JGL Strategy

Innovative | Inquiry-Driven | Iterative

JGL Strategy is consulting firm based in Cleveland that helps organizations make better decisions for the future.

Strategic Planning

Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation

With funding support from The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and The O’Neill Foundation the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation (OBCDC) engaged JGL Strategy to facilitate a robust strategic planning process August 2015 – February 2016. This process was overseen by a Strategic Planning Task Force that included members of the OBCDC Board, Old Brooklyn residents and business owners and subject matter experts.           

The inquiry-driven process engaged OBCDC’s staff and Board, external stakeholders, anchor institutions and Old Brooklyn residents, business owners, faith leaders and visitors through a variety of tools:

  • 90 one-on-one interviews

  • 16 focus groups    

  • 2 public meetings    

  • 660 responses to bi-lingual survey offered in online and paper versions        

The resulting five-year organizational strategic plan, “Old Brooklyn 2020”, was adopted unanimously by the OBCDC Board of Directors in February of 2016. An executive summary of the strategic plan is publicly available and can be accessed directly here.

"When Old Brooklyn CDC sought responses for a strategic planning process, one priority was certain: this plan was intended to be inclusive and forward thinking. Past plans either did not include enough stakeholders to create buy in or relied on traditional methods that yielded the same results. With an organization and industry in transition, that would not be enough.

JGL Strategy was selected from seven proposals due to a thorough and tailored response; advance research had been put into the response that stood out from “boilerplate” responses. His proposal and follow-through provided great value when compared to other consultants. He operated below the budgeted proposal and never added-on additional costs. Throughout the planning process John G. Lynch continued that approach with timely communication, thoroughly coordinated stakeholder engagement, deep analysis, and engaging conversations. Working best in small groups, Mr. Lynch drew out responses from diverse groups that led to insights later informing the organizational strategy. He utilized a variety of methodologies and adapted to the situation instead of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. Participants found him to be respectful, intelligent, and well-prepared. Mr. Lynch created buy-in from key stakeholders by earnestly listening and applying their guidance into the strategy of the organization.

The path developed by JGL Strategy boldly places Old Brooklyn CDC at the forefront of industry trends. It seeks not just best practices but “next practices” that can become innovations for the organization. The strategic plan is original, but grounded in research. It does not simply transcribe dialogue from survey responses but draws connective tissue to solutions. Old Brooklyn 2020 is an organizational strategic plan that creates capacity for our organization to lead and serve our community. Since its implementation, a marked shift has occurred within our Board of Directors. They are more data driven, strategy focused, and mission aligned. Instead of focusing our most valuable resources (their time) on trivial activity, we are leveraging their skillsets for directional change of the organization. " - Jeffrey T. Verespej, Executive Director, Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation

Mergers; Board Development

The Centers for Families and Children

At one the region’s premier health and human service nonprofit organizations I was charged with merging the Associate Boards of two recently merged organizations – The Center for Families and Children (CFC) and the West Side Ecumenical Ministry (WSEM) – and subsequently facilitating the leadership transition for the integrated Associate Board in a way that guaranteed sustainable success. Each Associate Board had its own history; culture; fund development priorities, and; outreach, service and advocacy initiatives that all needed to be merged to support the combined organization. Deliverables achieved in the first six months of integrating the operational protocols and governance structures of the two Associate Boards included: a new Board Executive Committee and succession plan; a comprehensive set of membership requirements for Associate Board members; an asset-based Board development strategy; a dashboard to measure progress, and; the Associate Board’s most successful fundraising endeavor to date.

"The task of merging two sets of committed, smart volunteers into an integrated Associate Board for The Centers for Families and Children was vital for our combined organization. With sound facilitation skills, a nuanced understanding of collaboration and a forward-facing vision John was able to steer this process clear of potential roadblocks and succeeded in synthesizing a combined entity that was far more than the sum of its parts. John’s creativity, intelligence and passion for creating lasting value make him a top choice to work with on high priority projects."  -  Judy Peters, Executive Vice President, The Centers for Families and Children

Community Engagement

Cleveland International Film Festival

The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) is among Cleveland’s most popular arts & culture institutions. This project for the 38th Annual CIFF necessitated large-scale relationship management and community engagement. I facilitated partnerships with 161 nonprofit organizations throughout Northeast Ohio and established robust operational protocols for future use by CIFF. This project accrued benefits for both CIFF and the partner organizations: for CIFF the project advanced the organization’s already expansive reach by coordinating multi-channel marketing partnerships with area nonprofits, resulting in an excess of $150,000 of in-kind marketing value provided to CIFF over the course of four months; meanwhile the 161 partner organizations were able to tell their stories to new audience through films that illustrate their mission and programs.

"John G. Lynch is passionate about everything that he does, especially anything that has to do with his civic vision for Cleveland.  And, as anyone who has ever been a colleague of his can tell you, his passion is contagious.  He is a remarkable person whose colleagues admire and respect him.  John has much to offer any company or organization.  He is conscientious, bright, resourceful, and a natural team player with solid communication and organizational skills."  -  Patrick Shepherd, Associate Director, Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF)

Program Design & Implementation

The Centers for Families and Children

In response to a growing need for community-based healthcare services in Cleveland and a simultaneous growth in the population of adults who fell just above the Medicaid eligibility threshold but who nevertheless were unable to pay for health insurance I was called upon by The Centers for Families and Children to develop and implement an organization-specific program for Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities (MBIWD), a part of the national Medicaid system.

This program achieved three unique outcomes: 

  1. For the individuals enrolled in the MBIWD program they received access to necessary healthcare they would not otherwise have access to; 
  2. The organization was able to generate additional revenue through new Medicaid reimbursements; 
  3. Cleveland’s workforce was strengthened as participants in the MBIWD program received regular vocational rehabilitation and job readiness preparation.
" John’s connectional intelligence – his ability to combine people, networks, disciplines and resources to create value – was on full display in designing a scalable, cross-functional program for The Centers. The complexity of this program was managed expertly from design to implementation. John’s work is highly strategic in his approach yet simultaneously anchored by a deep desire to create positive change in society."  -  Bernie Kerrigan, Chief Talent Officer, The Centers for Families and Children

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by John G. Lynch.