Strategic Vitality LLC - the City of San Luis Obispo

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Strategic Vitality LLC - the City of San Luis Obispo

Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-2Proposal Cover Letter RequestedMay 2, 2013Ms. Molly CanoTourism ManagerCity of San Luis Obispo990 Palm AvenueSan Luis Obispo, CA 93401Dear Molly:Thank you for offering Strategic Vitality LLC the opportunity to submit a proposal for the City’s TourismBusiness Improvement District. The following is a description of my business:Strategic Vitality LLC (SVLLC) is a strategic planning, facilitation and project firm specializing incollaborative strategic planning and creative consensus-building. Experienced in broad-based industry,city-wide, county-wide, regional and statewide partnership building and collaboration, SVLLC fostersjoint visioning, goal-setting and planning among diverse sets of stakeholders, public and private. Astrategic planning and facilitation consultant practice, SVLLC’s principal is Victoria Conner, who engagesother consultants and contractors in collaborative teaming as needed for larger or specialized projects.For contact purposes, my mailing address is 519 Mayten Street, Santa Maria, California 93458. Officephone number is 805-346-1308, fax is 805-346-1307, cell is 805-345-0688. Email address is:v.conner@Stra tegicVitalityLLC.comWhile my strategic planning references are listed in the “Key Personnel” section of this proposal, I alsowanted to list a contact familiar with my past tourism promotion work:(Tourism/Personal) Joanne Currie, Principal, Splash Café805-544-7759 office, 805-441-5522 cell / joanne@splashcafe.comI am pleased to submit the following proposal for your consideration.Best regards,Victoria Conner, PrincipalStrategic Vitality LLCwww.StrategicVitalityLLC.comStrategic Vitality LLC 2


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-3Executive SummaryStrategic Vitality LLC (SVLLC) is proposing to manage the San Luis Obispo Tourism BusinessImprovement District (TBID) with SVLLC principal Victoria Conner as project lead. Conner hasbeen leading strategic planning efforts for over 15 years, doing strategic planning retreats withthe Cal Poly Orfalea College Executive Partners, Allan Hancock College, the California SpaceAuthority and other nonprofits. Her tourism background includes vice president positions onboth the San Luis Obispo Visitors & Conference Bureau and Pismo Beach Convention & VisitorsBureau boards. A full Conner bio is presented at the end of the proposal, with names of thosepotentially also involved.SVLLC is proposing to develop the TBID Strategic Plan for a fee not to exceed $13,500. Thetimeline of the proposed project runs from June/early July (Situation Assessment), throughJuly (Retreat Planning), with the TBID Retreat in August, September for writing the Plan andOctober for presentation of the Plan to the TBID. Twelve hours of retreat time, with severaloptions of retreat session break-down, e.g. two 6-hour sessions or three 4-hour sessions isrecommended due to the request for five years of strategies in addition to typical strategicplan elements.The methodology proposed by SVLLC is characterized by the inclusion of five elements atvarious stages throughout the strategic plan development process: Traditional StrategicPlanning elements (SWOTs, Critical Issues, etc.); City Tourism Constituencies (small-largeproperties, destination properties, etc.); Destination Interests (attractions, activities); the“WHO” (types of visitors); and Potential Tourism Collaboration Partners (Chamber, VCB, etc.).The plan development process begins with a Situation Assessment comprised of research anddata analysis, constituent survey and interviews, a digital “conversation” with constituents andcomparative analysis of all research and inputs. A TBID Retreat follows the SituationAssessment, with agenda and exercises designed from knowledge garnered during theSituation Assessment. Plan is to be developed from the Retreat and other data and inputs.Strategic Vitality LLC’s specialization in broad-based, collaborative strategic planning and“creative consensus-building” is in perfect alignment with the San Luis Obispo TourismBusiness Improvement District’s need for a collaborative strategic planning process. SVLLC’syears of experience in managing strategic planning efforts engaging hundreds of people inplan development provides confidence that the TBID strategic planning effort will beproductive and successful.Strategic Vitality LLC 3


