulfilling life. And everything starts with a relationship. All of our work, all of our support for individuals and family starts with a relationship with that person or that family. And that’s how growth and recovery can occur. Some key facts about our organization we were founded in the 70s. I’ll pop a little bit more, quite a bit more about our affiliation. We have about 1200 employees throughout central mass. We have a $90 million, maybe a little bit more, thanks to the federal government, yeah, with an annual revenues we serve about 5000 people a year. Our headquarters is probably only about a mile from here. And we have about 100 programs, our services. One of the things I love about organization is we provide services to people with. Really, the most complex challenges. In our community. And so this creates. A lot of energy and and the organization to help people. Who? Who come to us or who we see with a variety of challenges. But it also presents opportunities for our employees. To gain experience in different areas of Human Services and mental help, and so I wanna go through these. But these are sort of list of the different kinds of folks. Challenges that we help people support. I mentioned that service area. Really deep in central mass. So now I’m gonna talk a little bit about. The landscape a little bit about. Open sky. The landscape we participate in. And our next slide shows. This idea of. The rising cost of health care. Is really driving our focus on. Integration of primary care and medical. And behavioral health. With a care coordination models. And so the people that we support here on the left, we have behavioral health on the left side. Low risk, high risk. We have physical health on the bottom, low risk, high risk. 400 need if you will. And that upper right hand corner quadrant there. People with high behavioral health grades. People with high physical health needs. Are really the folks that that we focus on and. We do so because we’re just really good at helping people with chronic and complex issues and the next slide was this point out that. Oh, you go back for one second this 1010%. Generally. Studies have shown about population. And health plans account for about 64% of the spend. Within the healthcare dollar. And. That is a lot of money. And money is critically important. In in our industry. And you know and so. We try to help people at the top of that pyramid there with the most chronic and complex issues. The money is important because. As we’ll talk about later. The move in the industry in Health and Human services. Is stored value based care? The term value based care. Delivering. A service or a support? With the hopes that the person or family. We’ll lead a fulfilling life. Feel better? Be in recovery, be happy. And that. Ultimately, the insurance companies. Will spend less money. For the care of that person or that family. And so delivering a service or a support. In a way that returns value. It’s an important part of where our industry is headed. And our ability. To reduce the spend. For the care of people. Is a major strategic focus of ours. And there actually is a return on investment that we’re very interested in and and very much focused on. You don’t typically hear human service people talk about return on investment. But here in our organization and in our industry, it is critical to our future. So now some of the. Wonderful assumptions that we’ve made or assumptions that we made about our wonderful world out there, of course, of pandemic. Incredible war. The civil unrest political division. All of that is. Celebrating, unfortunately, very unfortunately. Our organization is not immune from these. Forces out there and continue to impact us and our market. And one of the things that’s happening is consolidation in the market. Which we will talk about in terms of. I I thought I heard you just mentioned. Yeah, I’m seeing it everywhere. I know you are, too. Yeah. Smaller. We’re gonna zation. In Human Services, will we’re gonna dive into this a lot. So being able to. Embrace. The landscape to seek opportunity is really critical for organizations. And the next slide shows this is a little bit of a sobering a national organization that we belong to surveyed leaders nationally of behavioral health organizations. And just within the last six months, I believe 17% of those organizations think. That they can survive for about a year. Only 32% said that they think they can survive for about two more years. And 39% said they weren’t sure they had 12 months worth. Of funding that they would be able to sustain their organization. They just weren’t sure so. Leaders of nonprofits, in particular behavioral health community organizations, are very concerned about the future. For all of the reasons, including the demand for services. Well, the rates of payments that we get from health insurance companies and the state. Um. The challenges we have with workforce. Which are not going away anytime soon. Or leading organizations to really. Be concerned about the future. The landscape also is. Telling us that. We need to focus. On the whole person, we need to look at the whole person. Is. Isn’t is is an incredible, incredibly important area that we’re moving into, not thinking just about the person’s mental health. Or. A person’s recovery from substances. Or the young adult with autism and just focusing on that, but really looking at the whole person or the whole family. Including the medical, including. There are social determinants which will talk about where they live. Their employment. Transportation all of those things that help help a person Lee to fulfilling life. Virtual care. We have never seen anything like this before. Like, I think that the good, the bad, the ugly with virtual care. But here it is and we are. As an organization and industry, learning how to embrace and use virtual care. In home services. I’ve had stress through