What Clients are Saying
We have had the pleasure of partnering with Lori Silverman in our
strategic planning process over the past year. The experience has been enriching,
and we strongly recommend her to organizations considering engaging in a strategic
Lori facilitated a refreshing approach to strategic planning that we had not
seen before it was comprehensive, collaborative, and efficient all at once, in
the following ways:
It was comprehensive in that we spent considerable time conducting an environmental
scan that reached far beyond our traditional areas of focus. Without Loris participation,
we likely would have limited our focus on issues within the region that we serve. With
Loris participation, we expanded out thinking beyond the region, considering national
and international trends that might impact the people we serve.
It was collaborative in that we involved over 60 people in the process. A vast majority
of those individuals were volunteer board or community members, and the strategic planning
process effectively facilitated the partnership of those volunteers with Y staff members to
conduct the research and develop the strategic plan.
It was efficient in that we were able to leverage Loris experience with other organizations
to kick-start the strategic planning process at the Y. Her facilitation skills and business acumen
were exceptional. As a result, we were able to optimize our time with the volunteers and staff
members, and everyone ethusiastically agreed that their time was well spent.
The result of our efforts with Lori is a strategic plan that we are now in the process of executing.
We are excited about the breakthrough strategies that we identified through our work with Lori. We
greatly appreciate the time Lori spent with our organization and would use her services again without
hesitation. We would be glad to speak with anyone considering an engagement with her.
President and CEO
YMCA of the Inland Northwest
YMCA Board Member
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Because we are in a declining market, we thought it was time
to re-look at our business strategies. Lori presented us with a workable
method to move the process forward. As always with this type of process,
a lot of employees were skeptical that we would get any concrete results
and there was a lot of underlying resistance. As the process unfolded during
the retreat, many commented that there was a lot of good conversation
that was inspired from Loriís facilitation. We continued to work during the
retreat to come up with our breakthrough strategies and look at our mission
and vision statements. Everyone worked together very well with Loriís guidance
and Lori helped keep us on track. The retreat was labeled a success by all who
participated and it reassured us that we are on the correct path for the next
3 to 5 years. The process gave us some clear paths forward and specific steps
to follow to make that happen. We are currently working on those steps and
we hear employees referring to our strategies when discussing business
opportunities and whether the opportunity truly fits the strategies defined. Thank
you Lori for your help in redefining our goals and helping us to move forward
Western Polymer Corp.
As a start-up association we had a lot ahead of us, from day-to-day
operational start-up activities to thinking about what and who
we wanted to be when we grew up. Lori Silvermans
guidance and strategic planning retreat was exactly what we needed
to focus on the future. Putting ourselves into the future to understand
what we can do today was a very hard thing for some of our Board members to do.
Your methodology, support and encouragement were undoubtedly what
helped us get past looking at just today. I am happy to say that
our association has completed three of its four, first-year objectives,
and is on track to complete all four. Our three breakthrough strategies
are part of every Board member’s focus and vernacular when
addressing our membership. We are very confident with where we
are heading in the next five years.
Lisa (Flint ) Dodson
International Association for Information and Data Quality
are hard at work implementing our new 2010 Strategic Plan. The
three breakthrough strategies AND the Boards deep involvement
is just what we needed to launch our second 100 years. Frankly,
I did not think we would get this far. Thank you for your unwavering
commitment to us and your process. I had over 75% of our Board
take the time to specifically comment on the St. Charles event.
Most of these executives have been through many hours of strategic
planning within their own organizations, often led by the national
consulting firms. They were impressed we got so much done!
Not only did the process generate the breakthroughs for the future,
but we got so much detail behind each of them. Our plan is concrete,
actionable, yet very creative and outside the box.
As an idea generator myself and not a process person, I appreciated
the way you kept reminding me to trust the process. The results
prove that the process works. In our wrap up conversation, you
suggested some ingenious ways to communicate our vision forward
to 2010. Your experience with so many other firms and individuals
makes you a very effective resource. Please accept our thanks
for a excellent experience.
Midwest Energy Association
Tinker Federal Credit Union initially contacted Partners for Progress
to ask for help in crafting ideas to assist our employees work
through a major core system conversion. We were concerned with
the human side of the change, as well as the technical. Lori Silverman
provided consulting expertise and ideas on how to structure the
change initiative, as well as acting as a key note speaker at
our all-employee training day that kicked off the conversion.