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-4Proposer OverviewStrategic Vitality LLC (SVLLC) is a strategic planning,facilitation and project firm specializing incollaborative strategic planning and creativeconsensus-building. Experienced in broad-basedindustry, city-wide, county-wide, regional andstatewide partnership building and collaboration,SVLLC fosters joint visioning, goal-setting andplanning among diverse sets of stakeholders, publicand private. As necessary, SVLLC principal VictoriaConner teams with other professionals to meet thedemands of a project.SVLLC PhilosophyStrategic Vitality LLC practices customized, consensus-based strategic planning. Believingthat the typical “cookie cutter” strategic planning approach used by many firms is a disserviceto the client, SVLLC does not accept retreat facilitation projects that do not include anopportunity for significant pre-retreat stakeholder input. Dependingon the breadth of the stakeholder body and project timeframe,surveys, interviews, telecons and webinars, roundtables and focusgroups, e-input and digital conversations are all evaluated as preretreatvehicles for garnering stakeholder input. This input is thenused to customize a retreat agenda.SVLLC Strategy DevelopmentWhile some SVLLC strategic plan development elements are common to general practice, theway they are used is not. Strategic Vitality LLC uses an iterative approach. Rather thantaking isolated elements and combining them into strategy development, it uses one elementof the process to inform the next, evolving a strategy. This results in continual learning overthe life of the process and also continual consensus-building. Each element is introduced andvetted in the next project element, fostering the identification, little by little, of those thingswhich are agreed upon. The ideal is that, by theretreat, much of the consensus-building already hasbeen accomplished. Allowing the project lead andall project participants continually to mature in theirunderstanding of the issues, opportunities anddiverse viewpoints, with each conversation and datapoint moving the process along a continuum, makesthis a process of better decision-making, leadingultimately to a better outcome.Strategic Vitality LLC 4


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-5Project Needs: Alignment with SVLLC“The City of San Luis Obispo’s Tourism Business ImprovementDistrict (TBID) is proposing a comprehensive strategic plan toinclude long-term goals, measurable objectives and outcomes,and proposed strategies to meet constituent needs to achievethe TBID mission for the next five years.” -----San Luis ObispoTBID Solicitation (Solicitation)Undertaking a comprehensive strategic plan for TBID tourismdevelopment is very wise. With the scope ofconstituents/stakeholders impacted by city tourism, there is a lotat stake. The economic impact of tourism development for thelodging industry, affiliated businesses and city services toresidents is significant and a successful approach is critical.Strategic Vitality’s focus on collaborative, consensus-based strategic planning is in totalalignment with the TBID’s need for a broad-based, collaborative approach to the strategic plandevelopment for San Luis Obispo tourism.The TBID’s request for facilitation of a retreat (and planning process) inclusive of keyconstituents (lodging industry, City, marketing agency and contractors) is exactly the type ofmethodology SVLLC practices, requested or not. In addition, the research and data collectionmentioned in the Solicitation are also always SVLLC plan development elements.The development of goals, measurable objectives and outcomes and proposed strategiesrequested as project deliverables will lay the foundation for successful marketing, publicrelations and promotion planning for TBID consultants and constituents for years to come.In terms of strategic plan development content, SVLLC principal Victoria Conner has over adecade of experience in the tourism industry in numerous aspects of the business: tour groupmarketing, visitors’ bureau board work, off-season/city/special target events, travel expomarketing, restaurant/lodging partnerships (large and small properties), tourism publicrelations, marketing of attractions and destinations, tourism attraction budgets, etc. See “KeyPersonnel” for detail.Strategic Vitality LLC 5


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-6TBID Strategic Plan Development Tourism MethodologyThe strategic plan development that Strategic Vitality LLC would propose for the San LuisObispo Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) would be comprised of five elements,each employed freely throughout the development process described after this section, withcross-cutting looks through all five of these lenses:Traditional Strategic Planning ElementsWhile commonly used in a typical strategic planning process, elements such asSWOTs*, PESTs (or PESTLE)**, Key Drivers, Critical Issues, Environmental or SituationAssessment, and others, are all valuable tools in analyzing the past, present and futureof the industry, area or business using a strategic planning process. SVLLC will makeuse of these tools in the “iterative” manner described above.City Tourism ConstituenciesThe Lodging Industry is comprised of a variety of types of properties and owners –properties small, medium and large; corporately or privately owned; destinationproperties versus simple accommodations, etc. All are TBID constituents, so part of themethodology is to ensure broad-based input opportunities for these stakeholders notjust at start-up, but throughout the process.Destination InterestsAttractions, activities, points of interest are all potential strategicresources for the TBID to consider in developing its strategicplan. Understanding the “what and where” of visits is a keyelement in understanding opportunity.The “WHO”The “who” aspect of visits is critical in targeting marketing dollars. The various visitorgroups (group or tour traveler, roadtrip enthusiasts, food/wine aficionados, 20-somethings, sophisticated seniors,adventurists, affinity groups, Cal Poly parentsand others) are all opportunity markets for thesavvy tourism marketers.Potential Tourism Collaboration PartnersUnderstanding the “what’s in it for us” perspective of potential tourism promotionpartners is critical in leveraging funding and building return visitorship. What angles arepotential partners using and can TBID take another, to avoid duplication and build thenumber of visits or extend stays?*SWOTSs: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats**PESTs: Political, Economic, Social, Technological (add Legislative and Environmental for PESTLEStrategic Vitality LLC 6