the pandemic, in particular the importance and the need. Increased need for people to receive care in home. Including Human Services. This risk based reimbursement. So we work with insurance companies and state payers. And we say. We think we’re gonna, we think we can save you this sensually. We think we can save you this much money. If this family or this person doesn’t go to the emergency room. Last year they went ten times. We think they’re only gonna go five times if we help them and maybe they won’t go at all. Uh, we don’t think they’re gonna need to go into the hospital because we’re gonna help keep them at home. Healthy. Happy, safe. And the insurance company or the state will say you did a great job. You saved us some money while the person got better, while all the family recovered. So we’re gonna give you more money. So we’re going into these risk based arrangements with our payers. Which is absolutely. Horrible. Scary. It’s scary. And the need for the need for financial reserves. The need for our investments to do well in the market. So that we can, whether those financial swings is really critical and this last piece here the pay by there. So we are provider. Insurance companies and other. Venture capital backed firms are becoming pin biters. UMass Medical is starting an insurance company. Right. So they’re becoming a payer. They are a provider becoming a pair, but payers like insurance companies are also becoming providers where they’re doing the care themselves. And that integration, that vertical integration. Where they can provide the service, pay the bills, reap the benefits, they have it all contained. Um. So that’s another really significant. Force in our industry. That is taking place, and I mention these venture back. Google. Amazon back. Franz, there’s one that started in the city of Worcester. Called cityblock. And they are. They have their for profit, they have shareholders. They have lots of money. Venture capital money. And they’re going to insurance company saying we can coordinate care, we can go into peoples home, we can do it open skydaz. And we have all the fancy computers and analytics. So we’re gonna save you money, but we want a lot of that money back. Our investors need and expect that money back. So they’re hiring our staff. Right. Yeah, yeah. Like they open two years ago, this is a national company. We thought, you know, New York City, where they are down in the South, they got a few but there. Whisper. They’re called cityblock. Yeah, fancy website. All the data. They gonna promise to do everything and they’ll then they will. They’ll help people. And their shareholders will make some money. And they hire A staff at 20% greater salaries. I had a 25 year employee who left it by the year and have to go. I’ll go to go and work. The woman who worked for me. Kim was a sweetheart and generally I had some family members and friends who needed help. Mostly plants whose kids needed help. I would always call Kim Kim. Can you help this person? Now she works for this other company. There’s much more and more of that happening. So that’s sort of the landscape of what we are. What is driving organization in terms of being? Successful in the future. And so we’re getting to the aspect where we’re gonna talk a little bit about growth. And scale and why it’s important. We have $93 million in annual revenue. That’s all money. 1200 employees. 93 million. And I’m not sure that we’re big enough. We’re sort of picking up like I think. For a little while, but. Depends how our investments do. It depends how much money we have to invest. And build that infrastructure that Cityblock pass. So enhancing our infrastructure. That means data systems, financial systems. quality compliance. Uhm, talent making sure we’re bringing in the best talent. Because remember, we need to bless you. We need to demonstrate a return on investment. A little bit today, but much more tomorrow and way more in the years ahead. How much money are you gonna save us? So investing in infrastructure is really critical. And more sophisticated systems and staff. It’s necessary as I mentioned, because we need to enter into more arrangements with risk bearing entities, risk bearing contracts. So big, big provider here in Worcester. We’re talking with them about. Who were you? Know that upper right hand corner, the top of the pyramid. The this paper has the data. Who are those people? You got 508 hundred people. That have chronic conditions. That have high need behavioral health, high need physical health. We can help those people. They have adolescents with substance use that keep going in the hospital and keep going the emergency room. People with mental illness, people with depression. High levels of depression bipolar disorder. Emergency rooms in patient had missions. We can help those 500, those 800 people. Now the insurance the the payer. They are at risk themselves. With the payers Blue Cross, Harvard Pilgrim, the different insurance companies, Fallon. Contract with this primary care provider. And they say, OK, you take care of these folks, provide them basically with medical and some behavioral health care. And you get to keep some whatever savings. Well, now we have to come in. And get into those arrangements. Say we can help those 500 people or 20 people. And they’ll you will get a return and we want a piece. We need a piece of that so we can pay Mary. 1020% more if it’s. The state is not gonna come through with payments like that for us, we know. And it’s also necessary for us, of course, to continue to develop our service lines. And develop and enhance our services. I’m gonna pause for a minute there and see if there are any questions so far. Maybe also this could be our bathroom break after questions for this morning. Perfect, yes. Yeah, both. So most of our funding today come from the state. It’s both fortunate and unfortunate. They probably they they are about 90 