Leading with innovation learning from failure
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Leading with Innovation, Learning from Failure . The Corps Network 2014 National Conference February 11, 2014. Introduction. Presenters: Wendy Butts – Los Angeles Conservation Corps Dan Knapp – Los Angeles Conservation Corps Jeff Parker – Northwest Youth Corps. LA Conservation Corps.

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Leading with innovation learning from failure

Leading with Innovation,Learning from Failure

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference

February 11, 2014

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Introduction

Introduction

Presenters:

Wendy Butts – Los Angeles Conservation Corps

Dan Knapp – Los Angeles Conservation Corps

Jeff Parker – Northwest Youth Corps

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


La conservation corps

LA Conservation Corps

Mission: LA Corps’ primary mission is to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.

  • 400 18- to 24-year-old Young Adult Corps corpsmembers who receive on-the-job training, paid work experience and attend our charter school site to complete their high school education

  • 500 14- to 17-year old corpsmembers who perform paid community beautification work in Clean & Green

  • 250 14- to 18-year-old students enrolled in two full-time charter high school sites (operated by The Education Corps)

  • 6,000 elementary and middle school students (ages 10 to 14) from 16 LAUSD schools who participate in after school enrichment activities and receive tutoring services in our After School Program

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Northwest youth corps

Northwest Youth Corps

Mission: To help youth and young adults learn, grow, and experience success.

  • Work in 5-state area

  • 800 16- to 19-year-old participants

  • 150 18- to 24-year-old participants

  • 60 full-time high school students

  • Residential and non-residential formats

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Introduction1

Introduction

Workshop outline:

Discuss the drivers of innovation

Discuss the potential risks of innovation

Case Study Analysis

Lessons Learned

Share risk reduction and analytical tools

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


What drives innovation in the corps industry

What Drives Innovation in the Corps Industry?

Diversify Funding Streams

Increase Participant Outcomes/Services

Integrate Operations

Particular Staff Expertise and/or Passion

Opportunity

Other?

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


What is the risk of failure

What is the Risk of Failure?

Financial shortfall

Unmet participant outcomes

Mission drift

Harm to brand

Bad public relations

Other?

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


What is your organizational risk tolerance level

What is Your Organizational Risk Tolerance Level?

Risk Tolerance Spectrum

Staff

Board

Participants

Other Stakeholders

Difference between “need to” and “want to”

Size of the opportunity

Organizational culture

Organizational experience – positive and negative

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Case study los angeles conservation corps weatherization program

Case Study: Los Angeles Conservation Corps’Weatherization Program

Challenges and Lessons Learned

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


The program design

The Program Design

  • Long Beach Community Action Partnership

  • Los Angeles Conservation Corps Network

    • LA Conservation Corps – lead

    • Long Beach Conservation Corps

    • San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps

    • California Conservation Corps

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Wx program organizational chart

Wx Program Organizational Chart

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Benefits for la conservation corps

Benefits for LA Conservation Corps

  • Good platform for on-the-job training for corpsmembers

  • Mechanism for accessing and capitalizing on the influx of ARRA funding

  • Good source of contract funding with a sustainable infrastructure for growth

  • Potential profit-generating social enterprise project

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


What we knew didn t know in planning phase

What We Knew/Didn’t Know in Planning Phase

  • Cash flow was going to be an issue

  • Partnership lacked key expertise/was co-dependent

  • Staff training was extensive and time-consuming

  • CSD was bogged down with ARRA-funded projects and couldn’t provided needed support

  • Not enough skilled professionals were available

  • LBCAP would choose to inspect all homes at 100%

  • Collaboration with LBCAP would be difficult

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


A problematic implementation

A Problematic Implementation

  • Multiple trips to homes meant low or no profit-margin

  • Billing cycle was too short; LACCN missed opportunity to bill for services provided

  • Higher than expected standard of work quality created issues

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


The intervention

The Intervention

  • Harsh financial realities

  • Requests for reimbursement/ programmatic changes unaddressed

  • Analysis/realistic expectations/forecasting

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


The final 18 months

The Final 18 Months

Measurable losses +

Questionable management changes +

Issues with financial reporting

= Unsuccessful program

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


What we didn t know should have done in retrospect

What We Didn’t Know/Should Have Done (in Retrospect)

  • Relationship with partner difficult to manage

  • 6- to 8-year recovery of start-up costs

  • Depleted human capital/low skills levels of staff

  • Ensured conflict resolution process at start

  • Delineated clear expectations at start

  • Created exit plan during Planning & Design

  • Better plan for contingencies

  • Build in checks & balances/better reporting to stakeholders

  • Reported on finances throughout

    implementation

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Primary causes of failure

Primary Causes of Failure

  • Lack of control of primary functions, inc. marketing

  • Lack of oversight of and systems for program

  • Insufficient program modeling of costs, finances & operations

  • Management structure of partner

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Lessons learned

Lessons Learned

  • Buy-in & collective responsibility

  • The importance of planning

  • The power of partnership

  • Looking forward & looking back

  • It’s ok to make mistakes/knowing when to say when

  • Power in the wrong hands

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Where do we go from here

Where Do We Go From Here?

  • Leadership has changed the way it works together and what it reports to the Board

  • Business plans for any off-mission programming and/or new endeavors

  • Creation of simple to read and understand financial, programmatic and strategic reporting tools with monthly info. on unbilled receivables, profit & loss (by project), hidden & uncovered costs and administrative expenses.

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Where do we go from here cont

Where Do We Go From Here? (cont.)

  • Information on new projects shared during planning phase/key strategic planning info. reported on by quarter

  • Financial management infrastructure reviewed/checks and balances integrated

  • Collaborative approach to decision making

  • Continue to work on relationship building/only enter into contracts/situations that make good business sense

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Process for program innovation

Process for Program Innovation

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Analytical tools for innovation

Analytical Tools for Innovation

Market study

  • Market size

  • Market growth rate

  • Market profitability

  • Cost structure

  • Market trends

  • Key factors for success and sustainability

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Analytical tools for innovation1

Analytical Tools for Innovation

Due Diligence Research

LACC Project Evaluation Questionnaire

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Analytical tools for innovation2

Analytical Tools for Innovation

Pro Forma –Test Every Assumption

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Analytical tools for innovation3

Analytical Tools for Innovation

Cash Flow –Test Every Assumption

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Analytical tools for innovation4

Analytical Tools for Innovation

Working Capital –Test Every Assumption

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Discussion

Discussion

Examples from the Group

What were the lessons learned?

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


Contact us

Contact Us:

  • Wendy Butts, Managing Director, LACC

    213/362-9000 [email protected]

  • Dan Knapp, Deputy Director, LACC

    213/362-9000 [email protected]

  • Jeff Parker, Executive Director, NYC 541-349-7500 [email protected]

The Corps Network 2014 National Conference


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