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-7TBID Strategic Plan Development ProcessSituation Assessment (June/early July, 2013) Initial meetings with Tourism Manager (TM) and/or Board (2) Recommended: establishment of 3 person strat plan subcommittee to guide process Identification of existing tourism stats, if available (2 meetings) Review of available tourism stats or identification of statistics to collect, either withinor outside of the project, depending on costs, access to information, etc. Review of literature re: tourism trends, issues, key drivers, etc. (1 mtg) Development of constituent survey (developed in collaboration with TM – 2 mtgs) Identification of key interviews - 20 individual or small group interviews, to be drawnfrom (with recommendations of Tourism Mgr and/or Board – 2 mtgs):o TBID Boardo Tourism Managero Small lodging, medium, and large lodgingo Privately ownedo Chain-relatedo Destination propertyo Chamber of Commerce visitor contacto Visitors and Conference Bureauo Local wine associationo Local attractiono Regional attractiono Marketing contractoro Other contractor(s) Interactive Online Conversation – “Future of SLO Tourism”o Promotion of Campaign to constituents as survey follow-upo Online format showcasing constituent (and stakeholder if desired) ideaso Uploading of any white papers, OpEds, studies, etc. of relevanceo Uploading of any graphical images, photos, etc. of relevance Input Analysiso Review/analysis of data collected from constituents in surveyso Review/analysis of data collected from visioning campaigno Comparison of tourism stats (if accessed) and aboveRetreat Planning (late July, 2013)Identification of Key Findings for Retreat/Review with SP SubcommitteePresentation to TBID: Key Findings/discussion as foundation for Retreat (1 mtg)Recap of Key Findings Discussion sent to Tourism Manager/BoardDetermination of number and make-up of Retreat inviteesDevelopment and preparation of any orientation or pre-retreat “homework” to begiven retreat invitees with invitationStrategic Vitality LLC 7


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-8Retreat Design (early August, 2013)Retreat design is one of the most important elements of the strategic planning process.Time allotted, content flow, and room comfort all contribute to success of the retreat.SVLLC normally does not handle logistics, but we do like to see and approve themeeting space and AV accommodations as appropriate for planned retreat activities.The most common problem encountered in retreat challenges is the lack of timeallotted. SVLLC, even in this early look at the TBID project, strongly recommends 12hours be allotted for the retreat in any one of the ways outlined below. Theinvestment being made in the process will be wasted if enough time is not allotted theretreat. It is not uncommon for one or two year strategic plans to allow one day, so a3-5 year plan naturally should take more time for strategy development.TBID is asking the consultant to achieve the following: TBID priorities, Goals,Measurable Objectives, Strategies. While these outcomes are the most importantretreat outcomes, they are not achieved in a vacuum. They need to be considered afterthe Situation Assessment (review of research and constituent inputs and distillation)and consideration of Key Findings and brainstorming of possibilities from various angles(lenses). Possible target visitors and strategies need to be introduced before prioritiescan be determined. All this takes time. Lastly, logistics take up some time (minimum 1hfor breaks, lunch if applicable, directions, break-out movement, etc.)Rationale for 12hr Suggested Retreat Time Based On Quick, Early Analysis Intros/Retreat Overview/ (15min) Presentation of Key Findings (15+ 5 Q/A = 20min) Group Warm-Up (20min) PESTLE & Key Drivers vetting(from Key Findings-25min) General Opportunities vetting-15min) Critical Issues vetting/ranking(20min) Calendar/Events Discussion –Enhancing Off-Season/Prioritization (20 min) Breaks/Refreshments/Lunch ifapplicable (1hr) TBA1 Content from Rsch/Inputs(30min) Destination Interests (15min)“The Who” – Targeting Generations (20min) U.S. (15min) California (20min) Tour Groups (15min) Int’l (15min) Special Interests/AffinityGroups (40min) OtherTBA2 Content (30 min)Collaborations/Partnering (40min)TBID Priorities (30min)TBID Goals (40min)TBID Measurable Objectives(1h/20min)TBID Strategies (1h/40min)Plan Updating (15 min)Closing (5 min)Strategic Vitality LLC 8