plus percent of our total funding. So the state government. As the state entities, the Department of Mental Health. The Department of Developmental Services that the Department of Children and Families Mass Rehab Commission. All of those. Health and Human service agencies at the state level. That are essentially safety net payers. They pay to make sure. That people who can’t afford. Or who need intensive levels of support and care. Get it? So people with significant mental illness, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, who have been in institutions. For a long time and turn live successfully in the community. The ugly just supports and services and the state pays us to provide those things. Children and family. Who qualify through DCF will come to us for care. That’s important. So the state pays us. And they they put out, you know, they use our tax dollars, which thank goodness they have. They use our tax dollars and they put out proposals. Say we want to purchase this, we want to purchase that. So the state is our major funder and. Insurance companies. Will also seek us out and we seek them out for for funding. Other questions? Right, we do. You do. Great question. We try to run this many grant since we can’t. At work pretty good at it, uh. We just hired a new brand writer. Oh yeah. He works for the city. He used to work for the City of Worcester. Oh. OK. Very excited for him to start. Oh, good. Yeah, good. I think you started either today or next month. I didn’t know where he was going. Yeah. So we’re really excited. So we have really good writers. The challenge with grants is they’re usually. There’s sort of one time and. So I know a lot of organizations will go out and try to chase down all the little grants that they can. At the same time, you know if you wanna keep that service going, you gotta just. Oh my can. With. We don’t get contracts, we don’t get contracts. Yeah, we do chase every single penny every year and that’s why I look at the list so much. We focus the energy. I mean, what Liz does every year, she raises all of her money for her organization every year. We get these big contracts, we have to reapply once in a while for these contracts, but we don’t. We don’t work nearly as I was living her team in applying for grants, but we do. And we get, we get them, we try to focus on bigger ones. That maybe stretch a few years. Over a few years. Good time for break. Yeah, take 55. Alright, thank you.ll talk more ’cause our our our special guest speaker is can be and more net revenue. To invest back in the company, not with those. Shareholders right to invest back in the company. Yes, we can make a profit. Yes, we need to make a profit. We have to move. So the word nonprofit is really. Yeah, we we can and we need to make a profit at the end of the day. And those funds? Set in bank accounts. And investment accounts. For those times when we need it like we did last week, we raised our gas mileage reimbursement from $0.45 to $0.58. And it probably costs us $200,000. So. We had to do that. Right. Our staff are like driving a lot. Then we had to do it. We did no one. For money to do that. And so having that. Reserved is critically important. And we think about Gronk, OK? This little schematic here for organic growth growth that can happen and happens inside the organization often times it takes a little while. Organic growth can take time. And so it’s not gonna happen overnight. Or it’s not gonna happen quickly, whereas a merger or an affiliation generally has an immediate impact to your top line revenue. In this way. Organic growth, we think about the existing services we have. For existing pairs. That’s fine. We do more of that. We grow the existing service with an existing pair, the partner, children and families. They pay us for this. They want us to do more of it. Yeah, well, do more of it. They want us to do a new service. The state will come to us and say, do you wanna do this new service? The same pair. But it’s a new service, they say. Yeah, we have a good relationship with that pay. They pay us a lot of money. And when they say jump, we usually jump anyway, so not that much of an ask. The existing service for new customers, so the state may say, can you do this? Or people who are leaving jails and prisons. Reentry services, right. We do a lot of reentry. Help people reenter after being in jail in prison. Now if an insurance company came to us or Medicaid, the state came and said. No, that’s not a good example. The state already pays us for that, but if a new pair. I kind of chuckle with an insurance company, but if insurance company said we understand you do this, we’re at new pay. Could you do this? We say yeah, great. There’s a new pair for an existing service. And it’s sort of radical piece of doing something new for a new pair. So a new service for a new pair. Would be sort of a way for us to grow organically still. Yeah, no organization. And then we move into. Even more. Inorganic or external growth? Strategic alliance and partnerships. Joint ventures. Affiliations. And mergers. Now there are legal there are legal definitions to all of these, especially affiliations and mergers. I’ll start at the bottom. Now I’m gonna start so strategic alliance. We’re working with. Seven Hills and spectrum health systems. We’re designing, we’re coming together, and we’re gonna design a new service that the state wants to buy. Or say well, we can do this. We can’t do it alone. None of us can do it alone. We have to come together. So let’s work on this project together. And so we’re designing this alliance and partnership. We may have a subcontract between organizations. If we get chosen by the state to do this, but it’s really a partnership and alliance between organizations. Now a joint venture would be an example of that would be, let’s say, a year down the road. We’ve got this new business on the stage with these three organizations and