We feel that her involvement was instrumental in making the first
stage of the acceptance of change by our employees both informative
and personal. For the duration of the project, we are going to
base our communications to and training for our employees on the
groundwork she laid.
Executive Vice President
Tinker Federal Credit Union
Lori Silverman can work magic!! My organization recently sat
through a strategic planning session and the group that came out
of the session was definitely a different group than the one that
went in the day before. Loris insight and unique ability
to help us shift perspective has been a catalyst for change in
the right direction. Thank you Partners for Progress.
The Business Forum
Partners for Progress has been a real partner in the development of our
organization. They have given us important feedback and been an
objective voice in many of our most important strategic decisions.
In addition, they have always done the front- and back-end work
needed to maximize the benefit of their services.
Chief Executive Officer
The Gogolak Communications Group, Inc.
As a recently hired Executive Director at the National Credit Union
Foundation, I believed that it was absolutely imperative that
we embark on a new strategic plan. Ms. Silverman was hired to
facilitate this process using participatory facilitative methods.
The result was outstanding. Ms. Silverman created a safe environment
for the board and staff to express themselves; she developed and
maintained a carefully crafted agenda that sought consensus around
major strategic decisions; and, she encouraged us all to base
our goals for the Foundation, not on the present, but on the future.
The Foundations board chairman remarked to me that Ms.
Silverman provided one of the most satisfying strategic planning
experience that he has yet encountered. I would certainly
echo that sentiment!
National Credit Union Foundation
As outgoing president of the Media Communications Association-International,
I realized that our organization needed a solid strategy for the
next couple of years. Partners for Progress helped my Board and
me realize that in order to succeed, we needed a long-term strategy.
Lori was instrumental in communicating the concept to our board,
coaching us through the tasks we needed to do and facilitating the
planning process. As a volunteer organization, we would never have
never taken the time to do this extensive of a long-term plan. We
appreciate the expertise that Partners for Progress brought to MCA-I!
Media Communications Association-International
Lori has a first-rate understanding of key strategic planning tools.
With her skills and guidance, our group created thoughtful and
meaningful goals that will help our organization thrive. Lori
is masterful at bringing discussion to consensus and closure,
leaving everyone with a sense of accomplishment.
Mary A. Schumacher
American College of Veterinary Pathologists
Lori was brought on to provide a lead role in the development and integration
of our project management courses, and provide a certificate program
that is highly interactive through a common framework, real-life
project situations, and easy-to-use templates. During my time
working with Lori, she demonstrated very effective project management
skills and the ability to get projects done on time and within
budget. The impact from this newly structured program has given
us a quality and comprehensive program that provides individuals
the essential skills to successfully manage projects.
Director, Business and Engineering
School of Continuing Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Lori Silverman combines depth of education, experience, strategic perspective,
a field tested methodology, and finely honed critical insights
to assist a complex organization in discovering opportunities
for business process improvements that improve efficiency and
effectiveness. Her unique skill set has been a valuable asset
in our strategic thinking and quality improvement efforts. Lori
has [also] provided valuable strategic guidance and coaching to
the corporate Board and senior management in planning and executing
business plans and budgets.
Martin A. Preizler
President and CEO
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's 2001 Strategic Planning
Event was an opportunity for over 260 employees to participate
in building a collective understanding of the challenges and possibilities
that lie ahead for our organization. We not only developed a vision
of the future, but also the action plans that will make that future
a reality. Lori's expertise and consultation were an important
factor in helping us build the agenda for this event. With Lori's
help and guidance, we were able to plan for and conduct a very
successful and very important 3-day planning session.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Ive worked with Lori Silverman in both large (more than 100) and small
(less than 10) group facilitation. She’s an excellent facilitator
in either environment. Her ability to empower a group of people
to take action and own the decision making process is outstanding.
She’s extremely motivating and encourages involvement from
each participant. Her pre-planning work is thorough and organized.
Lori is a true professional who not only knows her craft, but
also is a pleasure to work with.
Creative Communication Concepts Inc.
Ive used Lori to facilitate strategic planning for my business and
also for an association client. The client produced one of the
best plans Ive seen. Truly strategic in nature, this plan
will strengthen and expand the associations role beyond
their profession. And my plan? In eighteen months Ive
already met my three year goal. Thats an effective planning
Susan M. Rees
President & CEO
The Rees Group, Inc.