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-9Optional 12 Hour Retreat Models (can be decided once Key Findings determined):Two Sessions:One 7 hour sessionand one 5 hoursession orTwo 6 hour sessionsThree Sessions:Three 4 hoursessions orOne 6 hour sessionand two 3 hoursessions orOne 5 hour session,one 4 hour sessionand one 3 hour sessionFull Group vs Break-Outs as Part of Design ProcessFor several reasons, clients of SVLLC can expect retreat break-outs, with break-outsdesigned to “break up” normal affiliations and generate new points of view.Offers opportunity for different constituents to get acquainted and hear differentperspectivesAllows less vocal participants a smaller setting in which to share viewsDeters restlessnessDiscussions with varying team participants enhances creativityStrategic Vitality LLC 9


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-10Retreat Preparation (early August, 2013)Handouts and Retreat Orientation Materials/Collection of Retreat SuppliesDevelopment, preparation and copying of all retreat exercises, materials and handouts,including Key Findings presentation and final agendaCollection of all retreat suppliesCoordination of logistics with TBID contact re: meeting space, refreshments, audiovisualarrangements, room set-up, nametags, etc.Retreat Facilitation (mid-August, 2013)Overview of retreatFacilitation of all discussionManagement of all retreat exercises and break-outsRetreat Recap (late August, 2013)Development of draft Retreat RecapReview/refinement of Recap with TBID principalsDistribution to Retreat AttendeesDevelopment of TBID Strategic Plan (September, 2013)Development of draft TBID Strategic Plan for TBID Tourism Mgr/principals reviewRefinement of PlanStrategic Plan Presentation to TBID Board (October, 2013)Strategic Plan Development Timeline:June July Aug Sept OctSituationAssessment X XRetreatPlanningXRetreatDesign/PrepXRetreatFacilitationXRetreatRecapXPlan DevXPresentationof Plan to BdXStrategic Vitality LLC 10


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-11Project Budget (Not to Exceed $13,500)Data Analysis$ 2,500 (30 hours) Research Survey Analysis Interview Inputs Online Inputs Comparison Analysis of AboveClerical950 (50 hours)Consulting Web/Social Media 1,620 (40 hours) Strategic Plan Dev 8,430 (100 hours)References – Strategic PlanningKris McKinlay, Asst. Dean, Orfalea College of Business, Cal Poly, SLO805-756-2912kmckinla@calpoly.eduAndrea Seastrand, Organization Development Director805-720-6745 (cell)ahseastrand@aol.comMark Landon, Executive Director, The Nature Corps805-434-0299mlandon@thenaturecorps.orgStrategic Vitality LLC 11


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-12Key ParticipantsProject Lead: Victoria Conner, Principal, Strategic Vitality LLC (see bio below)Potential Additional Consultants (depending on final digital programming/analysis needs):Rick Bess, Founder/President, PreBeta TM Inc.Rick Bess is the founder of PreBeta Inc., an innovation services company. PreBeta Inc.provides practical and proven early stage innovation solutions, training, and consulting basedon industry best practices. In 2005, Bess created the unique role of IdeaMentor at AdobeSystems. In this role, he was the innovation coach to 100's of Idea Champions andEntrepreneurs-in-Residence across Adobe offices worldwide. Bess created and managed newprogram initiatives including the Innovation Boot Camp, the Idea Champions Showcase, theInnovation Leaders Forum, as well as the New Business Initiatives new product start-upincubator. Bess was responsible for Adobe other product innovations that directly resulted inexcess of $200M revenue within 3 years. Bess is a veteran of multiple successful start-upcompanies, most recently as VP Product Management and Marketing at Quantum3D. He startedhis career in engineering roles including aircraft design, 3D computer graphics, and softwaredevelopment at established companies including the Boeing Company. Bess received hisBachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from University of Kansas. He completedthe Stanford Executive Institute Program.Jose Huitron, Principal, Hub 81Jose Huitron is the principal of Hub 81, a Central Coast integrated marketing/communicationsagency. Hub 81 is a strategic partner helping clients receive optimum visibility with lastingimpact. Huitron has a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing (Digital and Traditional).Strategic Vitality LLC 12