we say we wanna create a separate company. That helps oversee this business. The states paying us for with these three companies. So we all become board members, for instance of this. Joint venture off and you can also think about it as a limited liability corporation. Many human service organizations are doing that now. They’re coming together with different partners. They’re saying we’re all equal. We’re gonna join a company. We’re gonna create a limited liability joint venture company. For the purpose of this business. Not everything else we do, but really just this business. And affiliation. Which is what open sky is an affiliated and affiliate is the result of an affiliation. OK. Where two companies. Came together and and as corporations. Neither of them were dissolved. We each maintain and each of the organizations will get into it. Each of the organizations maintain. It’s. Speak about it. It’s so that corporate status with the state. Paperwork. Affiliation right. A merger is when two companies come together and and one of them dissolves. You’re no longer a company. All of your assets. All of your liabilities are assumed by the new and the. Remaining. Corporation. So a merger, even though we talk about a merger like, oh, let’s come together and work together and let’s merge. Technically, a merger is when one company dissolves. And the other company takes over everything that was there. So we talk about the merger. If we’re gonna go to the next slide. You might have to click it a few times. I tried to do something fancy here. Turn it unlimited. Plus, the bridge of central mass. Two companies. We’re gonna talk about two companies that have been around for 50 years. Four years ago. In July this coming July. We we came together under an affiliation. OK, neither company. What’s this song? So the state still sees both companies. We still submit paperwork for both companies. We still have audits for both companies, financial audits. But our affiliation is somewhat unique in that we formed a we. We created a new name. So it didn’t matter which company was at the top. But one of the companies was at the top and we just changed the name of that company. OK. And at that top that company at the top. He came open sky. And we have other corporations that sit underneath it. Like the bridge in central mass and valley cast and these other small companies that we have that. Are holding companies for. Real estate and things like that, they’re they don’t do a lot of business person. So we came together as affiliation. We did not dissolve either corporation, so it wasn’t a merger. Even though a lot of our staff talked about the merger, the merger, the merger, it really wasn’t affiliation. So that’s the language. Um, when it comes to the legal side of that. So why? Why did we? Need to explore partnership? Why did we need to explore partnership? Both organizations at the time. Wanted to expand our services, our mission. We both needed to strengthen our infrastructure. Improving services, expanding our continuum. Focusing on workforce. So I mentioned it’s it’s helpful to have lots of programs where people can work for six months here. Oh, OK. I wanna go. I wanna go do something else now. Well, stay with us. ’cause. We got other places where you could work and learn and grow. We both. Determined we needed to diversify our revenue streams, our services. And by coming together, we decrease the competition that we had between one another. Immediately and instantly, we weren’t competing with each other for the same business. And there are certain economies of scale. That we can talk about from coming together. So these these were actually slides I took from four years ago when we were involved in this negotiation and this process of of learning and bringing the organizations together. So on the next slide. We talked about why, why it was a good fit for both organizations to come together. We had a history of strong collaboration over many years. We already worked together in partnerships and certain services and programs. Our staff knew each other. We were similar in size. Alternatives was a little bit bigger than the bridge. Similar values as organizations and geography. We both wanted to stay deep in central mass. We didn’t want to expand geographically into Boston or Springfield or other areas we both. Appreciated the value of relationships. And the importance of those relationships to provide good services. We were both long-term organizations. In central mass we both. Had an opportunity to retain major contracts from the state. So we know that like coming together, we thought that by coming together we would have a better chance of retaining those contracts and expect expanding those contracts. And this one last thing is really important for the other organization for Alternatives Unlimited. They were going through a leadership transition. Their CEO was retiring. CFO was retiring. They keep operating officer with retiring. So. They also needed. Leadership. And so it’s important opportunity for them. Questions or comments? Last week we like were mentioning pathways through leadership and how likely pathways leadership is essential to make sure organizations like keep moving forward and you just mentioned like organization that essentially everyone in their top leadership positions like we’re leaving and they didn’t really have. And he like direction moving forward. What are some ways like organizations can prevent that from happening and how do you like build a culture that is actually like grooming people to take over positions and not just like saying that someone is going to be in that role until they die. So that’s a really good point. It’s really important that you have. Getting really good board of directors first of all. That realizes that the organization is more than its leader is more than its board, so the the the Board of Directors needs to be looking out