Lori Silverman was a singular, dynamic influence on me and the 750
person organization that I commanded, teaching, leading and inspiring
us to go beyond the status quo and shift the traditional mind
set of how a military organization must be managed and led.
A master at quickly learning our business, she was able to insightfully
provide advice to our Leadership Team for the development of both
short and long range planning tools that had previously been non-existent.
Her rapport with our workforce was truly phenomenal. As a result, we were
able to build a training program that gave our heretofore neglected
blue collar workers a feeling of self worth and for the first
time a feeling of having a stake in the organizations future.
During the period of Lori's assistance to us we were going through a downsizing
of over 30% of our organization with a workload and responsibility
increase of the same magnitude. Fortunately for us Lori Silverman
was advising us through this tumultuous time. Not only did we
absorb the loss of over 30 percent of our people through increased
efficiency and work process streamlining, we were nationally recognized
by the Air Force and Vice President Gore for our improvement efforts.
This simply would not have occurred had Lori Silverman not provided
us her tremendous insight, knowledge, wisdom and patience
James H. White
Colonel, USAF Commander, Ret.
HQ Air Reserve Personnel Center
Most of us have heard the view that attempting to guide university
professors and administrators is similar to taking about 20 cats
for a walk without any leashes. After teaching-and-preaching Strategic
Planning in our fully accredited Business School for several decades,
we decided to develop our own Strategic Plan—and fortunately
recruited Lori Silverman to be our coordinator, consultant and
facilitator. Lori was exceptionally effective with about 20 of
our key people—and the resulting plan is proving to be invaluable
to our remarkable growth and success.
Thomas J. Murrin
Dean, A.J. Palumbo School of Business
Lori Silverman has a proven ability to deal effectively with people,
to isolate the critical issues and to produce results. She brings
to the decision maker candor, contemporary thought and dedicated
John M. Zinkievich
Vice President, Human Resources
Lori Silverman was able to relate on many different levels to our people:
analytically, personally, intellectually, philosophically and
humorously. Her extensive knowledge base provided everyone with
exactly what they needed to have their needs met, so that they
could meet the needs of the organization.
Col. Liz Anderson
Support Group Commander
US Air Force Reserve
Our goal was to ensure that we didnt hit the wall as we were
growing our business and focusing on delivering services to our
clients. We needed to focus on where the market was going in the
future so that we could chart a course consistent with that direction.
Partners for Progress was an effective catalyst for us to begin
to position ourselves to be successful—although sometimes
difficult, it was very worthwhile.
We decided to work with Partners for Progress after much organizational
soul searching led us to conclude that we did not
have the expertise to accomplish meaningful improvement in overall
quality on our own. Partners for Progress was selected over other
firms for two key reasons: First, its basis on the philosophies
of Dr. Deming was consistent with our own thinking, and second,
Partners for Progress focused on process not just theory, which
allowed our teams to implement necessary changes.
Valmet, Inc., Hudson Falls Division
Originally, we invited Lori Silverman to share her research on the changing
role of quality with Lucents professional quality community.
But the relationship quickly grew into something much more. Lori
helped us see the possibility of mobilizing a broad, de-centralized
community of practitioners around a new way of contributing value
to the company and its customers. Her ability to communicate that
possibility and to inspire a team to take it on was coupled with
practical and disciplined guidance in making it happen. Her commitment,
enthusiasm, and know-how created the energy and confidence we
needed to move us to a new and exciting space.
Quality and Customer Satisfaction Office
Lori provided a systematic approach to dealing with organizational
change. She offered leading-edge thinking and effective implementation
that challenged my thinking and helped me to arrive at new insights.
Her coaching and feedback were greatly appreciated and she was
very accessible and easy to get a hold of when not on-site. Loris
engagement with us was truly a partnership. With Lori, there was
always an energetic exchange of ideas and two-way feedback that
led to strategies focused on attaining our goals.
William H. Braswell, Jr.
Director of Quality Improvement
I have worked on several major consulting and training projects with
Lori and have always been impressed by her depth of knowledge
and her insight. She has a natural ability to identify issues
and facilitate problem solving. She leads a group toward meaningful
strategic planning with ease and confidence.
When I need to upgrade my thinking I call on Lori for help. True to
form, she didnt just hand over answers; rather she offered
frameworks to help me create new possibilities in my consulting
practice. Furthermore, she came on a moments notice and
has consistently followed up with articles, books, and suggestions,
long after the bill was paid. I am a better consultant because
of my association with Lori.
Manager of Organization Design