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-13Victoria Conner, Principal, Strategic Vitality LLCThe interests of Victoria Conner, principal of Strategic Vitality LLC, center around “creative consensus-building” -collaborative strategic and project planning among diverse stakeholders. She has worked economicdevelopment, industry strategy and innovation for over fifteen years. Broad-based private and publiccollaboration has been a touchstone of her work. She is referenced in The Council on Competitiveness’ 2010Collaborate. Leading Regional Innovation Clusters and is published in the International Economic DevelopmentJournal. Conner has presented at the nationwide Workforce Innovations conference and served on numerouspanels at the request of the Employment Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. She has twicepresented at the Strategic Planning Association’s national conference. She often facilitates nonprofitorganization or public/private partnership retreats, visioning sessions and strategic planning off-sites.Strategic Planning and Retreat FacilitationConner has led a variety of collaborative strategic planning efforts. In addition to the multiple strategicplanning efforts for California Space Enterprise mentioned above, she facilitated the development of astrategic plan for the Executive Partners of the Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) College of Business, andspearheaded collaborative development of the Allan Hancock College Strategic Plan, involvingapproximately 200 stakeholders from various College constituencies. She has also facilitated the recentretreat of the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County, and several nonprofit retreats.Earlier in her career, Conner facilitated the first-ever San Luis Obispo County VIP roundtable oneconomic development, facilitating numerous follow-on community “visioning” conversations andproducing the newsletter tracking the community visioning initiative. These served as the inauguralefforts launching the current San Luis Obispo County Economic Vitality Corporation. She has ledretreats for both the SLO County Visitors & Conference Bureau and Pismo Beach Convention & VisitorsBureau.Relevant Tourism-Related ExperienceCo-owned studio art gallery in Taos, NM, participated in formation meetings of Taos visitors bureau.Participated in start-up meetings/planning and development of the Central Coast Tourism Council.Vice-President, San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau (SLO VCB). Helped representVCB at travel expos. 1983 recipient of SLO VCB “Outstanding Promotion of Tourism” award.Marketing Director, F. McLintocks, Inc. (at FMc 1985-1994) – Managed marketing and public relationsfor Dining House, retail food products, mail order and gift shop. Facilitated marketing/public relationspartnering with all five FMc restaurants. Developed FMc tour industry program, marketing it at annualTourism Convention, significantly increasing FMc banquet business. Created statewide newsletter toStrategic Vitality LLC 13


Strategic Plan Development for San Luis Obispo TBID 2013B3.4-1440,000 customers, featuring Central Coast tourism and historical sites and activities. Represented FMcon SLO VCB, on Pismo CVB and Business Improvement Group boards. On management organizingcommittee for opening of original FMc gift shop. Organized FMc wedding fairs, designed marketingprogram for “Hungry Horse Flats”, new outdoor wedding space behind FMc Saloon & Dining House.Marketing/Public Relations Consultant (1995-2000) – facilitated strategic planning retreats for the SanLuis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau and Pismo Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau.Developed a few tourism-related articles for VCB.Vice-President, ARTernatives, San Luis Obispo organization promoting contemporary art.Vice-President, Pismo Beach Business Improvement Group. Served on inaugural Pismo Beach Car ShowCommittee, on annual Pismo Beach Jazz Festival committee, and founded Pismo Beach Western Days.Vice-President, Pismo Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau.Co-owned contemporary art gallery (WorldWorks) in Pismo Beach.Major AccomplishmentsConner served as key consulting partner for implementation of the California Innovation CorridorInitiative. The industry-led Corridor Initiative, designed by Conner in 2005 for a Central Coast nonprofitclient, engaged 42 funded partner entities statewide, as well as hundreds of collaborators workingeconomic development, industry, education/workforce projects in 13 California counties. The Corridoreffort was a signature program under the U.S. Department of Labor’s then-flagship national initiative.In designing the Corridor Initiative, Conner conceptualized the project resulting in development of theInnovation-Driven Economic Development Model by the Bay Area Economic Institute.Conner served as project lead for four consecutive California Space Enterprise Strategic Plan effortsover ten years, each a six month+ collaborative effort involving about 200 senior and executive-levelstakeholders from 100+ different organizations. Key consultant for the first Governor’s AerospaceSummit, Conner also supported the first “California Space Day” in Sacramento and led advocacy teamsfor “California Space Week” in DC. She also staffed the Aerospace Sub-Committee reporting to theCalifornia Economic Development Commission chaired by then- Lt. Governor John Garamendi.Conner developed an “Innovation” itinerary in Silicon Valley for an East Coast colleague hosting“learning journeys” for groups of foreign dignitaries interested in California innovations. Also in SiliconValley, she facilitated a solution addressing the skill gaps and industry culture issues which keptunemployed dot.com workers from being hired for thousands of open positions in Valley aerospacesoftware engineering.Conner was co-founder of the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County (EconNSBC). Now anonprofit organization, EconNSBC has seated its first board of directors. Its 1000 Day Roadmap toEconomic Recovery has identified key target industry sectors (Agriculture, Wine/Tourism, Oil & Gas,etc.) which are supported by supplemental initiatives such as Innovation; Education/WorkforceDevelopment; and Infrastructure/Transportation/Logistics.Strategic Vitality LLC 14

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