for the future. And so I’m only 28 years old, so I’m gonna be around. What’s that? Oh, OK, alright. We have at least 30 more years to work. No. You know, I’ve got, I don’t know, 10 or 15 years to go, right? I hope the board continues to employ me. If it also falls to the leader like. I wanna be sure when I if I leave on my own. On my own volition, right, we could we work at the mercy of the board. If I leave, I wanna leave the organization in the best hands possible. So they’re a really good organizations that work on transition and succession planning for years. Years I know one company, one CEO who retired last year. That’s all he ever talked about was succession plan. Him his board. He was really into it. And so he was very successful in his transition. Um. So I think it’s both. It’s it’s. Necessary. And it’s one of the key functions of the board, just to make sure that succession planning is part of the organization’s planning. And then like in my organization. I kind of already. I cannot, you know, don’t repeat this, but I kind of think, OK, if this person stays around for another 30 years when I retire. She didn’t laugh that time. No, I did nothing. You know, another 215 years. This person is like 32. OK, so 4040 something. And I think he’s talking about being a CEO someday. But I talk with all my staff. Let’s be clear. Like a leader talks about all should. What’s your next step? I ask that all the time. Not so much with my team ’cause. I know them so well that people that report to me, but the next layers of the organization, what’s next for you? What are you gonna do next? Like, how can I help you? How can we help you get there? Hopefully it’s with us. But if it’s not, that’s fine. Like people need to be looking ahead for their career, right? So I think it also is a as a culture that comes from the leader and the leadership of the organization. I hope I answered your question, I think yes. yes. Yes, so. Some of the values I talked about and the qualities of leadership that we talked about early in the presentation tonight, that was there built into our performance reviews. So it’s the expectation. For certain leaders in the organization that they are good at those skills. And so every year, when they sit at performance review time, how how are you doing here? In developing those skills. So it’s part of it’s, it’s part of the culture. It’s part of the expectations that we have and part of our process. Um. And so performance is real. Like how do we? We need to be really transparent. People need to know exactly what their jobs are, what the expectations are. And so we spend a lot of time to making sure that we give honest and direct feedback. There should be no surprises at the end of a year when it comes time to sit down and review your performance. Can I told you? Or I haven’t told you this, but you know, you really don’t know how to do this. So there should be no surprise that it should be an ongoing dialogue. Ongoing throughout the year, so there are no surprises. So these areas we wanna help support you in these areas, wanna help you grow them. I’m about to enter a performance review like I’ve never had before, so I pride myself on learning and growth and putting myself out there with my board of directors. The last few years we’ve done an annual performance review for the CEO and it’s been a 360 degree survey. Goes to my staff, it goes to board members. It goes to other staff in the organization. Tell us how bad can is tell us how good can is? Usually the bad list is like this. Yeah. No. And and and then we get feedback and and my chair. The good, the bad and how to how to improve, right? Well. This year we’re gonna do something much deeper in that. The consulting we’re hiring to do this is gonna sit and do 17 interviews. 17 probably hour long interviews with all my reports and other people and board members. To say, OK, we really wanna know, like the survey. You can collect some. But there’s nothing like a dialogue about. How does Kim do this? What areas do you think you really needs to work on? So we can only do this, it’s line processing costly. So we’re only gonna do it like probably every couple of years, but this is. I’m I’m looking forward to it because. I want I want all the people. Tell me what I can do better differently and I’ll work on. So like so good, good question. Any other questions? Explain how like putting alliance leaders of transition and thus, you know, having their happen from difficult cases when two organizations given the both meters, how does the? It’s it’s one of the most important put your you put your finger right on it. If Liz and I wanna bring our organizations together, we we thought we both loved to be the CEO. We both love to be the CEO. Right. It’s such a personal. For it to be successful for two organizations that come together. Unless the board. Gets involved and says. We need to merge. We need to bring this, and we’re gonna hire one. Only one of you. I don’t see that too often. I don’t see that too often. It’s it’s more often the case that. Two leaders will come together and say, hey. We should get our organization. We should we should affiliate. And bring on organizations together. What role do you think you would like? What role do this is? What I think I’d like to do. Then it’s really hard for CEO’s or executives to sit down and have that. Conversation. I’ve had those conversations. To do. Say that one more time, sorry. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yes, that is. My my address that my point was if the two leaders. Can’t find a role for them for each of them, they’re gonna do everything they can to keep the company separate. ’cause they want their jobs and senyo. Now, who’s more qualified for the role? That is a good question. Who’s more qualified to lead? An organization through this change. Is is pretty objective in a way. What’s your experience been? Have you done this before? Um. So the experience is important. But you’ll never get to that point. Unless the board gets involved and says. The systems we use for finances. The policies we use for finances. The banks we use. The money we all the investment companies we use. Everything’s different. How much does this company own? How much does that company? Oh. How healthy is the balance sheet of the organization? How much money do they have in the bank? That’s that’s a piece of the due diligence is the financial due diligence and the steering team came together. We did all of that work. Across finance. Human resources. The IT department. Programs, property quality, communications. All of those are important critical areas to determine, OK. Financially, if we come together, we’re gonna be stronger. If we. There’s no big risks or flags. That’s a oh. You have a lawsuit that you haven’t settled from three years ago. And. You’re in the course of being sued. What is that gonna cost if we have to settle that? Is it a million? Is it $5 million? How we gonna pay that? We don’t want anything to do with that company. I have some questions, yes. When two companies are merging that have, I guess like the same. And city giving them funding would that effect like? The overall funding that they would get like let’s say Clark is giving like both me and you money and we merge together. Would they give us less money or would they continue giving us both money? Yeah. Then that’s awesome question. Awesome question. So in our business. Generally. The state pays us. For discrete set of services. And so. We we weren’t. We weren’t gonna get less money from the state when we came together. But. I bet if I really thought about it in some areas where we provide a similar service or the same service. And the state is paying it went away or it decreased? And so you need to. That’s a really wonderful quote. You need to be aware of those. And you do a financial proforma around those things. OK, so what’s our finances gonna look like next year? And and two years out, what will it look like? It’s a great question. You’re welcome. Talk about. When you got all your team members who were not in leadership positions involved like you gave, you talked a lot about points. Yeah, yeah. Breakfast. If you are, we can wait. Yes, let’s get to the next slide and then I’ll and then. Severely important questions that we need to ask early on. Someone someone asked that. Which organization will survive if it’s a merger? So if this company is. Is losing money and has losing staff. And yet they still have value in terms of what they’re delivering in the community and a larger organization can assume that. And provide the service and assume that then. It may be that the larger, stronger organization survives, and we say that company is no longer gonna exist. But it’s important. For the boards to be asking these questions. And how will the new entity? Be governed. So we came together and we said, well, we’ll have. This is one instance where the larger organization alternatives. We agreed. I agreed my my board from the bridge agreed. That they would have nine board members and the bridge would add eight of its board members, 417 new board members. Now that was sort of symbolically important. That if it ever got down to a vote. The larger organization, when they came together, still would have a little bit more power. Most of the time it never becomes an issue. And I was happy to. We were happy the bridge was happy to say you have no problem. because i knew the board members new
No. We work for open sky now. So the name of the organization was really important in our situation. And we. Pushed, I pushed to have a new name, a new board, a new mission, a new vision so that we could get everyone behind that the organization. If we ended up with the one name Alternatives Unlimited. 500 of the bridge staff would have said well. How come they get to keep turning? Yeah, we’re working together, but. So the name is really important when my when our boards came to discuss this, it was a 2 minute conversation. I was floored. High powered was so align and understood so much so well that we needed to do what we were doing, but the main didn’t matter. What mattered was what we needed to do. To keep the organization alive and thriving, we needed to do this. So it’s like I was expecting a 2 hour meeting, talk about our name. It was amazing and the same on the other side. The financial challenges we talked about and how will success of the merger be measured? Number one. Your employee satisfied. Are you delivering same or more or better services financially? Are you stronger? Better Together? Um. So to Lizzys question around commuter like communication. Like when? When do you let the word out that you’re talking about a merger? In a way that people don’t jump ship and leave. I don’t wanna be part of this. What’s gonna happen to my job? Instantly, of course, it becomes about the person in their role. How is this gonna impact me? And so for a few months. We just kept it very quiet as we were we we didn’t need to create anxiety. We didn’t need to create fear of what could come. And so when we finally announced. That the two organizations were. Coming together to talk about the potential of a merger. We were just very transparent, we and we over communicated. We over communicated. This is what we’re doing. This is, you know, the process around, do diligence. We had newsletters, we had meetings. Updates every step of the way. Reassuring people. This is our vision. We had done the vision work. This is why we’re talking about merging. This is what it will mean for us. And this is really important. I’m just remembering this. When I walk in front of this this block, no, no cool and. We made a mistake when we made lots of mistakes. Well, we learned. We said no one’s gonna lose their job. No. The first person that loses their job, we’re gonna lose all of our credibility. You said no one was gonna lose their job. What happened to this? Back to the question, do we need? Does the state need to pay both of us to do this? Do we need to pay? Two IT directors. Do we need to pay 2HR directors? Well. I would not say that again. And in the end, it didn’t come back to bite us at all, because in the end, we laid out a very fair process. So our two IT directors are two HR directors, no. We didn’t have any HR director, so we needed one. So that was good. But we had like two IT directors, right? Who? Qualifications. Qualifications are important. This is a job. I I TI director this is what we need. These are the skills we’re looking for. This is the experience and we interview. And we chose the best person. For the job. So. That person did lose his job. But that didn’t really matter. As much as people seeing a fair process. So, but I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t say in the future you and no one gonna lose their job. But communication is so important from this. Other questions? Yes, go ahead. Did you find that there was like tension between employees like that were like from different like that they’re different companies like, Oh my God. Peter Drucker. Well, culture eats strategy for breakfast. And lunch and dinner and dessert. Culture, culture, culture. There was so much detention. As a leader, completely until you go through something like this, you can’t really appreciate what culture means to an organization. I never did. I never appreciated it until. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I never felt solely responsible. To come to lead through the change of culture, as I did here, like I went from one company to another company back and I was like whoa, these are different cultures. Like, you know, these things, how do we make decisions? How do we spend money? How do we hold people accountable? What is the accountable mean? Language is so important. Terminology is so important. What what accountability? And one organization? A kind of their totally different definition. So we use the same language, but we don’t really understand what that language, what it means to people. How do we celebrate one organization? Had really meaningful celebrations for this, for that for the other organization. Yeah, we celebrate, but we celebrate them like this. Well, how is the new organization gonna celebrate? What do we want the new culture to be? But the tensions between the leaders in particular was. Incredible. The 10th like. In our organization, I became the CEO. And then we. Purposefully set up the next. Part of the organization, our Chief Operating Officer and our Chief Financial Officer from the other organization, right, I just felt it was a really important to balance that out. Alternatives had more board members. I was the CEO. They had the next two leaders. And so it was just. But if I were to do it again. I wouldn’t worry so much about the balance. Because I didn’t necessarily have. The best people in the rolls? I was more concerned about. The balance in this. If if there were lots that went into those decisions, but. The culture of an organization is incredibly powerful. And we spent. Years. We’re now four years in. And there’s still. There’s still cultures, clear cultures of both organizations. Well, this is how. It still could. Well, this is alternative. Well, this is the bridge. As I say, we still are talking about that and we will for the next 10 years. As long as people. Around. Other questions? One more thing on this and then we’re gonna wrap up. As I thought about the cultures. I used a line over and over again. That. In joining the organization, we needed to preserve. Certain things from both organizations. That we wanted to preserve. This way of celebrating. This human resources system. This interviewing. Protocol. There were certain things that we wanted to preserve. And then there were lots of things that we wanted to destroy, like we’re not doing this anymore. We’re not doing this. Reaching consensus around that. Around all of this is incredibly challenging and then these are the new things we’re gonna create. We’re gonna create new traditions. One organization brought 600 staff together every year. Well, we, we we can’t bring. And we did. We never brought 1200 people together every year. So we did away with that. We couldn’t do it. So we preserve things, we destroyed things and we created things. Coffee has a question, yes. So personally I really like the presentations, really insightful and I’m really learning about. Let you know like so when you met. Yeah. Like, do you still have like, like a measure today? You know, to the stand up information to give to the person that organization and measure or you still have to share every information about your company. Do we still have information? Could you maybe try to restate that? Is it coffee? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So what I’m trying to say is that so when you manage, yeah, I mean definitely there’s some stuff that has that that still goes, as you know confidential or whatever. But then you know, do you actually said those stuff with their company or their organization that you mentioned? Secrets and stuff. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good question. That’s a really good question. We merged everything transparent. Aren’t we? We came together. We brought the two companies. And we did away with both of them and we created open sky. So one set of policies, one set of financial systems. We had we didn’t have multiple for a while. We did. We figured out which one worked better, but. All everything became very transparent, so there were no secrets. There was nothing that was a big surprise after we came together. Well, you never told us that or you never said that. In the year and a half, it took to plan this. We were very transparent and open. But it’s important and it’s important to get that stuff out so that there are no surprises, especially at the last minute. Good question. Yes. I don’t. Transparency isn’t really transparent. In my experience, there’s always some type of confidentiality that should keep hearing. It’s much easier to not have that type of barrier. Yeah, yeah, I was just reminded that you were asking the question about transparency. The other alternatives used to share the minutes of their executive and senior meetings. They would send the meetings at the Minutes out from those meetings. The other organization, my organization, we didn’t. Not for any reason other than we never did. No one ever. No one. Well, pretty much no one ever asked for them. But in the other organization, they just did it for 20 years and we never did it for 20 years, so. Two months ago, I said. Are we really being transferred? Like, why don’t we share our minutes? What we never we never addressed it when we came together. So it’s one of those things. It’s 3 1/2 years. And I, you know, I’m like, OK, we need to share in minutes. It’s about meetings like executive committee, like the ten people that run the organization. We need to share them with everybody in the organization. And then this other group, this senior leadership meeting, we need to share those meeting. That’s what are they talking about? What are they deciding? What are they doing? And so I get some pushback like, well, we can’t do that because. You know there’s there was just little excuses that came out like. We do it. We can do it. Keep going back to the wrong word. Come on, we can go. Transparency, that means. Yeah. Or sharing we share. We pretty much share like. If there’s some things that we won’t share. Like personnel issues that come up right, we don’t wanna share like. Mary is in a lot of trouble because she did this, so we’re not. What are we? What are we gonna do with Mary? You know, there’s certain things were not gonna say. Sensitive or we’re talking to this company about maybe merging. We might put in a note, something like delete the continue to explore partnerships. In order to grow, but we might not say exactly what we’re talking with this company because. That would damage. Yeah. So I was thinking in the process of like like the one on the top guy we’re talking with together. Open your door was like 230. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, the due diligence. Is when you open your books up, you open everything up. And they they look at your finances, they look at the minutes from your board meetings for the last two years. We put all this stuff online. We have meetings, so everything is open. Everything. Yeah. So here we are today. Alternatives in the bridge. No longer. But we are one organization open sky. Our next slide is our strategic. Our current strategic priority areas. Um. That we set 2 1/2 years ago just before the pandemic. OK, state of the art services engaged and committed team partner of choice. Innovative technology, financially vibrant organization and a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. I share that with you just as a. So frame for my next slide and final slide, which is something I am most proud of. In my organization, I feel like I have led this for open sky. R. Journey to become an anti racist organization. Ha
s been underway for the last two years. And I have been on my own journey, my own personal journey, and I have brought that to the organization as the leader of the organization, to say we need to be anti racist. And. We are working really hard and we now are walking the walk. In terms of hiring a leader to help us. We unveiled 2 new policies last week. And equitable hiring policy. With the goal of diversifying our. Top leadership, which is very white. In the organization, our board was very white. We are on a I am on a mission. We are on a mission to diversify our board and so now we have 25%. Of our staff of our board members who are bipac. Equitable hiring practices will require that we have. Candidates of color in director level positions and above. So that we ensure we have a pool. From which to make decisions and we will have a panel which include members of our care team, our committee advancing race equity will be involved in the hiring process. So we hope I I believe that over the next few years, it’ll help transform our organization. And make us some much more diverse. And equitable organization. The other the other. Yeah, I really big thing that we unveiled last week was. Discrimination. Practice, if you will. We have racist behavior every day in our programs. Staff. With staff and
people we serve with staff. Language behavior. Racist, right? So we said,
alright. No, no, you see something, say something. Speak up. Call email to be anonymous can be in person. We are not going to put up with this. We’re gonna address the behavior. And take it head on. So it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be ready. Interesting to see what happens over the next few months. One start to see the issues come to the forefront, but. It’s something we have to do. Organization we have to. Yes, just something. i
I’m making this up, but there’s a fantastic youth group. Work on job development is a challenge for the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, and they don’t do a good job at it. Doesn’t perform a good job of job generation, therefore the little organization is losing money, but they have wonderful programs that may make sense if they talked about merging or forming an alliance because it would bring value to the financially struggling organization. Strong. That makes sense, right? But you, you, you need to double-check that you’ve done a thorough financial and organizational audit. Have a strong grasp of the strengths and challenges of that other organization from their constituents and team members, because all nonprofits, all for profits, all face the same challenges.